What If It's Us

What If It's Us

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...

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Title:What If It's Us
Author:Becky Albertalli
Rating:
Edition Language:English

What If It's Us Reviews

  • Em (RunawayWithDreamthieves)

    never in literature history have the gays won so hard until this collab

  • Melanie

    My dear friend,

    , dubbed this a “queer, modern day,

    , set in New York” and she was so damn correct. Friends, I loved this

    My dear friend,

    , dubbed this a “queer, modern day,

    , set in New York” and she was so damn correct. Friends, I loved this book. It was seamlessly and so very beautifully written. The characters felt so real, that I’m still convinced that they have to be real people, walking the streets of New York while you read this review. And the romance? Lord, this was the sweetest, but most realistic, romance I’ve read in years.

    - White, gay, 16 (but a 17th birthday does happen), and just visiting New York for the summer, because he was able to land a very good intern position.

    - Puerto Rican, gay, 17, and trying to mend his broken heart, because he and his ex just broke up, and now he is forced to see him every single day in summer school.

    And these two boys met by chance, in a post office one July day, and it changes their lives. Yet, the constant question of this book is if that meeting, given to them by the universe or some higher-power, was meant to bring them together or to keep them apart.

    I very much related to Ben, who is constantly self-conscious about his white-passing looks. That is, until he and his privilege get completely checked. This was such a minor side story in this book, but it meant the freakin’ world to me. Both, him feeling not as much in touch with his culture when he is away from his family, and when he realizes that a lot of privilege comes from being white-passing.

    Also, this book wonderfully touches upon how Arthur has ADHD, and how he lives a better life because of Adderall (which I know isn’t for everyone, but it still made me really happy to see). He and his family are also Jewish, and that is always as at the forefront of this story, too. And it is beautifully mingled with Ben’s very catholic family.

    This is just such a beautiful story about these two boys coming together, by fate, while trying to discover who they are and who they want to be. Life, and the world we live in, is such a vast thing, and seeing these teenage boys try to understand it with each other, knowing they only have a summer together, is something so awe-inspiring that I don’t even have words for it.

    Other important juxtapositions are in this book, too. Like, Ben’s family isn’t the most wealthy, but they get by, where Arthur’s parents are able to spend the entire summer in New York. Arthur also has plans of going to a very good school, where Ben is just trying to stay afloat in high school. But Ben’s parents are very much in love and happy, where Arthur’s parents just have a different way of showing each other love. Seriously, this book has so much good in its’ four-hundred pages!

    Plus, this book displays some beautiful friendships, too. Ben’s best friend, Dylan, was so amazing in this book. Like, I feel like I keep saying the world “realistic” but it’s honestly the perfect fit. And Dylan lives with extreme anxiety and a heart condition. I also was living for Arthur's best friends, Jess and Ethan, and all their facetime calls. I ended up loving this entire friend group! And, of course, I ended up completely head over heels for both Ben and Arthur.

    And this book also just feels authentically “teen” I guess I’m trying to say? I mean, I’m not a teenager, so I guess I’ll say that this book feels authentically “twenties” or something along those lines. But from the

    ,

    ,

    ,

    (which I haven’t seen, listened, or read, but I probably should because of the title of this book), and so many other references, this just feels authentically 2018.

    Overall, I loved this book entirely. I bet it makes my “best of 2018” list, come December 31st. Also, I can’t believe this book was written by two different authors, because it was seriously seamless perfection. This was one of the best and most realistic romances I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. And even though I didn’t entirely love the epilogue at first, now I actually think it’s one of the best epilogues I’ve ever read. The perfect amount of not enough, and enough. I mean, that’s the beauty of this book being magically and expertly crafted. Seriously, friends, please read this masterpiece; it’s so very heartwarming and I think this is the happiest I’ve been while reading a book all of 2018.

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    for one homophobic scene that is very quickly done and completely challenged (Chapter 20) and a very serious panic attack.

    Buddy read with

    at

    &

    at

    ! ❤

  • Sabrina The Trash Queen

    I still can’t believe I got an ARC for this! 😱🤩.

    Is so good!

    Funny, interesting, cute, realistic (too much in my mind, but oh well, life) and with friendships/families/relationship goal.

