ARC Review: What If It’s Us

What If It's Us


Title: What If It’s Us

Author: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Series: N/A

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Release Date: October 18th 2018

Rating:

Five Stars

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a show-stopping 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?

–Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“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 mean 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.”

Arthur believes in signs from the universe; when he has an instant connection with a cute boy at the post office and doesn’t even get his name, let alone his number, he believes if it was meant to be the universe will help him find Ben again, with a little help from social media that is. Ben is supposed to be posting his ex’s things back after their break up; he leaves the post office having failed to do just that, but he can’t forget the boy he met while waiting in line, so when the universe, and Arthur, finds him he responds.

Individually Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera are two of my favourite authors, so What If It’s Us was one of my most anticipated releases for this year. This book is a perfect blend of both of their styles; each chapter switches between both Arthur’s and Ben’s POVs, with Becky writing Arthur and Adam writing Ben, but the story flows really well. It didn’t feel choppy, or consciously like I was reading something written by two different people.

“I’m really bad at this.”
“Bad at what?”
“At relationships? At feeling like I should even be in relationships? I’m so…” He stares straight ahead, furrowing his brow. “I have this thing where if someone likes me, I feel like I tricked them into it. Like I can’t trust it.”

Arthur’s and Ben’s first date is a disaster but it doesn’t stop them from attempting a do-over, a second chance at a first date, and then another one, and as many as it takes to get this thing between them right. But Arthur is only in New York for the summer, and Ben is still dealing with a lot of complicated feelings over his ex, and it seems like Arthur’s and Ben’s is doomed from the start.

What If It’s Us is a cute YA contemporary story, which I’ve come to expect from Becky Albertalli, but with a touch of realism added to keep the plot from being too fluffy, which I’ve come to expect from Adam Silvera. A lot of reviews I’ve read have talked about the ending, how it was slightly disappointing, however I loved the way this book ended. The story and the future of all the characters was left open but it felt true to Ben and Arthur’s relationship and their development throughout What If It’s Us.

…The Characters

“The truth is, I have zero guts and zero game. I’ve never had a boyfriend, never had sex, never kissed anyone, never come close. It hasn’t bothered me until now. It just felt normal.”

Arthur is a big believer in fate and the power of the universe, he’s an idealist and although I loved both the main characters Arthur was my favourite. He’s intoxicated by New York, by the fact that he gets to live and work in this incredible city, and seeing it through his eyes was like being there again myself. Arthur wants his relationship with Ben to be perfect, something worthy of the epic start their love story had, however the reality of dating someone isn’t quite what Arthur thought.

Although What If It’s Us is Arthur’s and Ben’s story there were some incredible secondary characters, and I loved the glimpses we got into Arthur’s family and friends. After coming out to his two best friends Arthur worries he may be losing one of them, uncomfortable with his sexuality, and with his parents constantly fighting about his dad’s lack of work he fears they may end up divorcing before the summer is over. It weighs on Arthur, but he doesn’t say anything, trying to hold things together and pretend everything is normal.

“It’s weird how it’s easier to trust Arthur than it is to trust people I’ve known way longer. Like Dylan and Hudson and Harriett. My parents. It’s not even that it’s kind of low-risk because I’m not sure Arthur will even be in my life—it’s more that I’m counting on knowing him for a long time and I want him to know the real me as soon as possible.”

Ben also believes in the whole ‘if it’s meant to be it will be’ thing, but his belief has been knocked down by his recent break-up. Hudson was a huge part of Ben’s life, a close friend before he became something more, and Ben’s having trouble letting go despite knowing their relationship is over. Ben’s heritage is a big part of his character, and it was interesting reading his struggles with people not seeing him as Puerto Rican enough because of how light his skin is.

Like Arthur Ben has an incredible relationship with his best friend, but there was a lot more development in the friendship between Ben and Dylan, as well as the broken friendships that used to exist between Ben, Dylan, Harriett and Hudson, than there was between Arthur and his friends. Dylan and Ben are like brothers and they’ve stood by one another through it all; summer school and health scares, Ben’s coming out and Dylan’s many break-ups.

“I’m really glad the universe made us happen.”
“Arthur, the universe just got the ball rolling,” he says. “We made us happen.”

I loved seeing the relationship between Arthur and Ben develop. From the beginning Arthur puts more effort into whatever it is that’s growing between them than Ben, a result of his idealistic personality and the fact that this is his first relationship, but that doesn’t mean Ben doesn’t care and doesn’t want them to work out. Both characters have things which get in the way of their relationship, but they always bounce back. No matter how many disastrous first dates they have they’re not willing to give up on each other when the universe seemed determined to make them meet.


