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What If It's Us

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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?

437 pages, Hardcover

First published October 9, 2018

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About the author

Becky Albertalli

19 books19.5k followers
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. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.
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(Photography by Decisive Moment Events)

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 17,986 reviews
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
October 27, 2022
“Maybe this isn’t how life works. Maybe it’s all about people coming into your life for a little while and you take what they give you and use it on your next friendship or relationship. And if you’re lucky, maybe some people pop back in after you thought they were gone for good.”

So. This was the most anticipated book of 20gayteen. And I have to say that I expected a little more from this fabulous collaboration.

In fact, I do have a lot of criticism. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy this book. It was a quick, cute and obviously super gay read. But the fact that Becky and Adam are two of the biggest names in the YA industry made me have the highest expectations. Here are three major points where the authors could have done a better job:

Pop culture references
I don't mind when a character is a big fan of a franchise that I have never given much attention before. But when the pop culture references are so numerous that they threaten to overpower your own original content, you should maybe think about restraining yourself a little. When content that you have not even created yourself - in this case it's Hamilton - takes up so much space in a story that people forget about the original material, you should be worried. I've seen both Adam and Becky doing this in their own books as well. And it has become a trend in YA to reference lots of non-fictional fandoms, franchises, etc. What If It's Us took all of that to a whole new level, though, and it didn't do the book any good. Especially because it doesn't exactly promise a bright future for a book when the characters keep talking about things that might be entirely out of fashion in ten years time.

Teen drama
Look. When you think that a relationship is too smooth and you need to fill the pages with more drama because it might get boring otherwise, please find a valid reason for a fight or just leave it out altogether. Don't just fish for something irrelevant to construct a ridiculous fight that could have been avoided altogether. It makes me doubt your creativity as a writer when you make up drama just for the sake of including drama. And, man, these are two talented and experienced authors who have written several good books so how did they manage to write scenes that felt so...amateurish? Arthur and Ben are teenagers, yes, but they're not 13 years old. They are a little more mature than that. Make them act like it, too, please.

When people make fun of Trump and Putin kissing or even having sex with each other, that's not funny. Why is that? Because these kinds of jokes and cartoons seek to diminish their integrity and masculinity. (I'm not saying they have integrity but simply pointing out the effect that this kind of method has.) And what makes them less masculine, less respected, less powerful in such jokes? Not the fact that they are incompetent or close-minded leaders but the fact that they are gay.
So I do not understand why Becky and Adam would buy into this kind of narrative. There were two instances when such jokes were made in this book. They were not as crude or explicit as you might imagine, but they still crossed a line that YA authors should never cross. Especially when they write about gay characters. Especially when they happen to be gay themselves.

Lots of stuff to think about that could have easily been avoided or ironed out during the editing process. It would have been so easy, really. I know this was a heavy dose of negative criticism - but keep in mind that I am this critical because I actually admire Becky and Adam and just expected a little better of them.

But here is the good stuff:

The ending
Spoilers ahead!
The ending was my favourite thing about this book. I think it was done really well, especially because it's so realistic. When Arthur and Ben decide to end their romantic relationship and try to stay friends, it is not the most romantic outcome, but definitely the healthiest and most logical one. A couple of weeks of romance do not ensure a life-long relationship, especially when that relationship has to be a long-distance one. At 16 or 17 you might be in love with a person, lose your virginity to that person, but it's unlikely that that person will be the last one you will ever love or have sex with.
I do love that the possibility of a shared future remains, though. Ben and Arthur still have feelings for one another, and I am confident that their paths will cross again.

This book has a gay Puerto Rican main character and a gay Jewish main character with ADHD. And it was written by OwnVoices authors - they gay, Puerto Rican author wrote the gay and Puerto Rican character, the Jewish author wrote the Jewish character. It also features a variety of characters with different ethnic and social backgrounds, and topics like anxiety, privilege and homophobia are openly discussed. I'm glad that YA has come this far and is still growing.

The characters
While I didn't always connect with Arthur and Ben, who often managed to annoy me, I really liked some of the side-characters. Jessie seems to be a really good friend. Samantha is an adorable character with a big heart. Namrata and Juliet are my personal sarcastic heroes and made me laugh a lot.

In a nutshell: an entertaining novel with ups and downs.

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Profile Image for Christine Riccio.
Author 4 books101k followers
November 5, 2018
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH <3 I shall be talking about it more in my upcoming Stories I Ate video, but UGH SO CUTE SO HAPPY MAKING SO WONDERFUL!!!
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,737 reviews5,275 followers
March 11, 2022
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.

I just think you’re meant to meet some people. I think the universe nudges them into your path. Even on random Monday afternoons in July. Even at the post office.

Unfortunately, most of my worst fears for What if it’s Us came true. While the characters have their cute moments, there’s no real plot besides the romance, and worse still, the romance falls short due to a COMPLETE lack of chemistry. 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.

“Infinite do-overs.” “I like that,” he says. “It sounds like us.”

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.

I barely know him. I guess that’s any relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.

