What If It's Us Audio CD – Unabridged, 9 October 2018
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- Audio CD : 1 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1982555181
- ISBN-13 : 978-1982555184
- Product Dimensions : 14.73 x 2.54 x 14.22 cm
- Publisher : HarperCollins B and Blackstone Audio; Unabridged AUDIO Edition (9 October 2018)
- Reading level : 13 - 17 years
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
A charming, sweet-natured love story between two very different boys...It's impossible not to root for Arthur and Ben and their many do-overs.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"<br \><br \>
This joyful romance is both sweet and substantial.--"Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
In the coauthors' capable hands, Arthur and Ben are distinct, empathetic heroes...A comforting exploration of self-discovery and self-creation.--"Booklist"
Albertalli and Silvera balance cynicism and starry-eyed optimism to paint an honest, compelling picture of adolescent romance...Part feel-good, part star-crossed, this seamless blend of the authors' styles will appeal to fans old and new alike.--"School Library Journal (starred review)"
About the Author
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, among others. She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with children and teens. She also served for seven years as the coleader of a support group for gender-nonconforming children in Washington, DC.
Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He was a bookseller before shifting to children's publishing and has worked at a literary development company and a creative writing website for teens and as a book reviewer of children's and young adult novels. He is tall for no reason and lives in New York City.
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Top reviews from Australia
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‘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.
I don’t know if it’s because I was spoiled for the ending accidentally while reading this🙄😤 but I struggled to get through this even though I normally love these types of books.
But I loved Arthur’s character, his chapters were so fun to read.
This story, which was authored by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera seamlessly intermingles the writing of both authors into one book which is insanely hard to put down.
It was actually a struggle to stop reading this book for things like sleep, work and university. As soon as I could, I would continue reading this.
The characters are quite believable, and have unique traits which enable the book to have emotional highs and lows. I found myself actually laughing and almost shedding a tear or two in some parts.
I really hope this book has a sequel, as I want to learn more about Arthur and Ben’s lives and how they navigate their relationship.
Top reviews from other countries
The writing doesn’t do this book any favours either, It bordered on cringeworthy at times. I got the feeling that the authors were trying too hard to act like teenagers and backfired. Quite badly. The excessive Hamilton and Harry Potter references made me want to put this book down a few times, when it’s mentioned on every single page it gets really irritating! The dialogue was strange also, I felt like I was reading conversations between 13 year olds rather than 16-20 year olds. It’s full of meaningless teenage drama which serves only as an attempt to make the story more interesting.. I really just expected more out of this book.
Ben and Arthur are both very well portrayed characters, as different to each other as Becky and Adam’s writing styles. Becky’s lighter approach and Adam’s more reflective and occasionally melancholy prose work well together and make the two boys’ personalities all the more believable.
Initially, Arthur (whose chapters are written by Becky) is the boy you can’t help warming to the most. He has an endearing naivety and sense of wonder that make him easy to love. His words capture him beautifully, and it’s not hard to find examples:
“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.”
“I flop back onto my bed, and my whole body’s buzzing. Heart, stomach, fingertips, all of it. My brain won’t stop spinning. I feel like I’m living inside a love song.”
Ben (whose chapters are written by Adam) is a very different boy, a little introverted and, it eventually transpires, a nerd (in the best possible way). He has been bruised by a relationship that did not end well, and it informs his worldview, which makes him come across as rather negative. Some Amazon reviewers have been unkind about him, one even suggesting he’s selfish. Ben is certainly not perfect (but then neither is Arthur), but selfish he is not. We must remember that he is still recovering from his split with Hudson and, reading between the lines, the relationship was not a loving one of mutual respect, certainly not on the part of Hudson:
“I guess I didn’t expect the breakup to suck if I did the breaking up. But since Hudson’s the one who kissed somebody else, it still feels like he really ended things. Things hadn’t been right between us since his parents got divorced, but I was patient with him. Like when I let him plan my birthday and he took me to a concert of his favourite band.”
When they start dating, it’s Arthur who makes all the effort, but I think this is because Ben did not have a romance-filled relationship with Hudson, and his head was still not out of that mindset. There are plenty of clues pointing to the fact that buried within is a true romantic. For example:
“Dylan watches Samantha as if she were glowing. I wonder when I went dim for Hudson. If I ever glowed for him at all.”
As his relationship with Arthur develops, Ben undergoes an extraordinary and affecting transformation, and the ultra-romantic boy he really is haltingly reveals himself. His love for Arthur, and the way he expresses that love, is one of the highest points of a novel full of high points.
This book is truly magical, building towards an achingly beautiful and elegiac third part and epilogue that will leave you feeling emotionally drained and your tissue supply exhausted. The nearest thing I can compare it to is “Call me by your name” (the film rather than the book), but in truth it has a character all its own. I mentioned the other two fantastic 2018 YA MM romances at the beginning, and they are both well worth your time. However, if I were asked to choose one over the others, I would pick “What if it’s us” without a moment’s hesitation.
The plot was simple and cute,
but also lacking in originality, it felt quite clichéd and predictable.
The characters were endearing, and engaging with light-hearted humour. I did roll my eyes a lot at the cheesy one-liners and silly decisions, but I was definitely rooting for Ben and Arthur to make it work throughout!!!
It was perhaps a little too commercial for me, with easy win references (there were a lot of references to Harry Potter, Hamilton, Disney) and coffee and doughnut culture. I also found aspects a little repetitive, with the word ‘do-over’ featuring in almost every chapter.
Having said that, I’ve read a few more difficult reads recently and this was a breath of fresh air, and enjoyable escapism. I’m hoping for a sequel!!