What If It's Us

I have to admit that it took me a LONG time to finally read past the first few pages of What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. It’s not that the beginning isn’t catchy—it is—it’s just that it sometimes takes me a bit to fully get into a novel, especially as I tend to read several novels at once. I’m more likely to read something if it’s on my phone, either on Kindle, Cloud Library, or a fanfiction site. (Yes, I still read fanfiction. Lately I’ve been devouring Pride and Prejudice fanfction, mostly because I wanted to keep track of how many books I read a year, and I usually don’t count fanfiction, so I’ve been reading P&P re-imaginings that have been published, self or otherwise. So far I’m up to 24 novels in 2019.)

And, really, would anyone actually meet in a post office with twins who have handlebar mustaches and a flash mob dance? Okay, maybe in New York, and maybe if it’s meant to be, and maybe it is a great meet-cute. After all, I’m a hopeless romantic so I stand fully with Arthur at this point because I have no chill, just like him. Though I can understand Ben’s uncertainty and leaving the post office during the flash mob.

Would Arthur and Ben really find each other again? YES! Because it’s modern day and there’s too much missed connections and technology NOT to make it happen. Plus they’re teens, they’ll find a way.

One of my favorite parts of Albertalli’s writing is her ability to portray the depths of friendship, like she does in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens’ Agenda and Leah on the Offbeat. Albertalli and Silvera succeed with those levels here too—with the disjointedness in the friend group after two break-ups, the brotherly bond between Dylan and Ben, and the trio of Arthur, Jessie and Ethan. In fact, I’m not even sure which one of them wrote which part, the novel is so seamless. I assume they each took a main character, and if I assume that, I can likely guess who wrote which one, but in all honesty, it didn’t matter.

I enjoyed the banter, the teen agnst, the teen romance, and the BIG moments of the entire novel.

A very enjoyable read and, since we’re headed into summer, I’d say it’s a great road trip or sunny beach day novel.

I fell in love with Ben and Arthur. And you will too.

Though Simon (from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens’ Agenda) might still be my favorite Becky Albertalli character. Likely because he’s a writer at heart and I loved his emails to Blue. :D

[Extra bonus is that it took me halfway through the book to figure out that the title is taken from “Only Us” from Dear Evan Hansen by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. As a result, we’ve been listening to the soundtrack and Little Lion has been quoting all the inappropriate lines. Especially the ones ‘written’ by Jared in the emails. Sigh. No, she didn’t see the musical with us as she just turned nine, but she’s already asking for permission to see it when she’s 12.]

One scene I particularly related to [clearly I’m Arthur’s dad in this scenario, and yes, both Arthur’s parents and Ben’s parents are fully accepting of who they are—yay for a teen YA novel with two male characters WITHOUT the angst simply being that they are gay.]:

Tell Dr. Bookworm!

What’s one of your favorite YA novels that takes place over the summertime? Have you ever gone on a do-over first dayte? Let me know in the comments!

First Pages: Salt To the Sea

First Pages: Salt To the Sea

L.A. Times Festival of Books 2019 with the Bookworm Family

L.A. Times Festival of Books 2019 with the Bookworm Family