    The writing, I’m in love with it. Is so beautiful and the story? YESSS.

    This book really shows that sometimes everything happens for a reason and maybe not in the circumstances or way that we expected, but still it happens and it might not end the way we want but afterwards, we find out it was for th

    I still can’t believe I got an ARC for this! 😱🤩.

    ❤️

    Is so good!

    Funny, interesting, cute, realistic (too much in my mind, but oh well, life) and with friendships/families/relationship goal.

    The writing, I’m in love with it. Is so beautiful and the story? YESSS.

    This book really shows that sometimes everything happens for a reason and maybe not in the circumstances or way that we expected, but still it happens and it might not end the way we want but afterwards, we find out it was for the best and you would want it to change.

    =>Arthur, I love him. His personality is so great and how he doesn’t full around and just goes with it is really refreshing and I highlight every chapter of his POV, it was just so, so awesome.

    =>Ben, I love him too, he’s such a great character and the development that he has in the course of this book was just amazing and I really like how his vision about the universe change and why.

    =>Dylan, IS THE BEST BEST FRIEND EVER. Every time he appeared I was so happy. He’s a rain of sunshine. His support and love for Ben are just so heartwarming. I love him.

    =>The parents were so supportive, loving, respectful and just GOALS, and I adore them.

    Okay, I love everyone in this book. Is just that good. And I really didn’t expect anything less.

    I had very high expectations and all of them were achieved.

    This was a light-warming read, that I will definitely reread at some point this year.

    This is definitely in the “Best reads of 2018” and I could be happier.

    I would love it if there were a possibility of a sequel in the future.

    And a book with Dylan POV or short story, really anything, I’ll take it. Thanks, *lol.

    ———————————————————————————

  • Warda

    Okay, no. I’m not accepting that ending. Just nope.

    Otherwise, Becky and Adam pretty much created magic with this book.

    The word (or has it become a term now?) ‘cinnamon rolls’ gets thrown around quite often for your cutesy kinda characters and while granted, a lot of them exist, I think Ben and Arthur take the damn cake. They were a match made in New York.

    This was just everything a romance novel shoul

    Okay, no. I’m not accepting that ending. Just nope.

    Otherwise, Becky and Adam pretty much created magic with this book.

    The word (or has it become a term now?) ‘cinnamon rolls’ gets thrown around quite often for your cutesy kinda characters and while granted, a lot of them exist, I think Ben and Arthur take the damn cake. They were a match made in New York.

    This was just everything a romance novel should be and Becky and Adam captured the initial stages of crushing on someone so well, the online stalking (jeezus, I related to that!), the first few dates, the awkwardness because you’re not sure where this is going to go but then it beautifully settling into this rhythm you knew was there but hadn’t reached yet.

    Ben and Arthur made my heart swell with happiness. AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I AM NOT ACCEPTING THAT ENDING, OKAY? I don’t care for fuckin realism, GIVE ME MY DAMN CHEESE GODDAMNIT! I needed (flawed) perfection throughout, because these two deserve the ultimate best. They became so real. I wanted to squish-hug them! Still do.

    Aside from those two cinnamon rolls, we have their families who were just beautifully accepting of their sexuality and supportive of their lives. Plenty of cheesy parental jokes thrown around. Just overall great parents! Their friends who were incredible, especially Dylan. I can’t WAIT for you guys to read the shit my guy comes out with. I adored him and his bromance with Ben was the best thing to read!

    Themes that were touched upon included money problems, homophobia, and race.

    There’s fandoms, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, plentyyyy of Harry Potter references (Samantha has said it: Richard Harris was THE Dumbledore!), and the most important aspect of all, sweet ol’ gay romance.

    This was just a beautiful story! I couldn’t stop smiling half the time and I hope Becky and Adam collaborate again!

    ——————————————————

  • ✨    jamieson   ✨

    Avengers: Infinity War is the crossover event of the year

    knows the real crossover event of the year Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli dropping What If It’s Us

    Avengers: Infinity War is the crossover event of the year

    knows the real crossover event of the year Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli dropping What If It’s Us

    IT'S HERE. The much anticipated release from best friend writing duo Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, finally droppe. The Gay agenda is thriving, 20GayTeen is unstoppable.

