Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda goes to Italy in Arvin Ahmadi's newest incisive look at identity and what it means to find yourself by running away.
Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy--he just didn't think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right?
Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature... until his old life comes knocking on his door. Now, Amir has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to a US Customs officer, or risk losing his hard-won freedom.
At turns uplifting and devastating, How It All Blew Up is Arvin Ahmadi's most powerful novel yet, a celebration of how life's most painful moments can live alongside the riotous, life-changing joys of discovering who you are.
About the Author
Arvin Ahmadi grew up outside Washington, DC. He graduated from Columbia University and has worked in the tech industry. When he's not reading or writing books, he can be found watching late-night talk show interviews and editing Wikipedia pages. Down and Across is his first novel, followed by Girl Gone Viral.
Raves for How It All Blew Up:
“Arvin Ahmadi has written a novel that is authentic, hilarious, and heart-wrenching all at once. A unique point of view combined with riveting storytelling, How It All Blew Up will grab you from the first page and won’t let go.”—Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give and On the Come Up
“Arvin Ahmadi’s dazzling and ingenious new novel crackles with the terrifying exhilaration of facing up to who you are—and who you want to be. Amir’s journey leads him from the confines of the closet to the bacchanal of Rome, to an airport interrogation room, and, ultimately, to his true self.”—Gayle Forman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay
“I was so stunned and moved and absolutely gobsmacked by this masterpiece of a story. Every single beat was perfect, and oh, how it blew me away. I truly believe we’ll be talking about this book decades from now as a classic.” —Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
“Arvin Ahmadi's finest hour is here with How It All Blew Up. The compelling cast, heart-in-your-throat tension, eye-opening joy, and epic discoveries count down to a dramatic ticking time-bomb of a finale that will leave readers astonished.”—Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of They Both Die at the End
“Filled to the brim with heart, wit, tenderness, and hope, How It All Blew Up had me savoring every page. Like a fine Italian meal, it left me so utterly satisfied, I don’t know how anything can compare. This book is perfect.” —Adib Khorram, award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay
“A story brimming with honesty, passion, and strength.”—Sara Farizan, award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine
* "A funny and propulsive read, nuanced and full of heart."—SLJ, starred review
"Ahmadi’s writing is gripping, taking readers through the myriad emotions a gay Muslim teen experiences growing up in a country whose government is looking for an excuse to demonize Muslims."—Kirkus Reviews
"[A] moving and well-written coming-of-age novel."—Publishers Weekly
"A fully realized, deeply sympathetic character.... The result is compelling."—Booklist