Once they reunite, the painful absence of chemistry between them is like a train wreck. 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 real love interests. Ben spends most of this part of the story treating Arthur like crap. I hated Ben’s perspective chapters for most of the book, because the way he views Arthur is terrible! 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 go to the arcade, and Ben only dragged him there because it was somewhere Ben used to go with his ex.

(I’m getting pissed off writing this review because it’s reminding me of how much I can’t stand Ben’s character. I think I just accidentally lowered my own rating another star.)

All I can think about are all the things I want to know about him.

They do eventually 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. I was LIVID over this ending. 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 this garbage.

I’m right for him and he’s right for me and that feels beyond right—the universe knew it was love before we did.

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 Simon vs., 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 don’t like that the same world that brought us together is also scaring him.

I also have to mention the representation: Arthur is gay and Jewish, and has ADHD, while Ben is gay and Puerto Rican. 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.

People like me should come with a mute button.

Overall, What if it’s Us is not a total disaster—and I think with my low rating, at 2.5 stars, I’ll be in the minority here. 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’m probably retiring from reading anything by either of these authors. 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.

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to HarperTeen for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
316 reviews115k followers
August 16, 2018
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 What If It’s Us. 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!

This book was sent to me unsolicited and for free by Harper Collins. I had no obligation to review this book and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,172 reviews98.8k followers
November 7, 2018

ARC provided by HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review.

“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.”

My dear friend, Jules, dubbed this a “queer, modern day, Sleepless in Seattle, 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.

Arthur - 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.

Ben - 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 guess that’s any relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

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.

“Not looking the part of Puerto Rican messed me up. I know I get some privilege points from looking white, but Puerto Ricans don’t come in one shade.”

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.

“We’re not old-school Catholics who live by the Bible and conveniently ignore all the verses that contradict the hate coming out of their mouths. We’re the kind of Catholics who think people shouldn’t go to hell for being nonhetero, and that was before I even came out.”

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 Hamilton, Harry Potter, The Sims, Dear Evan Hansen (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.

“How lucky we are to be alive right now, right?” “Oh my god, you’re speaking Hamilton—I’m just so into you. I’m helpless.”

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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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

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

Buddy read with Julianna at Paper Blots & Jules at JA Ironside! ❤
Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
678 reviews3,945 followers
October 15, 2018
you: Avengers: Infinity War is the crossover event of the year
me: an intellectual and contemporary YA fan: knows the real crossover event of the year Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli dropping What If It’s Us

“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.”

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.

When I'm out in the hallway, I text Arthur back. Everything is good. Dylan is very Dylan. I take a deep breath. I really want to see you. Can I meet you somewhere?
My phone buzzes.
Yeah, I'll meet you in the waiting area in ten seconds. Don't be late.
I look up.
There he is.

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.

Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
614 reviews87.8k followers
November 8, 2018
I have such mixed feelings on this it's not even funny. I liked it, but I also didn't? The writing was good, but I found that in the beginning it was hard to tell the characters apart, and then when I could it was because one was extremely annoying which I get was probably kind of the point. I felt like the relationship came out of nowhere . I don't know if that's actually a spoiler but, JUST IN CASE. I can't make many comments on the ending, I don't think it had the same impact for me as it did for others because I was spoiled so I knew it was coming. I will say, the side characters were awesome and probably my favourite part of the book. It was a solidly enjoyable audiobook, but I feel like if I had physically read it I may have gotten bored and moved on. I just wanted to love this so much more than I did, and I really thought I would, but I'm just very CONFLICTED.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,093 reviews17.7k followers
July 31, 2020
“I guess that’s every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

One of the unexpected sweetest books I’ve read all year about failing at perfection, but finding something close anyway.

What If It's Us follows two characters on a summer in New York forming a very-imperfect and very-cute relationship.

✔Ben - Written by Adam Silvera. Puerto Rican and gay. Way too relatable. Thinks about prices more due to being from a low-income family. Just went through a breakup where he was the dumper but also feels like he was the one who cared more. Basically the epitome of thinking fate is fake and wanting to believe in love but also not really believing in love. His dynamic with Dylan, Hudson, and Harriet was so great, and his family dynamic is so sweet.

✔Arthur - Written by Becky Albertalli. Jewish, gay, and has ADHD. Did not enjoy as much at first and then he grew on me. His paranoia over his guy best friend, Ethan, being subtly homophobic was way too real; I loved his relationship with him and Jessie, and with his parents, and most importantly, with two interns at his parent's workplace. I felt his complex around everyone finding him too enthusiastic so hard; I feel like my persona on this website is the most enthused version of myself and I love her, but trust me, I am not as much like this with the general population in real life.

I feel like all of Goodreads has been waiting for this all year - a collab between two of our most popular authors!! This is the fourth book for both of these authors, and having read all of Adam’s previous work (and most of Becky’s) I was of course hyped. But I was also concerned. I love Becky’s sweet books, but they often have a certain lack of plot structure. And I love Adam’s sad books, but they often get caught up in the sad of it all. Most of all, I worried that the two halfs of the book would not blend.

