Today I am reviewing a book by Dubai based twins, Mariam & Fatima Masood.
Born on 10th December, 1983, twins, Mariam and Fatima Masood are Dubai based authors from Pakistan. Their identical interests have been the driving force behind their identical choices of education, career and their decision to being authors.
Teachers by profession, they hold educational degrees and certificates from Australia, Pakistan and United Kingdom. ‘I Know Who You Are!’ is the first novel the twins have authored. They love spending time with their family and going to the shopping malls in Dubai. You can know more about the twins and the book, by looging on to the site www.IKnowWhoYouAre-thebook.com
Title : I Know Who You Are!
Tagline: People are best understood by their Character Skins
‘I Know Who You Are!’ presents the concept that ever person has a character skin which guides their behavior and inspires their conversations. If you know a person’s character skin, you can understand, respond and deal with them effectively.
As Sultan prepares to move with his family into their new house, he finds a mystical leather diary which brings him into contact with his Grandfather, who had unexpectedly left the family five years ago.
Grandfather teaches Sultan a novel way of looking at life. He unveils the secret of understanding people by introducing him to five character skins; Flipside, Sticklip, Headspin, Hammerhead and Scuff, which are unique in appearance, attitude and school of thought.
Sultan gets passionate about his interactions with Grandfather and keeps them a secret from his family. He enjoys identifying people’s Character Skins and predicting their behavior. However, what he loves the most is the fact that he can say, “I Know Who You Are” to anyone he meets, at the very first sight.
What captured me the most about this book first was the tagline and the fact that the authors were Dubai based!. When I read the tagline, I thought, “Wow, I sure would love to know about character skins of people”. I started the book with a lot of expectation. The protagonist is a 12 year old boy named Sultan, who discovers a mystical leather diary which gets him in touch with his grandfather who simply took off 5 years ago and is supposedly dead!.
The age of Sultan is not mentioned in the beginning so I did wonder about that. The bond between him and his grandfather is written about beautifully. Gradually, throughout the book, Sultan gets closer to him. Grandfather decides that it’s time to pass his wisdom and findings to Sultan and teaches him how to understand people based on the character skin that they wear. The basis of the book is that each character skin behaves a certain way and by predicting it, you can understand people more.
There are 5 character skins according to grandpa: Flipside, Sticklip, Headspin, Hammerhead and Scuff. I am sure the authors have really put in a long time thinking up these character skins. There are reasons why they are named so strangely. Obviously not every person’s personalities can be categorized. The authors definitely don’t claim to do so (according to an interview they had with a prominent newspaper in UAE). I liked the fact that the story is based in UAE with Arabic names for all characters and currency is mentioned in Dirhams. The different fonts used throughout the book for different contexts is very nice.
While reading through, I tried to judge how I am. I think I am a mix of Sticklip and Flipside or being a mix, I might be Clay which is another character skin revealed later in the book. I was so glad that there were no Headspins or Scuffs that I could think of, in my life. I understood that knowing these two character skins, the best thing you can do is predict that they are gonna start an argument and stay away from them. Sultan had one another mystical object which let him immediately understand who is what character skin and accordingly some situations were put forth in the book to demonstrate how he used this to his advantage.
However, in real life, we cannot simply see what character skins people wear all the time. People change according to their moods. So what I learned from the book was to observe people more and try to learn more about them before interacting with them.
One other thing that put me off was the detailed description of each character skin, that went on and on. Obviously details are good in a book. But you just learn about one skin and later learn about another, you sit and compare the both, then learns about another.. Basically, it pushed your brain into doing a lot of work. I wouldn’t consider this book as a relaxing one. The day that I picked to read this book, I was actually looking to relax my mind and unwind but the book got me overworked and I found myself placing it back in my shelf. I don’t like to begin a second book while I am in the middle of one already so I couldn’t bring myself to go for another one. But after couple of days, when I was in a more refreshed mood, I picked it up again and completed it.
Overall, I liked the book. It’s definitely something that would fascinate a 12 year old. I give this book 3 stars which by Goodreads standards mean that ‘I liked it’.
Favorite quote from the book
“What the soul is to the body – A Character Skin is to the personality. As the body wears a soul, the personality wears a Character Skin”
How I got a copy!
I got a physical copy of I Know Who You Are! when I attended the Al Ain Reads Book Show in Oct, 2011.