What If It’s Us ended up being everything I wanted, and everything I hoped, it would be. Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera are an incredible writing duo (not that I had any doubt they would be) and I would love to read more books written by the both of them. Until then though I’ll just have to wait for the film adaptation of What If It’s Us to experience this incredible story all over again.

What did you think of What If It’s Us? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.

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36 thoughts on “ARC Review: What If It’s Us

  1. Oh, I’m so glad you loved this one, Beth! I recently got it and I’m hoping to read it sometime next month, but I’ve been so so excited to read it and I’m praying that I’ll love it! I love Becky and Adam as authors and just human beings in general, and I can’t wait to see what their work together looks like.

    I’ve heard so many mixed feelings about the ending? Some people hate it, some people adore it, so I’m curious to see what I’ll think of it! And aahh I’m so excited for the film adaptation of it! I think it’ll be amazing (and I LOVE seeing all these recent diverse YA adaptations!). Great review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you will love it May. It’s a brilliant book and in my mind a perfect mix of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera’s writing styles. 🙂 Personally I’m hoping they’ll write more together one day. I mean I do get why some people were let down by the ending (and yes I’ll be interested in seeing what you think as well) but I was firmly in the ‘love it’ camp. It just fit the story and the characters so perfectly.
      Hopefully the film will be as amazing as the book was, and thanks. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Beth!
    Glad to hear that you enjoyed this one. Personally I tend to like endings that leave a bit to the imagination, and I don’t mind when things aren’t 100% perfect in the end. I’m SOOOO excited for this book and now I am even more excited after reading your review! I will absolutely have to read it very soon 🙂 Great review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it was great, and if you love those kind of endings you’ll love this book too. 🙂 Pretty much since I finished I’ve had my own ending in mind for Arthur and Ben and this book kind of lets you believe it more than standard “happily ever after” endings.
      Yay, oh I’m sure you’ll love it then Sophie. 🙂 ❤️ Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s good to hear! However much I enjoy happily ever after’s, I also love endings that let us arrive at our own conclusion. I’m definitely looking forward to reading this soon 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay glad you liked this! I really liked it too 🙂 Definitely agree that the relationship was really well developed and I get what you mean about the ending. And the friendships were so well done too 🙂 Loved how these authors worked together 🙂 (and this would make such a great film!) Great review! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed the ending, unlike most people! I tend to do that a lot too, which plays in my disadvantage but also alienates me from the rest hahaha

    I like that this book deals not only with romance but also with friendship, family and the struggles of POC. It feels realistic enough without losing the cuteness, which is great 🙂

    I’m so happy you loved this one, Beth! I’ve been reading mixed reviews and find that I probably wouldn’t care much for it (never read a Silvera or Albertalli book, mostly because contemporaries usually bore me more than delight me) but we’ll see 🙂

    I didn’t know there was a movie in the works, either! That sounds exciting and I might try that first. Wonderful review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do get where a lot of people are coming from with the ending, but as much as I love fluffy “happily ever after” endings that just wouldn’t have fit with this story, and in it’s own way would have kind of ruined it for me as well you know?
      Yeah there was a lot to love about this book. Oh I’d still recommend this on Sophie, even if you haven’t read anything by Albertalli or Silvera before they’re both incredible authors so I’m sure you’ll love this one. As far as contemporaries go What If It’s Us is one of the best I’ve read.
      Oh yeah, super excited for the movie already, and thanks so much! 😀 ❤

      Like

  5. Lovely review, Beth! It makes me so, so happy to hear you enjoyed this book as much as I did – I thought it was a wonderful story and I loved Arthur and Ben so much just as well. I agree with you about the ending: I understand why some people were a little frustrated, but personally I found it realistic and I really liked it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 ❤ Oh it was amazing, but then again as it was written by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera did we expect anything else?! Yeah, on one hand I do love fluffy endings but I think in this case a “happy ever after” ending just wouldn't have fit. It would have felt off with everything else that was happening in this book

      Liked by 1 person

  6. AHHHH this is going to be so cute????? I’m so scared, though, because I love ///*this is for sure a happy ending, there are no doubts as for the future, the love story is solid nothing shall ever split them apart*/// endings. and this seems like a “happy for now” kind of book (omg Adam Silvera and his realistic influence HAUNTING ME). I’m so emotionally unstable when it comes to fluffy rom-coms. I can’t handle open endings sldkfjlskjfklsj

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a really cute story, and I loved both Arthur and Ben’s characters too. They were so well written. I think the ending was more upbeat than the typical endings you find in Adam Silvera’s books, but it was kind of a “happy for now” kind of book you know? I’d still say it’s well worth reading, and you can always imagine you’re own kind of ending if you need to. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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