That was not the case. Actually, I think this book was the best of both worlds, and it is perfect. Becky’s tone falls closest to her cute but realistically flawed Leah on the Offbeat and Adam’s closest to my absolute favorite book of his, They Both Die at the End. I feel like Becky is generally a much more fun writer, while Adam has a bit more of that quality factor; here, I felt like their different stiles both got those good qualities. I never once found myself thinking about Becky writing one chapter and Adam the next.

And I think their collab lends this book a unique tone; both of these characters are flawed, their relationship is flawed, and things aren’t ever perfect, but things don’t always suck, either. I absolutely adored the balance between realism and subversion of typical romantic tropes - their first date is awkward, their first kiss is not magical - and dramatic romantic gestures - a two-sided search through New York, a romantic last-date scavenger hunt, and THE DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIE.

Can I just emphasize that even with the nice rom-com tropes, it reads very realistic? The characters do struggle with jealousy, and with miscommunications, but it always read as fairly real to me. The three-part structure of this book is excellent on this front as well - each one has a different “goal” for the characters that then lends itself to a now-what question. It feels like a really good representation of the tumult of life. I feel like the pop culture references in this will be somewhat polarizing - I thought they were cute. Like, yeah, I think saying they went a little overboard is fair, not all of them completely rang true, and I think I once had the thought that not even theater kids think about the line "not throwing my shot" this much, but on the whole I was quite pleased by the dialogue and banter of this.

And I have now seen several reviews saying this was meant exclusively to appeal to "booktubers," which, I'm sorry, are booktubers the only people who like Harry Potter.........? ?

[No spoilers here, but if you really want to know nothing, skip this.]
And last but not least, fuck you ALL for making me think I would be mad about the epilogue of this. May I just state right now and forever: the epilogue is absolutely fantastic. I heard “realistic” and I was expecting “tragic” as in they lose touch and I cry for years. That was not what I got. The epilogue is so strange because it’s not a typical happy ending, but it made me happier than almost anything else I’ve read this year. This went from a rounded up 3 1/2 to a solid five exclusively because I adored the epilogue so. much. It’s absolutely what will keep this book stuck in my head in six months; the perfect acknowledgment that not everything always ends perfectly, but sometimes you can find something even better.

TW: racism, homophobia, panic attacks, past cheating.
Arc received from the publisher via Edelweiss for an honest review. [ releases: 9 October 2018.]

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Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,107 reviews6,570 followers
October 11, 2018
Yikes, okay, here we go.

This book had so much potential!! And even though I only gave it 2 stars, I still think it has some quality stuff, like
- lots of diversity
- sex positive and CONSENT!!
- DYLAN (omg Dylan was the real MVP of this book let's be real)
- aaaaand to be honest that's about it

Here's what I had issues with:
- For the first 200 pages, i literally couldn't tell Ben and Arthur apart. Their voices sounded exactly the same to me
- This book is SO slow and apart from the romance, has hardly any plot whatsoever
- Ben and Arthur had ZERO chemistry for the majority of the book and then all of a sudden they were like a married couple?
- The petty, stupid things that kept getting them into arguments with each other (it was such high school drama and i'm an old lady who is not about that life anymore)
- kinda cringey writing if i'm being totally honest (again, maybe this is because i'm a grandma)
- the ending was ... i don't even know? underwhelming?
- parents conveniently disappeared a lot of the time

There's probably other things but it's late at night and am v tired, but yeah, super sad I didn't love it :(
Profile Image for Warda.
1,205 reviews19.7k followers
May 22, 2019
“Hollywood will make a movie about you two. And a Netflix spin-off about your gay children.”

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 to me.

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!

THANK YOU, Simon and Schuster Children’s UK for sending me an arc. It’s been a privilege.
Pre-reading feels!

Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.4k followers
December 19, 2019
this book was an interesting reading experience for me because its co-written by one author i absolutely adore (silvera) and one that i strongly dislike (albertalli). and i honestly thought my love would outweigh my hate - but in reality, it just left me split right down the middle.

this was a cute enough story, if youre into that over-the-top meet cute, insta-love kind of thing. its light and fluffy and basically everything you would expect from these two authors. but honestly, there was no substance. unless you count three cringeworthy dates a plot. and dont even get me started on the overdone pop culture references. we get it, becky. you love hamilton. goodness me.

i have no doubt this book is everything people have dreamt of and more, and i love that. im so happy for those who enjoyed this. but i really wish adam silvera had jumped ship before he went down sinking with miss becky albertalli. whomp whomp.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for emi.
453 reviews1,085 followers
January 21, 2019
Lately, when I read something I end up hating, I wonder if the problem is me and not the book. However, the problem was definitely the book this time.

All these four and five star ratings people are throwing at it? I don't understand. Did we read the same book?

I would talk about a plot, but there really wasn't a strong one.

I'd talk about the characters, but none of them were interesting enough to discuss.

And I'd talk about the chemistry, but the only chemistry in this book was the test that Ben probably should have failed. Wait did he fail? I honestly don't remember.

