The Authentics (Balzer & Bray/Harperteen) 

The Authentics is a fresh, funny, and insightful novel about culture, love, and family—the kind we are born into and the ones we create.

Daria Esfandyar is Iranian-American and proud of her heritage, unlike some of the “Nose Jobs” in the clique led by her former best friend, Heidi Javadi. Daria and her friends call themselves the Authentics, because they pride themselves on always keeping it real.

But in the course of researching a school project, Daria learns something shocking about her past, which launches her on a journey of self-discovery. It seems everyone is keeping secrets. And it’s getting harder to know who she even is any longer.

With infighting among the Authentics, her mother planning an over-the-top sweet sixteen party, and a romance that should be totally off limits, Daria doesn’t have time for this identity crisis. As everything in her life is spinning out of control—can she figure out how to stay true to herself?

Praise for The Authentics 

“A beautiful and compelling story about identity, race, and family love. A must read in an age where #weneeddiversebooks more than ever.” — Melissa de la Cruz, New York Times bestselling author

“A charming and touching examination of everything that makes us who we are.” — Adi Alsaid, author of Let's Get Lost and Never Always Sometimes

Abdi Nazemian is an alumnus of the Sundance Writer's Lab, a mentor at the Outfest Screenwriter's Lab, and has taught screenwriting at UCLA Extension. He holds a BA from Columbia University, and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. He lives in Los Angeles with his two children. He can be found online at

Omar Sharif Jr. is an actor and activist. He has appeared in television series in Egypt and Canada. In 2015, Omar was hired by six-time Oscar nominated director Jim Sheridan to act opposite Eric Bana and Rooney Mara in The Secret Scripture. In 2016, they collaborated again on 11th Hour, with Salma Hayek, in an artistic response to the global politics of division. The film was selected by the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017. Shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to parliament in Egypt in 2012, Omar published an open letter in The Advocate, in which he came out as gay and half-Jewish and questioned the new Egyptian government’s commitment to basic human rights and diversity. He is the first public personality to ever come out as openly gay in the Arab World. He immediately faced a barrage of condemnation, criticism and threats of violence. Omar currently serves as Ambassador for the Human Rights Foundation and travels extensively promoting freedom. He previously served as National Spokesperson for GLAAD; an organization which serves to promote LGBT equality by ensuring positive media portrayals of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans community.


Event date: 
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Authentics Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062486462
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - August 8th, 2017

The Walk-In Closet Cover Image
ISBN: 9780615988689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Curtis Brown Digital - May 21st, 2014