Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

What If It's Us

What If It's UsGenre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Date Published: 
October 18 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuester
Pages: 437
Buy: Amazon – Book Depository
Australia: Simon & Schuester, Angus & Robertson, Booktopia
Follow Adam Silvera on Twitter // Follow Becky Albertalli on Twitter

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

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I received a copy of this book via Simon & Schuester Australia in exchange for an honest review. 

Trigger warnings: homophobia, panic attacks, “casual” racism (that’s challenged on page)

“I believe in love at first sight.
Fate, the universe, all of it.
But not how you’re thinking.
I don’t mean it in the our souls were split and you’re my other half forever and ever sort of way.
I just think you’re meant to meet some people.
I think the universe nudges them into your path.”

🌭 When this book got announced I think I — to be honest — lost my shit. I remember thinking how badly I wanted an Adam & Becky team up and then it happened and I didn’t know how to handle it. I went into this book with really high expectations. Adam Silvera is one of my favourite authors and Becky’s books (I haven’t read Leah on the Offbeat yet) have made me feel so happy. Seeing a lot of mixed reviews was a little worrying, but fortunately I was not disappointed. This really does have all the elements of a Becky and Adam book combined. I can see why people may have wanted more, but for me it was enough.

🌭 Representation wise this story has a m/m romance (both Ben and Arthur are gay and already out to their family and friends). Ben is Puerto-Rican and Arthur is Jewish.

🌭 Even though everything happens between Ben and Arthur relatively quickly it always felt believable. Their relationship was really awkward at times, but they didn’t know each other and were so different (Arthur is super practical and Ben is super lowkey) that it only made sense for things to not go smoothly. They have multiple first dates and like honestly that would be me lmao. The fact that it wasn’t perfect from the get go is why I loved it. Seeing the development between them and the way they grew closer was so great. They were adorable!

🌭 I absolutely adored the friendship groups in this book. They’re messy and complicated (Arthur’s dealing with the complications of keeping long distant friendships and Ben’s dealing with complicated dating among his friend group making things weird), but that’s what I loved about it. There was seriously such great dynamics between everyone. I especially loved Ben’s friendship with his best friend, Dylan. In fact, in general, I loved Dylan. He was such an incredibly well-developed side-character.

🌭 I know not everyone is a fan of pop culture references, but I dig them. This book has a lot of them so be prepared. Every time there was reference to Harry Potter or Hamilton I got way too excited. The only references I didn’t get where the ones for Dear Evan Hansen, but it didn’t really take anything away from the story for me.

🌭 One criticism I do have is that at the start of the book it’s kind of hard to distinguish between Ben and Arthur’s voices? The eventually do grow into their own characters and they have so many different personality traits, but at first they kind of blend together? And I had to check whose POV I was reading from. Sometimes Arthur really annoyed me …. like he definitely needed to Chill™ but I am an adult so that could be a bit harsh and also it’s probably just a personal preference because I prefer characters like Ben.

🌭 I think the ending, once again, is where a lot of people have a problem and I can see why. It almost makes the story seem redundant in a way, but for me I couldn’t see it ending any other way. It felt super realistic. Like, these kids knew each other for a month? Ben was still in the middle of processing a previous break up. Anything else, in my opinion, would have felt way too forced and contrived.

˗ˏˋ read it if you like… ˎˊ˗

awkward love stories, pop culture references, awesome but messy friendship groups, post-coming out stories, new york, the meet-cute concept

˗ˏˋ liked it? try these… ˎˊ˗

everything by becky albertalli and adam silvera 😅, aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe by benjamin alire saenz, queens of geek by jen wilde, heartstopper by alice oseman

my-rating

★★★★★

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Have you read What If It’s Us or is it on your TBR?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day.

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10 thoughts on “Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

  1. This is a wonderful review, Lauren and you perfectly summed up everything I felt about this book ❤ I have seen the mixed reviews about the ending, too, but just like you said, I also found it more realistic that way and in a way, it made me love the book even more. These boys were adorable ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review for this book Lauren, and I’m really glad you loved this one too. When I first heard about the Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli team up for this book I lost my sh*t too. I love both of them separately so a book written by both of them together was always going to be a huge win for me (and it was). I really loved Arthur and Ben’s characters (your right their relationship was quick but that never made it feel less believable to me either) and the friendships in the story.
    Also yes I feel like if you’re used to fluffy endings from Becky Albertalli you may have been disappointed with the ending to this book but like you I think it was the right ending for this book and Ben and Arthur’s story (plus it was an open ending so I can imagine the happy ending for them I want to).
    Again great review! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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