About half this book was Hamilton references that could have been cut out completely. I love Hamilton just as much as the next guy, but Arthur has made me not want to listen to the soundtrack anytime soon. Plus mix in references to other musicals and Harry Potter on every other page. It was one, giant 400 page billboard. Especially to the company Lyft, which was mentioned no less than
5 times.

Also, Ben's fantasy fanfiction of his life has obliterated all excitement I had for Adam Silvera's upcoming fantasy book. It was literally the least interesting book-inside-a-book ever.

Also, speaking of fanfictions. This entire book felt like one. And not in a good way. I have all the respect for fanfictions, but fanfictiony writing is not for me.

I think I'm just gonna avoid every Becky Albertalli book from now on. I don't have one nice thing to say about any of her last three books. But Adam, darling, I know you can do better.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
477 reviews251 followers
January 30, 2020
I still can’t believe I got an ARC for this! 😱🤩.

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.


Thank you Edelweiss and the publisher for an ARC of this book.

Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 8 books76.7k followers
October 13, 2018
It’s really a 3,5 tho.


Todo el libro fue súper ligero y bonito y me hizo sonreír bastante, sólo le vi dos problemas:

1- El "climax" fue algo ¿ridículo? Una exageración, muchísimo drama sacado de proporciones. O sea, creo que los personajes reaccionaron muy mal a algo que se pudo haber arreglado rápido. EN FIN.
2- No me gustó nada el final. Lo entiendo y tal vez yo hubiera hecho lo mismo, pero no me gustó.

TODO LO DEMÁS FUE BELLO. Sí leería otra cosa de estos dos autores juntos (y separados).
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
545 reviews34.6k followers
May 6, 2020
”This apartment isn’t home for either of us, but we’re home to each other, and that’s what makes every wall fall away so I only focus on him.”

When I heard that Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera were writing a love child book together I instantly knew that I needed this in my life. XD Okay, it might have taken me a little while to get to it and I guess I kinda missed the hype train, but maybe this was good because I could focus on my own opinion instead of reading the opinion of others on my feed. ;-)

And after finishing the final page let me tell you this: My opinion about this book is quite a strong one! *lol* I know there are a lot of people out there that ended up not liking “What If It’s Us” and I’m the first one to admit that it wasn’t exactly what I expected. If you’re looking for a fluffy and cute contemporary book you might be disappointed. Because yes, there is some fluff and cuteness going on but in this one it’s actually taking a backseat. At least it felt like that for me.

”But there were only so many hits to the heart I could take before I needed to step away. I gave him a lot of chances – I gave us a lot of chances. I just wasn’t good enough to remind him love could be a good thing.”

So what did Albertalli and Silvera try to achieve with this? If you ask me I think they wanted to write something realistic! And if they tried to do this, well, then they certainly nailed it! I mean at first I was a little bit disappointed about where this was heading too. I was hoping for a sweet romance and then I got Arthur and Ben! *lol* One of them some sort of innocent and naïve country bumpkin that only lives in the big city for the summer and the other a pretty disenchanted guy that is grumpy because his first love didn’t work out the way he hoped it would.

I swear, I never read about a couple that would have been worse for each other than those two! *lol* And I’m meaning this in the best way possible. At first glance they have nothing in common and just don’t fit together, but as the story continued to unfold I realized that this was okay. They are two different people that don’t have a lot in common but despite their obstacles, their misunderstandings, their troubles and personal sensitivities they still work somehow.

”…, and our voices don’t ever really become one, but I like how we sound together.
Like two people trying to make it work.”

I loved this quote because it’s so true! If you’re in a real relationship nothing is perfect. It’s easy to be in a relationship when you both still see things through rose-coloured glasses, but once this first stage of infatuation wears off a relationship is a lot of work. In Ben and Arthur’s case they just had to face those problems way earlier than others, they both tried to understand each other though and if you ask me I think this was a very mature approach. Speaking of which, another thing I really liked was the fact that both of them were already out of the closet. Ben’s entire family knew and Arthur told his people before he moved to New York.

”Yeah. I put up an Instagram post on Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Said that I was thankful for all the people in my life who are cool enough to love me as I am. And everyone else could unfriend me online and in real life. I had even checked my follower count before posting.”

Gosh, how I wish everyone could be as brave as Ben! But then again, not everyone has a family and friends like him. Not all of us are fortunate enough not to be unfriended after a statement like that. No matter if it might be on Instagram or in real life. >_< Still, I liked that they were both comfortable with being who they truly are and it’s really rare to read an LGBTQ+ story in which the characters are already out. So kudos for that! Well, for that and for the amazing portrayal of realistic friendships! XD

Dylan claps. “Okay. I’m sold. I am shipping you with the boy you met when you were supposed to be shipping relationship relics to your last boy.”

I loved Ben’s and Dylan’s friendship so much! They were amazing and their innuendos and jokes kinda reminded me of my bestie and me. *lol* I swear, when it comes to that we’re exactly like those two and it was so refreshing to see a friendship like ours represented on the pages of a book. Alone for that I couldn’t help but adore this story! I would never ever say anything like Ben to my bestie though. Phew! That was a really hurtful comment and I swear if my bestie would have said something like that to me I wouldn’t have talked to her either! I’m just glad Ben got his act together and apologized to Dylan in the end. XD

Samantha takes a step away from him. “A lightning bolt is going to burst in here any second now and shut you up.”
“I eat lightning for breakfast.”

