What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Book reviews

What If It’s Us – Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Release date: 9 October 2018
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★ – 10/10
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What If It’s Us blurb:

ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a show-stopping 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 show?

But what if it is?

I need to start by saying that a) I don’t remember if I’ve ever read an entire 437 page book in less than 6 hours before, but it definitely happened today; and b) I never write book reviews this quickly; and c) I AM A GIANT GOOEY MESS OF LOVE AND HOPE.

Please be warned, there will be much gushing during this review.

This is the story of Ben and Arthur who are basically the two most adorable teenagers in fictional existence. They’re both a bit nerdy and self conscious and neither of them have anything figured out, and while I absolutely acknowledge this might frustrate some people, it only made me love them more.

Ok, plot? Loved it. What an emotional rollercoaster. Every little heartbreak and every little twist was just perfect (sorry… gushing). But let’s get real – this is absolutely, 100% a young adult LGBTIQA+ contemporary novel that is full of angst and love and not knowing who you are and sweetness. As someone who has read and loved all of Albertalli’s books before, but never read a Silvera – I found that it wasn’t quite as sweet an ending as Albertalli books normally are, but not quite as soul-destroying as I’ve heard Silvera books are (totally unconfirmed theory). It was that perfect blend of maybe-they-will and -maybe-they-won’t through the entire book. And when they did it was beautiful, and when they didn’t it was also beautiful (in a totally different way).

And characters? I don’t think there was a character I disliked! Not one! A couple weeks ago I talked about tropes I hated (link here), and characters with dead or neglectful parents were on that list. This book NAILED supportive, loving, real-life, adult parents. Even when the parents were fighting and the kids were all “my parents are getting divorced” they were amazing. (I promise the gushing will stop soon!) All the side characters had a reason for being, and they all contributed to the story. Secretly my fave was Dylan (how could you not after such a supportive friendship?) but even Namrata couldn’t be mean enough for me to not like her!

The relationships were special and delicate. The friendships were really the essence of this book. (I take that back. The romance was 100% the essence, but the friendships were a close second.)

But can I just fangirl about a couple of teensy little things in this book?

  1. THE SIMS (umm, I mean, hands up fellow Simmers)
  2. SO MANY HP references
  3. Fanfiction not being called lame
  4. References to holding hands on a ferris wheel and a boy-boy movie date (could these be secret Simon references?!)
  5. Hamilton and Broadway in general

I mean, obviously the diverse rep in this is pretty high, but these other things were so cute too, and really connected me to this book in some seriously nerdy and amazing ways.

Overall I don’t think I could love this book more. This is definite contender for fave contemporary for 2018. ?

Highly recommend for fans of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.


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