    This book has been on my radar ever since it got announced and I’ve been yelling with glee about this collab forever. So when an ARC of this hot little book fell into my hot little hands let me tell you, I was close to tears. I adore both Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera and have read all of their books, so this was pretty much my dream team up.

    In many ways this book has all the hallmarks of a Albertalli/Silvera team up you’d except. We follow Arthur and Ben, who meet at a post office in New York. Ben is mailing back his ex boyfriends things when he runs into Arthur and the two instantly hit it off, but things go wrong and they don’t get each others number. From there we follow the two as they attempt to find each other through next level internet sleuthing and then go on a series of bad dates. Along the way there’s all the fluff and ridiculous yet unputdownable drama you’d expect from an Albertalli book and all the complicated relationships between friends, parents and ex-boyfriends, as well as discussions around identity, you’d expect from a Silvera book.

    Both Ben and Arthur are gay, and Ben is also Puerto-Rican. This is OwnVoices for Adam Silvera. Arthur is Jewish and that is ownvoices for Becky Albertalli. As usual, I loved the nuance of the discussion around identity that Silvera embeds into his writing. I really liked that this wasn’t a coming out story and both kids were out to their parents and friends. It was really nice to have a kind of “post coming out” queer story. I also really liked that Ben had already had a boyfriend because I just really enjoy stories where one or both characters have already dated people, for some reason.

    My favourite thing about this book was it’s maturity. Even though it’s a YA contemporary romance and it’s still corny as heck in some parts, a lot of this book takes it’s time to dissect romance tropes and interrogate how these tropes can’t be played out in real life, because real life is so goddamn messy. Ben has an ex-boyfriend he may or may not be over, and he regrets messing up the friendship group because of their breakup. Arthur can’t help but feel jealous of Arthur’s experience and brings unrealistic expectations into the relationship. The grand expectations of a New York romance you get from Hollywood and Broadway are brutally torn down here, and I really enjoyed it. Real life romance is messy and that is showcased here, but at the same time it kept enough fluff and cuteness that I didn’t feel sad reading this.

    The friendship dynamics were also done so well here. Both Ben and Arthur have a friendship group that is going through some turmoil. Ben’s group has been torn apart by intra-group dating and Arthur feels distant from his friends since he moved to New York, and he’s sure one of them doesn’t accept him coming out as gay. I really liked how the friendship complications were done here. Friends are just as complicated as relationships and I thought it was so realistic to portray the groups this way. Ben’s issues with his group falling apart because some friends are now exes resonated with me a lot and the idea that the saddest thing about a relationship falling apart is also losing that friendship was something I related to a lot. I also have to give a special shoutout to Dylan, Ben’s best friend, whomst I LOVED. He was hilarious and added the comic relief to some parts of the book and I literally adored him. Please write his story next Silvertalli.

    Character wise, I really enjoyed the character development here. Both the main boys have lots of flaws that keep them from connecting properly. Ben is really proud and doesn’t let anyone in. He struggles to be vulnerable and portrays this cool exterior so no one can really hurt him. Arthur is over-eager and jealous and decides things in his head without letting other people share their perspectives. Throughout the book you really see how they change and develop, and how the relationship improves them both as individuals. Although it’s not as subtle as some of the best character work I’ve seen, especially from Silvera, I thought it was still really well done. The contrast between the boys in the prologue and epilogue was really stark and I loved that.

    In saying that, lets talk about that ending. I personally loved it but I know it’s going to be divisive. I think the reason I loved it is because it really drives home the maturity of this book and the focus on modern romances. I don’t want to say much and spoil it, but I’ll just say I think it was really cathartic and realistic, and actually made me happier then anything else would have.

    But there were a few negatives I spotted out that kept me from really enjoying this. First off, it’s so hard to tell the perspectives apart at the beginning. I found it so confusing, knowing which character was Ben and which was Arthur. I admit this may be totally my fault, but when the cover came out I thought the tall one was Arthur and the shorter was Ben, and when it was the other way around it threw my mind on a total loop.

