What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy, #ownvoices
Publication: October 9th 2018 from HarperTeen & Balzer + Bray
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 448 pages
Format: ARC from publisher
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 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 play?
But what if it is?
Huge thanks to my friends from HarperCollins International for sending me a review copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.
I’ve been a fan of both Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera for as long as I can remember. I’ve read both Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and More Happy Than Not at the time they came out, and these authors instantly became some of my favorites after that. Their writing styles are unique and they have a talent for telling such immersive and engaging stories, ones that readers will no doubt save spaces for on their shelves and in their hearts. And so ever since it was announced, I’ve obsessed tons of times over their collab novel, What If It’s Us. It is the queer, teen rom-com I never knew I needed! And I’m once again lucky enough to be partnering with the lovely people from HarperCollins International to help promote and create buzz for this one of a kind gem through this International Blog Tour. So read on to know what I thought of this beautifully written book.
For those who don’t know what this book is all about, first, YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT! And secondly, What If It’s Us is the story of two boys who serendipitously meet in a New York post office during summer, and are then separated by a flash mob, only to be reunited by the universe. It’s a YA romantic contemporary that puts a spotlight on a queer, modern-day love story that is brought about by fate, all while highlighting great family and friendship dynamics.
The plot of this book was enough to hook me up. Nevermind that this was written by my all-time favorite authors. Just the idea alone of two gay boys, having a meet cute in a NYC post office. I mean… IS IT JUST ME WHO GET CHILLS? But anyway, like I said, the plot was so good, in my opinion, that from start to finish, I found myself feeling all the positive emotions that came with this book. And that, paired with Adam and Becky’s signature writing styles, made this an absolutely unforgettable read. It was undoubtedly fast-paced, and everyone would know, just by reading the book, that every scene was written with love and respect for the genre and it’s audience.
The romance was also spot on! From the time that they met down to their final moments, Arthur and Ben’s love story took my breath away. As a couple, they were equal parts awkward, cheesy, and ultimately hopeful, and the way that they welcomed the love they were given by the universe made them all the more perfect in my eyes. Every single scene that they were together, whether they be making out, or fighting over why Ben is running late, or arguing over the best Hamilton / Dear Evan Hansen song, was an instant favorite for me. They are the very reason why I am obsessed with this book. They were, in their own way, flawed and unique, and that’s what made them interesting to me. I love how even if they are purely a work of fiction, they absolutely felt real and relatable. Gaaaah, I love these characters so, so much!! (I obviously have unaddressed feelings…)
I also loved the Seuss and Alejo families, as well as both Ben and Arthur’s separate circle of friends. Mara and Michael Seuss (Arthur’s parents) ultimately felt real to me because from the moment I met them, they’ve almost always had arguments. Much like in real life, their relationship depicted the slightly negative aspect of a marriage—the fights and disagreements. I loved seeing this, not because I loved the effect it had on Arthur—he was always so bummed about it, assuming that his parents were getting a divorce—but because this was a small glimpse of reality. No great relationship, whether it be a romantic one or not, is perfect. There will always be bumpy roads ahead, and so this portrayal, to me, was accurate and I appreciated that. As for Isabel and Diego Alejo (Ben’s parents), I loved how they were so involved with their son’s life, and to see such a healthy relationship between a son, a mom, and a dad, meant a great deal to me because I’d like to think that I somehow related to this. And to see a specific scene in the book where they prayed before a meal, that might mean nothing to some but, again, it meant a huge f*cking deal to me. I absolutely loved seeing that.
And the same goes for Arthur and Ben’s friendship with Hudson, Harriett, Dylan, Ethan, and Jessie. Their friendship, at times, were problematic and too high maintenance for me, but like I said, that’s a legit thing that other people experience. We have those friends who we absolutely love but in order for us to keep them around, we need to establish and maintain a good relationship with them. In the end, though, I really admired the friendship—the brotherhood, really—between Ben and Dylan. These two boys always had each other’s backs and to have that kind of relationship is considered an honor. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a friend who is caring, and kind, and reliable and is 100% rooting for you all the time and so to see that portrayed in this story made me all the more obsessed with it.
Other noteworthy aspects of the book are:
- The endless references for the people who Adam and Becky knew personally were funny as hell. Like the Bray-Eliopulos Files (based on Becky and Adam’s editors respectively), Café Arvin (based on Arvin Ahmadi), Angie Whaley (based on Angie Thomas), Brooks Teague (based on their agent, Brooks Sherman), Dylan (based on David Arnold), and Jessie (based on Jasmine Warga)*.
- The way that New York City was mapped out got me fascinated! I loved getting these small glimpses of what the city looked like, and I can’t wait to visit and check the places out for myself.
- I absolutely adored Arthur and Ben’s character and relationship development. They started out being this cute but awkward couple and to see them grow individually and as a couple brought me to actual tears.
*Disclaimer: Some of the people I’ve listed MAY or MAY NOT be a nod to the actual person indicated. These were just my assumptions. *laughs*
“What If It’s Us, is THE YA rom-com that every contemporary fan needs. It tells a unique and beautifully written story about two people who come from different walks of life only to find out that they have a lot more in common than they realize. It features the importance of believing in fate and destiny and that sometimes, the universe roots for you even if it doesn’t seem like it. It tells us that love is definitely the strongest force out there and what’s meant to be will always find a way. It’s a book whose characters will stay with you long after you turn the last page and it is no doubt one of my all-time favorite books EVER.”
Also, here’s an aesthetic board that I made that’s inspired by Arthur and Ben and What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera:
The lovely people from HarperCollins International are awesome and generous and they are sponsoring an International Giveaway in honor of the release of Adam and Becky’s new book! Up for grabs are 3 finished copies of What If It’s Us and there are three ways that y’all can do to get equal chances to win:
Check out my giveaway Tweet and follow all the listed steps on it to be entered.
✨ WHAT IF IT’S US GIVEAWAY ✨
More details below! 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/brkodzbJqE
— JM *taps on mic* PRE-ORDER WHAT IF IT’S US (@JMCabraal) September 29, 2018
Check out my post on Instagram and, again, follow all the listed steps on it to be entered.
And lastly, check out THIS Rafflecopter giveaway, and, again, follow all the listed steps on it to be entered.
Note: These giveaways are open internationally with the exception of the UK, South Africa, Australia, and India due to publishing / book selling rights. Sorry!
Have YOU had the chance to read What If It’s Us yet? What are your thoughts? Share them with me via the comments section below! And if you haven’t yet, be sure to run to your nearest book store—YES, RUN. Don’ walk—and get a copy and read Arthur and Ben’s story!
And before you go, I would love it if you could check out the other posts published for this blog tour! My participants came up with A++ quality content about What If It’s Us! From playlists, to aesthetic boards, I’m 100% sure they (we) will be able to convince you to pick this book up!
October 5, 2018
October 6, 2018
October 7, 2018
October 9, 2018
October 10, 2018
October 11, 2018
October 12, 2018
Nicka @ Read by Nicka
Miel @ Bookish and Anwesome
Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta.
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