Samantha and Dylan were amazing too! <3 They weren’t only made for each other and a truly perfect match, but also so damn funny that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. ;-) Some people might say that Dylan was a little bit over the top, but let me tell you this: there are actually real Dylan’s out there in this world and if you’re very lucky one of them is a part of your life! XD


At first I was a little bit disappointed because this went in an entirely different direction than I expected. The longer I read the more I got captivated by the story though. I began to appreciate it for its realistic and honest approach and with time all the characters and their individual flaws started to grow on me. If there is one thing I have to criticize then it’s THE ENDING !!!! I mean OMG!!! To quote the Duke from Moulin Rouge: “I don’t like this ending!”
WHY, Becky and Adam?!! WHY??!!! I think I’ll never get over this ending and like so many others before me I demand a “do-over”! (See what I did there? *lol*) I’ll miss my two disaster gays so much and I’ll always want a sequel. #SorryNotSorry ;-P
This said: Happy Reading!

Arthur is tearing up. “Thanks for this. For everything. This morning. This summer. I know I’m a lot, and you’ve been so cool about it.”
I laugh a little. “We’re the worst. I mean, we’re the best. But we’re the worst. You always think you’re too much, and I feel like I’m not enough.”


First reaction after the ending:

Excuse me, WHAT?!
This can't be the ending! Like seriously!
Don't make fun of me!
How is this ending even allowed?
Oh Boy, this is truly an Albertalli/Silvera book. >_<

Full RTC soon! I need a shower with ice first! *lol*


I’m in dire need of a fluffy m/m romance and since Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera kinda rock this genre I decided to read “What if it’s Us”!

Karma finding its way at a post office sounds like a good start, so I’m ready to be blown away.
Let’s hope the hype is real and those two managed to create something amazing! =)

I loved “Simon vs.” and I only heard good things about Adam Silvera’s books so I think it’s about time to read one of them. ;-)

To say it with the words of the Glee Cast: Hit it! *lol*
Profile Image for may ➹.
494 reviews2,056 followers
May 21, 2020
why did you all make me think I was going to cry at this ending???? all this book did was intensify my own gay panic! at the disco
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,878 reviews5,793 followers
March 13, 2020

Despite some very solid, and most importantly, age-appropriate, narrating from Noah Galvin and Froy Gutierrez, What If It's Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli fell way short of expectations.

I can sort of see why people like this love story (and yes, love story NOT ROMANCE), but I had issues.

There is no plot. None. It is sort of a meandering, wandering story through the basically boring lives of two teenage boys. Lots of boring, boring stuff filling the page-time. Sure, there were amusing moments, but the cuteness, the humor, and the squee-factor wasn't there.

Romance lovers: this is not a romance. A romance has a HEA and this just didn't. After all of that melodrama and discussion... just not satisfying.

I don't usually feel too old to read YA, but but I felt old reading this. It was full of silly drama that I just don't care about anymore, and I don't care to read it.

Despite some sweet moments and a decent narration, I wasn't in love with this audiobook. It took me nearly a month to finish, which is not a good thing. Disappointing.

Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,221 reviews868 followers
January 11, 2019
I don’t know if we’re in a love story or a story about love.

Review also posted on Reads Rainbow

Galley provided by publisher

Rep: Puerto Rican mc, gay mcs, female bi side character

I did think that perhaps this was just one of those where I've grown out of the authors, but I actually reread Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda earlier this year and still liked it just as much as the first time round, so it can't just be that. And this book did seem a whole lot more cringeworthy than any other books I've read by either author.

To summarise the plot: Arthur meets Ben as he's getting rid of his ex-boyfriend's things at the post office. Unfortunately, before he can get a number, their meeting is interrupted by a lederhosen-clad flash mob (yeah, this was the first part where I went, really?). Anyway, that's the first 30 to 40 pages or so. The next 120 pages is dedicated to them... not meeting again. And then they do meet again. And follow that classic romance pattern.

So, number one on my list of things I didn't really like about this book was the pacing. I don't need 120 pages of their day to day life before they meet again. And then I don't need another 150 pages of them dating (though seemingly, on Ben's part at least, while not actually wanting to date), before the inevitable and tedious (and overdramatic) breakup because of miscommunication. I feel like all this could have been condensed into a lot less than 450 pages. And so, because I have like, no patience, I got bored. Overall, though, I could have dealt with that, rated this book 2 stars maybe, but then came the kicker.

It's overwhelmingly cringeworthy. Every other paragraph feels like it includes a pop culture reference (Hamilton and Harry Potter being common ones - and don't even get me started on that part where Arthur gets Ben to listen to the Hamilton soundtrack and then Ben makes a comment about writing Hamilton/Harry Potter crossover fanfiction. I physically recoiled from the computer). One or two I could deal with, but the sheer number of them in this? I was cringing at least once a chapter and that's really not fun. Not to mention the part where Arthur mistakes someone for Ansel Elgort and I had to feel the horror of a real life person being inserted into the narrative and subsequent secondhand embarrassment. It was not nice.

