This was such an adorable story. Arthur and Ben are deliciously, awkwardly cute. A realistic things-don’t-always-go-right sort of thing.
‘What if it’s us’ is everything I expected it to be. Well written characters, a meet cute oozing innocence, awkwardness and angst. I may have rated it higher, but in comparison to ‘Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda’ this didn’t hit me as hard... or have as much comedy. So it just missed out on a perfect score. But that is not to say that is any less of a captivating read.
Four hundred pages and still ‘What if it’s us’ flew by. I was always eager to see where the next chapter would take me. The alternating perspectives between Arthur and Ben lead off on two different storylines that happened to intertwine more and more as the novel progressed without rehashing information as we head-jumped into each narrative. I will say that the writing style did not differ too greatly between each perspective – if it weren’t for chapter titles and references I would have difficulty discerning whose voice was whose. I’d love to have seen some idiosyncrasies, habits, common word usage and tone separate the two perspectives a little more.
Arthur, the shorter college-bound nerd discovering his first love made me smile with his uncertainty in everything but love. His values in family and friendship. I think this is the first story where there is no bitchiness or bullying, so a surprisingly fun rom-com.
It felt like Ben had the biggest journey in this contemporary; discovering things about himself through introspection, friends, and of course, Arthur. He felt more like the stoic introvert that finally comes out of his shell.
It’s all about coming of age...
All of the secondary characters had their own stuff going on too: getting together, breaking up, fighting, and supporting each other. I really loved this aspect of ‘What if it’s us’ and really fleshed out the narrative.
It ends on the same note of the title as a question – like a true contemporary. One of hope that left me satisfied and hopeful myself.
The pacing is fairly steady. It’s not a fast read, but definitely does not feel like its dragging. The perfect timing for this type of genre.
Definitely recommend for lovers of stories of diversity, light romances, and New York City.
If you have read any of Beckys other books and enjoyed reading them you will definitely like this book - it is cute and flirty and a feel good book to read. I smashed this book out as I didn't want to put it down but if I had one negative and this really annoyed me was just the ending I mean maybe there will be a part two but I guess I am kind of used to more of a happy ending with Beckys books and I know writing this may be controversial but I just didn't like the what I thought was an "up in the air" ending....
I received this book as an ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Arthur James Seuss: a 5’6” Jewish kid with ADHD and the rage of a tornado. Ben Hugo Alejo: a freckle faced Catholic Puerto Rican. The book centres around both of these boys but you manage to love the secondary characters just as much as the main ones.
"Dylan: On the sad scale, how are you feeling today? Opening-montage-of-Up sad? Or Nemo’s-om-dying-sad? Ben: …last-five-minutes-of-Toy-Story-3 sad."
There are also many references in the book too. Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lyft, Avenue Q, Titanic, The Fault in Our Stars and a few more.
Dylan acts how most best friends would (and how mine definitely does) – asking about how their friend’s date went. “Who is he? Name. Address. Social security number. Twitter and Instagram handles.”
I loved this book and there were so many themes that should be shared around so that the entire human race finally hears them and hopefully finally absorbs them!
1. Not everything is love at first sight 2. You can still be friends after you break up 3. Not being ready for sex is okay 4. Asking about things to do with sex is okay 5. LGBT+ should be able to come out when they’re ready and not be pressured into it 6. Everyone doubts themselves about something 7. Take people as they are! Not everyone from a certain race etc can speak the language or follows the religion etc. 8. Not kissing someone before you’re ready to is okay 9. Some people are able to jump into love and others have to take their time 10. Sometimes you just need time to love yourself before you can love someone else
I also love that Juliet is biromantic ace.
Plus I think the treasure hunt was probably my favourite part of the book. I’m a sucker for cute things like that.
What If It’s Us is a YA contemporary romance for the ages……...or is it? Set in New York, two queer teen boys meet by chance in a post office and begin dating, but none of it is as easy as the rom coms make it seem.
I’m always intrigued about how co-written books work, and I have to say that while the storyline feels more Albertalli, the writing style feels more like Silvera. It’s got the cuteness and awkwardness of Albertalli romances, with the denser writing style of Silvera. While I did devour this in two sittings, it took more concentration and I didn’t breeze through it in 2.5 hours in the way I do with Albertalli novels.
And given that it’s Albertalli and Silvera, you know the diversity is going to be incredible. The story features a male/male romance between a Jewish teen and a white-passing Latinx teen, with a smattering of other minority groups represented on the sidelines. Shout out to Arthur’s queer femme colleague, and I also really enjoyed the discourse about being a white-passing Latinx person and the microaggressions that accompany this.
While I wanted a little more emotional devastation from the story, I read this on a sick day home from work and ended up bawling on my couch at 11am! For the rest of the day I kept welling up as I recalled that one line that sent me over the edge. YES HELLO I would like to address my cheque for personal therapy to Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera.
*Thanks to NetGalley and HarperTeen for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.*Becky Albertalli, who brought us 'Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens' is back and has teamed up with Silvera to bring the world another wonderful YA novel. As with a number of other offerings from Albertalli, 'What If It Is Us' focusses on the love lives of star-crossed adolescents. Who just happen to be gay. What I love about these books is how they normalise gay characters, but at the same time, do not shy away from tough topics. For example, in 'What If It's Us', the protagonists, Arthur and Ben are confronted by an angry homophobic man when trying to take the subway home. The book focussed on two teenage boys, Arthur and Ben and their unlikely summer romance. A chance meeting at the post office has unseen consequences and leads to a wonderful story. Here's hoping there is a sequel coming.