Sahar and Nasrin are best friends and in love. They have been for most of their lives. Being homosexual in Iran is not only unacceptable, it's deadly if found out. They are 17 years old now, and things come to a head when Nasrin's parents arrange her marriage.
Sahar is desperate to stop the wedding. So desperate that she decides to pursue becoming a man surgically. Sex reassignment is legal, accessible, and even paid for by the government. I know Sahar is desperate, but I couldn't buy that she would think this plan would work in any way. First of all, she would not pass the psychological testing to have the surgery. Secondly, there's no way she can get it in time for the wedding. Thirdly, why did she think Nasrin would want her to do this? She's a lesbian. Attracted to women, right? I just didn't understand this part of the story at all.
I hate to say it, but I wanted them to get caught. By someone. I wanted them to get in some sort of trouble. There needed to be some heart-pounding tension, rather than just being told again and again that they were afraid because they could be hanged if they were caught. Nasrin gets engaged at the beginning of the book, so the two of them don't spend much time alone during the story.
There are some interesting side stories. Sahar's cousin is also a homosexual, but in a very different way. He's mixed up in drugs and prostitution. Her mother is deceased and her father has just quit life, and Sahar must take care of him.
If You Could Be Mine is a nice story that brings an issue to light. But that's all it was. I didn't really find it very exciting or compelling.
Published by Algonquin, 2014
Copy obtained from the library
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