    I also think there was a real over saturation of pop culture references here. I love a good reference in a book, but there was so much and so much I didn’t understand too. I get this was supposed to be about New York and New York culture but I just felt so overwhelmed by it all. I haven’t seen Hamilton or Dear Even Hanson and that is fine, but I don’t think it should prevent me from understanding whole paragraphs of dialogue. I do think the references were good in that it really situated this in the present and realistically people do talk about things they like a lot, but it was just so overwhelming at points.

    While I really liked this, I think I was maybe expecting something just a little bit more from these authors. Overall it was really cute and a page turner, but it wasn’t groundbreaking. But I appreciate how this wasn’t that formulaic and it’s not the typical YA romance you’d expect. I definitely enjoyed reading it, and I think lots of people are going to really love it. The characters were really well written, and the focus on friendship groups here earned a big tick from me. Though, I will say the character development is maybe not as great as I’ve seen Adam Silvera do before. This was a pretty ambitious task to take on, but Adam and Becky wrote such a cohesive book where their writing styles meshed so well, and I really hope they collab again in the future because I’d love to read it.

    What If It’s Us is going to please so many people, I know it. It’s cute and dramatic, but also realistic and grounded in the exploration of two deeply flawed characters who are trying their best to make it work with that they have.

    ALSO, WE'RE GETTING A MOVIE AND I AM ABSOLUTELY SCREAMING

  • Emma Giordano

    I really loved this book! I have been waiting for this book since the moment it was announced and it truly did not disappoint!

    CW: cheating, homophobia, racism, panic attacks

    I of course enjoyed the writing style of this novel. Adam and Becky were able to perfectly co-author this contemporary, making Arthur and Ben’s individual personalities present, whether they were writing their respective character’s chapters or writing the other’s in their own scenes. I feel their two styles blended together

    I really loved this book! I have been waiting for this book since the moment it was announced and it truly did not disappoint!

    CW: cheating, homophobia, racism, panic attacks

    I of course enjoyed the writing style of this novel. Adam and Becky were able to perfectly co-author this contemporary, making Arthur and Ben’s individual personalities present, whether they were writing their respective character’s chapters or writing the other’s in their own scenes. I feel their two styles blended together perfectly, creating a cohesive story full of fluffy romance and detrimental heart break *insert evil laugh here*. It is heartwarming, humorous, awkward, and inspiring. I virtually had to force myself to put it down when necessary and could not wait to pick it up again. If you are a lover of Adam and/or Becky’s work, you won’t want to miss their debut project together.

    I really loved the romance between Arthur and Ben. Not only does it feature a gay romance, but Arthur is Jewish and has ADHD while Ben is also Puerto Rican. I truly loved the set up of their story – not only the charm having a “missed connection” to find each other later, but also the hilarity of their terrible, terrible dates! It’s a fantastic twist on a typical meet-cute. In that respect, they have a very unique love story that I feel is absolutely worth reading. I also loved the fact that I was able to get annoyed/angry with both main characters so frequently. I LOVE characters who’s reactions make me mad while also enabling me to see their viewpoint and fully understand their reactions. Arthur and Ben are both complex, layered characters. They are easy to love, yet remain flawed; exactly as I feel realistic characters should be, and their love story is the same.

    My one main critique of the story is it felt a bit predictable. There were only two significant events throughout the entire story that I had not anticipated beforehand – One being the ending which on the plus side, was EXTREMELY surprising and closed out the story in the most satisfying way possible. (A lot of y’all probably won’t like it but if you can set aside a personal opinion for the sake of a fantastic literary ending, I think you’d really appreciate the value of it.) I just wish it had pushed the boundaries of what is to be expected of a typical young adult contemporary romance a little more. I can’t say much of my other critique without spoilers, but I would have liked one of the more intense moments of the story to be more impactful. I attended Epic Reads Day with Adam and Becky where on their panel, they discussed a scene they disagreed over regarding a character’s response to a certain plot point and how that dictated the storyline. I have a strong feeling this is the moment I was underwhelmed by and while I completely understand their reasoning for the decision based on that conversation and how it played out in text, I was left wishing for more.

    Overall, I really loved my time reading

    . If you are someone who is excited for this story, I don’t feel you will be disappointed. I would definitely recommend to all my lovers of diverse contemporary romance!

