I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.
If You Could Be Mine was a book I wanted to love and wanted to give five stars to but could not. The synopsis pulled me in - I looked forward to reading about Sahar and Nasrin's love for one another in the context of a culture I'm not familiar with. Most of all, I wanted to see if Sahar would end up changing her true self in the name of love.
Sahar was willing to risk her happiness for Nasrin and undergo a radical change (radical because she didn't truly identify as a male), but Nasrin didn't want to risk hers. I questioned their relationship throughout the story. It was obvious to me that Sahar was much more in love with Nasrin than the other way around.
Nasrin didn't want to leave her easy comfortable life behind; it was more important to her than love. I wasn't that invested in their relationship as a result. I didn't care for Nasrin - I thought she was spoiled, selfish, and undeserving of Sahar's love.
As a result, I became more interested in Sahar's cousin Ali's story. There was much more life to Ali than either Sahar or Nasrin, who fell flat for me. I think If You Could Be Mine had all kinds of potential to be a five star book, but with underdevelopment of the characters I was wanting to root for, their unequal relationship dynamic, and more interesting secondary characters, I was left wanting more.
The ending, however, was satisfying for me because it was realistic. I don't think it could have ended any other way and wouldn't have wanted it to.