Hello everyone, today I will be reviewing What If it's Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli! I am so excited for this book because Adam Silvera is one of my all time favorites and insta-read authors, so of course I freaked out when I found out he was co-authoring a book with Becky Albertalli! Have you read anything by them before? If so, let me know in the comments, and what you thought about it!
Release date: October 9th 2018
Hardcover page count: 448 pages
My rating: 5/5 stars
What If It’s Us is the story of two boys’ summer in New York City. For Arthur, who’s only in the city for the summer, anything could happen between his law-firm internship and love for Broadway. But Ben disagrees with the fact that anything could happen, as he’s stuck in summer-school with his ex-boyfriend. But when the two of them meet-cute at a post office as Ben tries to ship off a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things, both of their worlds seem to change in a way they never thought possible. That is, until they get separated. Then reunited. Then go through a multitude of do-over dates. As the summer begins to come to a close, Arthur and Ben must try to figure out just the right amount of love they are able to give to each other before it is too late. Or is it already too late?
There were so many amazing parts to this book. For starters, the characters. Both boys were unique in a way I have rarely seen characters be. Arthur was a ADHD aspiring Yale student whose sky-high grades and fancy internship make him seem like a serious and strict student. But really he was a nerdy and talkative boy who was never afraid to speak his mind about injustices and raves about Hamilton and his other favorite Broadway shows on the daily. Ben was a handsome and well put together boy who could’ve easily been one of the popular kids. But inside he was a boy who struggled at school, who wrestled with how to represent his heritage everyday, and secretly spent hours alone in his room working on his book and playing the Sims. The author also created some of the best side characters I have ever read too. Dylan, for example, was the coffee-loving and always-joking friend of Ben’s who constantly had a new girlfriend. Only he also suffered from life-threatening panic attacks. I was in love with how realistic these characters were, and how they each felt like people I see daily, from girls obsessed to social media followings, to secretly grieving boys.
These characters and their traits of course went greatly with the overall feel of the book. They were constantly joking, but were serious, went on cutesy dates, but had deep conversations about identity and worry. It is no surprise that they went along beautifully with the city of New York. Through the bustling streets and constantly moving crowds, I always felt like I was with them as the story progressed, almost like I was a friend of theirs. This is what I think made the plot feel especially special. In no sense did it feel like the plot was happening to them as twists and turns just fell casually into their laps. It felt like they were real people finding their way through the awkward days of a beginning of a relationship, with nothing too dramatic happening to make them feel fake, and nothing too boring to make the plot feel like it was not progressing.
Of course this review would not be complete without mentioning the beautiful writing of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli. Like watching a swoony sitcom, their writing was some of the more immersive prose I’ve read in ages. Written in the voices of their main characters, two teen boys, but still filled with beautiful and relatable sentences, it often felt like we were getting to look out of Arthur and Ben’s eyes in real time. In a world where contemporary books can often come of flat, this was amazing.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! As a fan of both of these authors, I was so excited for this book, and justifiably so. If you love cute LGBT contemporary romances that tell stories way deeper than the romance of two boys, that are bound to make you swoon over the smallest of gestures, this is definitely the book for you. Filled with modern-day references and current issues, What If It’s Us is not a book to be missed. Great for ages 13+
I hope that you enjoyed that review! I loved this book so much as it is so different from the romance books that we have seen over the years because of it's LGBT representation. If you have not checked this book out already, you definitely should as soon as possible!
Until next time,
Welcome to the Book Enigma! I review different genres of books from young adult fiction to sci-fi. Enjoy!
Aspiring author who, along with reading YA and with other genres, also fosters kittens, and play the piano and cello!
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”