A brief list of some other things that made me cringe along the way:

> "some kind of Kinsey scale Sorting Hat"

> when they talked about Pokemon fanfiction in real life

> when Arthur talks about the green M&M being sexy along with some Looney Tunes characters on their first date

> and Harry Potter porn

> mentioning Draco/Hermione fanfiction

But one particularly major cringe came from two points, both in Becky Albertalli's chapters. In one, Arthur and Ben are kissing when Arthur or Ben comments that maybe that's something Barack and Michelle (Obama) do on his birthday (why this comment? Because Barack Obama is Arthur's "forever president"?), and the other says more likely it's Obama and Justin Trudeau, while Joe Biden watches. Literally everything about this part is so creepy, starting with the fact that these are real people. But it does not stop here. Later on, a second joke is made along similar lines, but this time about porn between Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. Members of a party that wants to get rid of gay rights. Which, again these are real people, but this time it also just feeds back into the "all homophobes are secretly gay" line of argument. In the end, it was the cringeworthiness of the book that made me give it 1 star.

One last point: I didn't actually much like Ben as a character either. He's honestly a bit of a dickhead, and spends his time when he's starting to date Arthur comparing him to his ex-boyfriend. And he writes a self-insert fantasy story, which is honestly, just another cringeworthy thing to add to the list. (Someone also pointed out to me that he's a bit like an Adam Silvera self-insert, and I am really scarred.)

Maybe it'll be different for other readers, who don't find the pop culture references as cringey, and who are bigger fans of these authors, but in the end, it was just too much for me.
Profile Image for ;3.
440 reviews886 followers
August 5, 2020
the influx of cringey, insufferable hamilton and harry potter references gave me so much secondhand embarrassment that i had to take a walk every ten minutes.

it’s 2019 i assure u not one teenager with a single functioning braincell gives a fuck about the founding fathers or dumblydoor or incel elgort or whtevr.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
October 28, 2018
3.5 STARS rounded to 4

Review to come once the group reading has concluded.

So excited to announce that this is our #ScaredSuspenseBookClub pick for the month of November! If you would like to join in our discussions on Instagram, dates will be November 12th and 19th.
Profile Image for ˗ˏˋ lia ˎˊ˗.
306 reviews388 followers
March 26, 2021
“i guess that’s any relationship. you start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

this was probably my most anticipated book of the last year and all the more nervous i was because i had such high hopes and expectations. adam silvera and becky albertelli are two of my favorite authors and i loved all of their books (leah on the offbeat doesn’t exist). so, understandably, i wanted this to be great.

i loved that both of their writing styles mixed so well with one another and made this co-written work seem so aligned. sure, at times you were able to distinguish distinct traits one or the author wrote, like when arthur was being super annoying and i couldn’t help but be reminded of leah and her annoying personality. however, it was great that both protagonists and their traits were depicted nicely based on each individual writing. especially reading about the characters’ development was interesting. they both each have their flaws but in the course of the story they come to change and grow and that contrast was absolutely beautiful.

the story was surprisingly realistic! from the friendship dynamics to society’s expectations and problems they have to face in their daily lives, including jealousy and school. the scenes with their parents, especially in the beginning, were some of my favorites as you don’t really get to read that much about a character’s parents and families in books and they’re mostly just disregarded. this realism was taken to a point, however, that was pure exaggeration in my eyes. the amount of pop culture references at times prevented me to enjoy the story and left me really annoyed. look, i LOVE hamilton with my entire heart and all, but at some point it’s too much when it takes up what felt like a whole quarter of the book.

from what i’ve seen, most people seem to quite hate the ending. i, on the other hand, absolutely loved it. it’s realistic and left me surprised because i didn’t expect the authors to take that step and just leave it at the good old cheese, so that was pleasant. all in all, what if it’s us is a beautiful story about two boys and their love story while having to face difficulties but who are still trying to make it work, or as arthur would say: “i like disasters.”

→ 4 stars
Profile Image for Maditales.
580 reviews23.6k followers
March 3, 2023
2.5 stars

Here’s the thing. The idea behind this book is amazing. I love the idea of the everything this book is about but when you got into the details lots of things become weird…

One being the fact that there is looooots of pop culture references, mostly Tom Holland. A lot. And it was a bit too much especially with the combination of how often we talk about Hamilton.

Second is the overall drama in their relationship. Don’t get me wrong I understand why “being late” is annoying but OMG the reaction was soooooo intense and yeah I got it but well also I didn’t.

The best thing about this book was the ending and that’s why this doesn’t have just 2 stars but I just think that a lot of the drama in this book is too much even for a YA book.
Profile Image for ☆ Todd.
1,368 reviews1,506 followers
December 30, 2021

I guess that’s every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

I LOVED-LOVED-LOVED this story so damn hard!

And I absolutely HATED-HATED-HATED how it ended!!!

The entire story was compelling and full of humor, which immediately hooked me and left me dying to find out what was going to happen next.


