Rana Joon and the One and Only Now (Hardcover)

Rana Joon and the One and Only Now By Shideh Etaat Cover Image
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“A breath of fresh air and punch to the gut all rolled into one.” —Adib Khorram, award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay

This “lyrical” (Kirkus Reviews) coming-of-age novel for fans of Darius the Great Is Not Okay and On the Come Up, set in Southern California in 1996, follows a teen who wants to honor her deceased friend’s legacy by entering a rap contest.

Perfect Iranian girls are straight A students, always polite, and grow up to marry respectable Iranian boys. But it’s the San Fernando Valley in 1996, and Rana Joon is far from perfect—she smokes weed and loves Tupac, and she has a secret: she likes girls.

As if that weren’t enough, her best friend, Louie—the one who knew her secret and encouraged her to live in the moment—died almost a year ago, and she’s still having trouble processing her grief. To honor him, Rana enters the rap battle he dreamed of competing in, even though she’s terrified of public speaking.

But the clock is ticking. With the battle getting closer every day, she can’t decide whether to use one of Louie’s pieces or her own poetry, her family is coming apart, and she might even be falling in love. To get herself to the stage and fulfill her promise before her senior year ends, Rana will have to learn to speak her truth and live in the one and only now.

About the Author

Shideh Etaat is an Iranian American writer living in Los Angeles. She received her MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She is the author of Rana Joon and the One and Only Now and has also had her work published in Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American WritersDay OneFoglifter, Nowruz Journal, and My Shadow Is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora. When she isn’t busy writing, you can find her helping her young son navigate life.

Praise For…

*2023 Booklist Editors' Choice (Youth Audio)*
*A Publishers Weekly Summer Reads Pick*

★ "A vivacious debut [with] a nostalgic vibe and the effervescent air of a summer block party. . . . Through Rana’s magnetic POV and striking poetry, Etaat conveys Rana’s anger, desire, and grief, making for a lively and thought-provoking exploration of self-love and self-discovery."
Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"Readers will root for [Rana's] journey to healing and self-actualization, and will miss her after the last page is turned. A thoroughly engrossing, poignant story of self-discovery."
School Library Journal

"Rana is an engaging lead with a satisfying journey of self-growth. . . . [a] lyrical read."
Kirkus Reviews

"Achingly beautiful and devastatingly funny. Rana Joon is the big sister I wish I'd had growing up. Required reading for every Iranian-American teen."
— Olivia Abtahi, award-winning author of Perfectly Parvin and Azar on Fire

"Like the greatest Persian poets, Rana Joon asks big questions: about life and death, love and loss, the pain of a fractured family and the pleasure of a well-tended garden. Shideh Etaat's debut is a breath of fresh air and punch to the gut all rolled into one.
— Adib Khorram, award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay

"This fantastic novel has all you want: a fast-paced plot with a hit of 90s nostalgia and a heroine as fierce as she is soulful and wise. I adore this book."
— Jasmin Darznik, New York Times bestselling author of The Bohemians

"Rana Joon and the One and Only Now is a stunning book full of grief, courage, and the joy and connection music can inspire. Etaat's prose is poetic and lovely, propelling the plot ahead with a lyricism that sings. I devoured this honest, fierce, and tender story. It is one I will come back to again and again—a must read."
— Mariama J. Lockington, Stonewall Honor and Schneider Family Book Award-winning author of In the Key of Us and Forever is Now

"From page one, Rana invites you into her heart and takes you by the hand as she figures out how to navigate loss, re-find her family, and unfold the promise of her queerness. Deftly written and emotionally honest, Rana Joon and the One and Only Now is a book as genuine and open-hearted as its heroine."
— Shanthi Sekaran, author of Boomi's Boombox and Lucky Boy

"Rarely do we see a main character as real, tough, and refreshingly honest as Rana Joon. A moving and heartfelt debut."
— Marjan Kamali, author of The Stationery Shop and Together Tea

Product Details
ISBN: 9781665917629
ISBN-10: 1665917628
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 25th, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English