There was a lot of things I loved about this book but if I have to sum it up in just a few works, I’d say it’s smart, diverse and fast-paced. And when it comes to YA, these are three great elements to see in a book.
If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn
Published by Chicken House Books on 2 Apr 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Source: Received from Publisher
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From the author of CHASING THE DARK comes a thrilling young teen crime mystery, guaranteed to keep you guessing until the very end.
Not long after Aliya’s family escapes Afghanistan for Britain, her brother is accused of a bomb attack. Aliya is sure of his innocence, but when plumber’s son Dan finds a gun in their bathroom, what’s she to think? Dan has his own reasons for staying silent: he’s worried the gun might have something to do with his dad. Thrown together by chance, they set out to uncover a tangled and twisted truth.
First Line of If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn:
“As I jumped off the bus that night and waved goodbye to Salma the tips of the mountains circling the ciry were already blurring grey against the crimson sky.”
My thoughts on If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn:
As you see from the synopsis, this book deals with the sadly always relevant topic of terrorism and the plight of people having to flee their homelands. I really thought this book was an eye opener as it gives you just a little snippet of what it’s like to be in a new country. A country where you thought all your dreams would come through but instead it becomes just another nightmare.
Aliya is a character that I loved spending time with. She has an old head on young shoulders and I kept forgetting just how young she is. But through events, she has had to grow up fast. She has a strong spirit though, has undying loyalty to family and is brave beyond words. The other main character is Dan, an English guy that she comes in to contact with.
I also really enjoyed Dan’s perspective. He also has family issues and is trying to work out some trust issues within his family. I loved that both characters are faced with such different life circumstances and cultural backgrounds but they are basically having their family loyalties put to the test.
The book is also very tense, very fast-moving and full of twists. It darts and dives all over the place! A little part of me thought that the book didn’t need so much motion and action as I loved just reading about the characters and the challenges that they were facing. But on the other hand, my heart was pounding and I couldn’t put the book down, so I’m not going to criticise it too much for all that commotion.
Overall, I loved that If You Were Me bought diversity to the table and not in a token, shallow way. But in a way that makes you empathise and think. Great read!
|Did I feel it?|
Who should read If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn?
I’d highly recommend this to you if you are looking for a Young Adult book with smart characters, a family setting and lots of diversity. Fans of books with lots of twists should also enjoy this. In addition, I think fans of the Mickey Bolitar series by Harlan Coben would like this.
Thanks to Chicken House Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.