The book ended with no HEA, not even an HFN.

Only a "what if", where *IF* they end up living in the same city at the same time *MAYBE* they *MIGHT* pick up where they left off, instead of remaining forever in The Friend Zone.

After going through everything they did (they had FOUR "first dates" FFS!!!) to finally become a "we", the romantic in me hates that shit with the heat of 10,000 suns.

Yes, I understand when authors don't want to write the typical romance, but an epilogue with them together, finally, even 10 years down the road, that would've left me feeling as if this were a much more fulfilling story.

BUT (again)...

Until Arthur left NYC, never actually 'seeing' Ben again (at least outside of FaceTime -- for over a YEAR, with zero plans to meet up again, UGH!), the book was nearly absolutely perfect.

Right from the beginning, Arthur was completely blurty and adorable, while Ben was a bit more of a guarded, cool character, and I loved them both immediately.

Some of the lengths that Arthur went to to find his Missed Connection at the post office were bordering on stalker'ish, but nonetheless endearing. He was determined to get a second chance with the boy of his dreams, full stop.

When they finally reconnected, though, their relationship wasn't immediate and effortless. They kept having repeated do-overs of their first date, but neither of them were ready to give up, because they *did* have a true connection. They just needed to find their rhythm, which they eventually did.

The drama with the side-characters was a bit distracting, much like with Albertalli's "Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda", but I couldn't get enough of Ben's girl-crazy, best friend, Dylan, who reminded me an awful lot of Stiles from Teen Wolf.
Dylan calls me on FaceTime as I’m getting ready to meet up with Arthur.

“Hey,” I say. I’m naked from the top up because I’m not sure which shirt I want to wear yet.

“Morning strip show,” he says. “Dylan like.”
Their close, usually-easy, nerdy friendship was a joy to read about and I wanted more.

Both sets of parents were also great here, too, being completely supportive, going above and beyond the call of duty for their respective boys.

So yeah, the book was 'mostly' great, but I'm taking off a half-star due to the truly disappointing lack of an HFN or HEA, but also BEGRUDGINGLY rounding up to 5 stars, because the rest of the book was just that good.


** Pro Tip:
If you aren't a huge musical theater fan, like I'm not, do yourself a big favor in following the story and watch the YouTube video of Ben Platt and Laura Dreyfuss perform ‘Only Us’ from ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ (below) *before* getting too far into the story.

Profile Image for Larry H.
2,509 reviews29.4k followers
October 12, 2018

I got up super early this morning to download Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera's new book, What If It's Us, and I have officially devoured it. All it took was reading during lunch, at every red light on the way home from work, at the chiropractor, and then after dinner this evening.

One book written by two of my favorite YA authors equals ALL. THE. FEELS.

"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."

Arthur is in New York for the summer before his senior year of high school, working as an intern at a branch of his mother's law firm. For a boy from a small town in Georgia, New York is everything he dreamed it would be—although he hasn't made any friends save the two summer associates who serve as his supervisors, and he hasn't met any boys.

Then one day, en route to pick up a coffee order for the law firm, he spots a cute boy carrying a box to the post office. He does the supremely non-Arthur thing and strikes up a conversation. Despite the fact that the boy is mailing a box of things back to his ex-boyfriend, the two definitely have a meet-cute, but then they are separated before they can get each other's phone numbers.

While Arthur believes the universe is trying to tell him something about this boy, Ben doesn't believe in signs from the universe. He'll be the first to admit that this cute boy intrigues him, although he can't figure out how to find him. But eventually they are reunited, and tentatively embark on a roller coaster of a relationship, even knowing that Arthur will be returning home to Georgia at the end of the summer.

Are two people destined to be together? If so, can they weather the storm of jealousy, meddling best friends, parental drama, tardiness, miscommunication, and fears of inadequacy? Is it worth trying—and trying again—if you know you have a finite amount of time to be together?

What If It's Us is an absolutely lovable, poignant, adorable book about two boys trying to listen to the universe—and fight it—in their quest to be together. It's a book about friendship, family, jealousy, and finding yourself, and having the confidence to realize you're worth being fought for. And it's a book about trying to make a relationship work in one crazy world.

Albertalli and Silvera have written some of my favorite YA books over the last several years, so I had so much anticipation for this book. I'm so happy to say that this book was as good as I was hoping it would be—it didn't depress me like so many of Silvera's books but it made me feel the full range of emotions that both authors have made me feel previously.

You know what will happen in this book for the most part (I was briefly off course with one plot thread, but pleased my thoughts didn't come to fruition) and you want to take this ride anyway. And hopefully, in the end, you're glad you did. I know I am, despite being sad it's over now!!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Profile Image for Brittni Kristine.
185 reviews126 followers
February 5, 2021
What if it’s Us is such a solid coming of age story. I haven’t been as into YA romance these days because at the ripe old age of 28, reading about 16 year olds falling in love feels kind of invasive.

But What if its Us does such a wonderful job building these stories and the two main characters that I breezed through it. I read this book in one sitting and had a fabulous time.

