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A fresh spin on the cult-classic Election meets Darius the Great Is Not Okay in Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win when an international incident crashes into a high school election, and Jasmine is caught between doing the right thing and chasing her dream.
It’s 1979, and Jasmine Zumideh is ready to get the heck out of her stale, Southern California suburb and into her dream school, NYU, where she’ll major in journalism and cover New York City’s exploding music scene.
There’s just one teeny problem: Due to a deadline snafu, she maaaaaaybe said she was Senior Class President-Elect on her application—before the election takes place. But honestly, she’s running against Gerald Thomas, a rigid rule-follower whose platform includes reinstating a dress code—there’s no way she can lose. And she better not, or she’ll never get into NYU.
But then, a real-life international incident turns the election upside down. Iran suddenly dominates the nightly news, and her opponent seizes the opportunity to stir up anti-Iranian hysteria at school and turn the electorate against her. Her brother, Ali, is no help. He’s become an outspoken advocate for Iran just as she’s trying to downplay her heritage.
Now, as the white lie she told snowballs into an avalanche, Jasmine is stuck between claiming her heritage or hiding it, standing by her outspoken brother or turning her back on him, winning the election or abandoning her dreams for good.
Told with biting insight and fierce humor, Susan Azim Boyer's Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win is a fresh, unforgettable story of one Iranian-American young woman’s experience navigating her identity, friendship, family, her future, and a budding romance, all set against life-changing historical events with present-day relevance.
About the Author
Susan Azim Boyer (she/her), authro of Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win, writes young adult fiction featuring Iranian American heroines she *never* encountered growing up, who make messy, complicated choices that rapidly snowball into avalanches. She hails from Nebraska but grew up in Los Angeles before spending several years in San Francisco and the next twenty in Sonoma County. She now lives in the Coachella Valley with her husband, Wayne, and her Pug mix, Teddy. Their son, Alec, lives in New York.
"A clever and witty debut that made me laugh as much as it made me cry. Utterly fantastic." - Mason Deaver, award-winning author of I Wish You All the Best and The Ghosts We Keep
“This book is smart, it's funny, and there are hilarious Iranians throughout!” - Negin Farsad, Comedian/host of Fake the Nation podcast
"Whip-smart, funny, and bursting with heart. Jasmine Zumedeh is exactly the kind of protagonist I want to spend pages with." —Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately
“Debut author Susan Azim Boyer has written a coming-of-age novel that is smart, funny, and completely satisfying. Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win perfectly captures the tension and anxieties of trying to fit-in, of wanting to be seen while also trying to hide.” --Matt Mendez, author of Barely Missing Everything and Twitching Heart
"Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win has the voicey hilarity reminiscent of Maureen Johnson with a dash of Louise Rennison’s chaotic Georgia Nicholson. A modern story set against a vivid early 80s backdrop, Susan Azim Boyer has crafted a story that will not only make you laugh out loud at every turn but will also make you question how far you would go, and if you’d be brave enough to do what’s right, if you were in Jasmine’s shoes." — Samantha Markum, author of This May End Badly
"It is so special to be able to read a book that tackles such sensitive topics like self-acceptance and xenophobia, and can do so in a way that makes you laugh along the way and leaves you feeling warm and realized in the end." - Charlene Thomas, author of Seton Girls
"Skillfully humorous at times, and heartbreaking the next, JASMINE ZUMIDEH NEEDS A WIN at its heart, is a poignant story about a girl caught between two cultures, finding your voice, and discovering a strength from within. I can't wait to see what's next from Azim Boyer." —Vanessa L. Torres, author of The Turning Pointe
"Hilarious and sharp, Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win perfectly captures what it means to take pride in your identity, even when speaking up means standing out. An exciting debut that is undeniably relevant today." — Brian D. Kennedy, author of A Little Bit Country
“Despite being set in 1979, this novel feels both timeless and timely. This book digs deep with wit and heart as protagonist Jasmine tries to determine what’s right when who she is seemingly irreconcilable with who everyone expects her to be.” — Sara Priscus, author of Groupies
“I loved the combination of timeless teenage struggles and genuine 1979 flavor in this book. It's such a fun and colorful snapshot of the time, especially through the lens of Jasmine and her complicated relationship with current events and historical elements that are very accessible and natural.” –Amanda DeWitt, author of Aces Wild
“Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win takes a headline-dominating international political crisis between Iran and the U.S. and artfully translates it into a gripping American teenage drama. The result is a timeless story that skillfully unboxes one of the most traumatic moments of the Iranian American experience, all the while reminding us of the importance of staying true to ourselves.” - Yara Elmjouie, Emmy-nominated co-creator and host of In Real Life
"I loved the way the author mixes in descriptions of Iranian history, culture, and cuisine. This novel is sure to resonate with Iranian-Americans or anyone else who has found themselves torn between and part of two cultures, unsure of which one they really belong to." — Pontia Fallahi, Host of My Persian Corner blog
"If you’re like me then you face palm emoji’d your way through high school, tripping over your own identity while trying to get someone to like you. Susan Azim Boyer’s YA novel hit me in the chest with nostalgia and the coming of age journey I had to take as an Iranian-American growing up in the suburbs. Any teen will see themselves in this book though - how do you become who you know you should be, and not simply who you think you should be?" — Seena Ghaznavi, Executive Producer of Zerocool and Host of Fraudsters podcast
"A light-hearted YA political romp...[that feels] all too relevant to our current moment. Highly recommended for YA readers seeking Persian rep, fast-paced storytelling, and a blast from the past that still feels modern and relevant." -Luke Dumas, author of A History of Fear
"Told against the backdrop of the Iran Hostage Crisis and a high-stakes high school election, Jasmine Zumideh Needs A Win is a whip-smart look at identity and girlhood in a story where the political is very much the personal." - Christina Hammonds Reed, New York Times bestselling author of The Black Kids
“Bursting with charm, insight, and humor, Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win is so compulsively readable, I couldn’t put it down.” --Amanda Glaze, author of The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond
"A thoughtful coming-of-age story with a relatable protagonist." --Kirkus Reviews
"A thought-provoking debut." - Publishers Weekly
"Packs an impressive number of ups and downs, including everyday high-school and family drama, [and] remains grounded in its historical setting and committed to cultural domestic touches, particularly around food, which truly makes it a win." - Booklist