  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    When Becky and Adam announced that they were teaming up to write a story, I was so excited. At the time, I’d only read one book each of theirs. While I found Becky’s writing lacking, I enjoyed her characters and loved what I’d read of Adam’s work, so it was easy to buy into the hype. As its release date grew nearer, I attempted to read two other works by Becky (both failures) and read another book of Adam’s (a massive disappointment), but I still held out hope that their teamwork would be exactl

    When Becky and Adam announced that they were teaming up to write a story, I was so excited. At the time, I’d only read one book each of theirs. While I found Becky’s writing lacking, I enjoyed her characters and loved what I’d read of Adam’s work, so it was easy to buy into the hype. As its release date grew nearer, I attempted to read two other works by Becky (both failures) and read another book of Adam’s (a massive disappointment), but I still held out hope that their teamwork would be exactly what I wanted in a cute rom-com contemporary.

    Unfortunately, most of my worst fears for

    came true. While the characters have their cute moments, there’s

    and worse still,

    The initial meet-cute in the first chapter was sweet and fun, but it immediately went downhill once any semblance of a real relationship began to form.

    As you can gather from the synopsis, there’s space between their meeting and their reunion, in which Arthur is brought to the point of slightly stalker-like tendencies in his obsession to find “Box-Boy”. There are some secondhand embarrassment moments and a bit of development into their respective friendships, but beyond that, it felt like a placeholder. Given how long the book is for a YA contemporary, you’d think that timeframe would have involved some legitimate drama, but it’s mostly just a lot of repetitive moments with Arthur pining over Ben, while Ben pines over his breakup.

    Once they reunite,

    I thought at one point that the whole synopsis was one big “gotcha!” and they were about to go their separate ways and find their

    love interests. Ben spends most of this part of the story treating Arthur like crap.

    for most of the book, because the way he views Arthur is

    He’s constantly reflecting on how Arthur is too short, or talks too much, and there’s the fact that there is an entire chapter dedicated to Ben whining internally about how bad Arthur is at arcade games—when Arthur never even wanted to

    to the arcade, and Ben only dragged him there because it was somewhere Ben used to go with his ex.

    They do

    reach a cutesy point, but it’s too late, it never feels authentic, and then the ending? I have never raged so hard at the ending of a fluffy contemporary book.

    If you’re going to try this hard to convince me that these two kids need to be together, you had finish on a higher note than

    garbage.

    On a less rant-y note, there are elements that I enjoyed. Dylan—Ben’s best friend—is hilarious and incredibly awkward. I loved the moments with him and his love interest, Samantha, and I loved the fact that he felt like a fleshed-out character who was going through his own issues and growing pains. On Arthur’s side, I thoroughly enjoyed every single scene with his father, who felt like a total homage to Simon’s dad in

    , as he’s super supportive and well-meaning, and really wants to get hands-on and involved in helping Arthur find a boyfriend (that Craigslist scene killed me).

    I also have to mention the representation:

    There’s not much time spent on Arthur’s family being Jewish, but we do get to spend a little time reflecting on how Ben feels about being Puerto Rican, the pride he takes in his heritage, and how painful it is to have your culture erased because you’re white-passing. There’s also a moment where the boys have to face off against a homophobic father on the train, which is painful, but necessary, as it shows Arthur that there are bigots everywhere—not just in the south, where he’s from.

    Overall,

    is not a total disaster—and I think with my low rating,

    . A lot of people love both Becky and Adam way more than I do, and those people will have a field day with this book. There are also endless references to Harry Potter and Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, so if you’re into any (or all) of those fandoms, you’ll enjoy the in-jokes and trivia for sure (though I felt like it reached the point of oversaturation at times).

    Sadly, the story overall just didn’t work for me. I feel like I wasted hours of my life that I’ll never get back, and it is with a heavy heart that I confess:

    I appreciate the representation they offer to the world, and I know their stories mean a lot to so many readers, but there are too many queer YA contemporary authors in the world who do a better job.

    You can find this review and more on my

    , or you can follow me on

    ,

    , or

    !

  • Kai

    Adam and Becky co-writing a book? I can smell the gay from miles away. And I can’t wait!

  • Adam Silvera

    sounds gay, can't wait

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