I think this book recognized that teenage romances are important, but whether or not they last isn’t really the point. That first love will always be impactful and a learning experience you draw from, but not staying together is not a failure. It’s a growing experience. I really loved that lesson in this book. I don’t feel like it’s told enough.

I had one gripe with the book, as I often do lol. There’s a very out of place scene where this story just barely hints at a gay tragedy. Prior to this moment everyone has been very accepting, but for like three pages we experience the characters being verbally harassed by a homophobic guy on their bus. It’s a tense, scary scene that is... never touched on again. It didn’t end up feeling like it had any purpose. I don’t mind tragic scenes in books, I just need them to fit the story. This one did not at all.

But it is a short scene so it’s not like it took away very much. I just kept waiting to find out how that scene connected with the rest of the story.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a VERY cute gay coming of age story, you’ve found it.
Profile Image for peachygirl.
268 reviews668 followers
October 19, 2020
I was smiling so hard that my cheeks hurt. And crying too. This could have been my favorite book of the year if I had gotten a walk into the sunset, but this ending had its own charm. Knowing anything can happen is more thrilling than a regular 'And then they lived happily ever after', right?
And if there's anything Ben and Arthur are brilliant at, it's perfecting do-overs. So, fingers crossed!

I loved every single character to pieces but none more so than Arthur.
Oh King Arturo!
The very instant that I saw you, (hmm not exactly)
did my heart fly to your service (totally).
Yeah, I KNOW he's gay and fictional, but he was just so adorable! 🙈

Too many cute moments to count and some absolutely beautiful ones. And I loved every single one of it.
That awesome meet cute, kinda weird yet not creepy stalking, their dream like meet up, the perfect five first dates and an even better second date, Dylan's and Ben's bromance, summer school jokes, family dinners, subway rides, Broadway & HP fanboying and everything else was unbelievably amazing. Even the fights, jealousies, insecurities and the other not so happy parts of Ben's and Art's relationship.

It should’ve been love at first sight like all the great stories, but I wasn’t ready yet. And that’s okay. We still got somewhere great. The worst story would’ve been never finding each other again, or ever meeting in the first place.


These two should have been endgame!!!!!
(yup, 6 exclamation points)
Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,041 followers
May 11, 2018
--4.5 stars--

Massive thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for sending me this ARC.

Can I just express how ecstatic I am at the state YA is headed this year? I've jokingly said that "20gayteen is in full swing and I am here for it" a lot, but in all seriousness, how amazing is it that YA is finally, FINALLY becoming more and more diverse with not only POC representation, but LGBTQ+ storylines being at the forefront. That's a big deal, people. It seems like only a few years ago YA was still, for the most part, over-saturated with heteronormativity, so I'm glad that times are changing. Books like this one are part of the reason why I started getting back into reading this year.

I think I speak for most of us when I say that this is a book that has been long-awaited; a gay YA novel told in that charming, traditional rom-com feel, set in New York City to boot. I was just so swept up in it immediately because it is an insanely adorable story.

Arthur and Ben are such lovable characters in their own right, and their voices never blended due to how distinct they were from each other. Most of that is because of how different Becky Albertalli's and Adam Silvera's respective writing styles are. Albertalli's is more on the energetic and humorous side; I had so many laugh out loud moments in this book during Arthur's perspective. Silvera's writing is noticeably more laidback and understated by comparison. Both of their writing styles complimented each of the characters extremely well, gave them strong personalities unique from each other.

The romance moved a little bit fast, I have to admit. I wouldn't say it was insta-love, no. Insta-love generally means romances that don't form naturally, they're just shoved in our faces from the get-go even though the characters clearly have a very contrived and forced connection. Arthur and Ben's romance was quite believable, I would say, so it didn't feel like insta-love to me. I would've liked if there was more time for them to truly connect, but I guess the fast pace was due to Arthur only staying in New York for the summer, so it's not like there's no reason for it.

I have mixed feelings about the ending, though. Without spoiling any specific things, I appreciated the realism of it, but then I can't deny that I wanted extra cheese. This entire book was cheesy, but in a good way, and I wanted that to last up until the ending cause I like cheese once in a while, especially if's gay cheese. But still, I totally understood what the authors were going for with its open-endedness.

This was simply a joy to read, though, honestly. Just such a fun summer romance set in the big city, very clearly inspired by classic rom-coms. I hope someday it gets adapted to the big screen as a mainstream Hollywood release, that would just be the homosexual cherry on top of this beautiful rainbow cake.

Side note: Arthur in this book is a musical theater nerd and pure Hamiltrash, and like Ben, I'd never seen or heard the Hamilton soundtrack before. I guess I held back because I was bitter I would never get to actually see it live, but since this book has Hamilton written all over it, with a dash of Dear Evan Hansen, I think I'll finally cave and join bandwagon!
Profile Image for Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰.
173 reviews2,745 followers
Want to read
November 15, 2017
What If It's Us ★ Most Anticipated 2018
Expected publication: October 2nd 2018



I am so certain this book is going to save 2018.
I am so happy, I can't even think straight...

(see what I did just then? see it?)
taste. the. rainbow. bitch

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