Published by Chicken House on April 2015
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.
Wow! What a rollercoaster ride! IF YOU WERE ME is a suspenseful mystery that leads the reader down a twisty path of intrigue that will keep them guessing until the last tension filled pages!
Told in dual POV, the book introduces us to two very different teens with a common goal – to protect their families. Aliya is a teenager who in the dead of night has to escape with her family from Afghanistan after being threatened by the Taliban. Brought to Britain by the authorities, Aliya is filled with hope for her new life and opportunities. When her brother Behrouz begins acting strangely and then is found badly injured and accused of plotting a terrorist attack, Aliya is thrown into turmoil and must fight to uncover the truth about her brother’s involvement.
Dan, never thought a simple plumbing job with his dad could go so badly but when a simple task uncovers a shocking development that could reveal his dad’s involvement in the criminal underworld, Dan must team up with Aliya to find out how his father and her brother are connected. Together they investigate a mystery that starts in a council estate but could end up in the highest tiers of the government.
If You Were Me is written in a pacy, easy flowing style that makes it difficult to put down. As the plot thickens with each new development, the reader is drawn further into Aliya and Dan’s adventures and the author really makes you feel like you are right there with the characters and feel each emotion as they do.
Dual POV can sometimes be tricky to pull off but the author does a fabulous job of creating two distinct voices that really capture the personalities and different outlooks of Aliya and Dan.
IF YOU WERE ME is a timely and socially relevant book that incorporates themes such as prejudice, terrorism, familial strife and grief in a sensitive and respectful manner. A wonderful, thrilling and simply unputdownable book, with fabulously realised characters and an important message, IF You Were Me is one I highly recommend.
If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House)
Follow Sam on Twitter: @Sam_Osman_Books and find out more at www.samhepburnbooks.com
Sam Hepburn read Modern Languages at Cambridge University before joining the BBC, where she was producer of factual programmes for over 25 years and was the Commissioner for the launch of BBC 4. She lives in London with her husband and three children.