This book is so adorable and makes me laugh and then proceeds to throw my face-first into the void.
Which is a skill. I acknowledge this skill. I admit that firstly (1) I said “ooh I’ll review this later!” and forgot everything about it of ever, so I have in fact read it twice in 2018! And also (2) I do have mixed feelings about it (particularly the ending) but it’s still a good story.
Also I’d like to acknowledge that this is the DREAM COLLAB TEAM. The bio says that said they were collabing on this like right after their debuts sold!!!! They are so amazing!! I love both Becky Albertalli (Simon Vs is my fav from her) and Adam Silvera (History Is All You Left Me is my fav from him) so so much. Their signature styles and quirks were STRONG here and I loved how it combined.
WHAT TO EXPECT
✧ ok this is most definitely a romcom so squishy lovey feelings ARE the focus!
✧ it is a little bit about fate pushing two people together but also about how relationships take work
✧ it is queer here, there, and everywhere
✧ huge focus also on friendship dynamics and how they change as you move through highschool
✧ DESSERT APPRECIATION (if you take a chocolate chip cookie from Arthur then his face will collapse like the saddest puppy)
✧ dorks being adorkable
✧ scenes that will make you laugh so. much. ahhh!!!
✧ there are Easter Eggs about the Love Simon movie and one to Adam’s book (History Is All You Left Me!!)
The focus of this story?! CHARACTERS and solely characters.
I’m liiiiving for this because I just read a book that was so plot-centric that I missed getting to know characters so entirely and wholly. Ben and Arthur’s lives are the kind you can easily get caught up in. Both the boys wobble so delicately on the line that is “yes you are being a nasty little slug” vs “you are having tremendous growth and I love it you’re doing great sweetie”. Honestly my heart IS caught by both of them.
☆ ARTHUR: He is actual most hyper thing ever with zero chill. I mean, seriously, he can’t shut up, he is on speed 10000 at all times, he’s freaking hilarious. I love !! Arthur!! Although, honest time right now: I was frustrating how he was so so jealous/possessive of Ben and so easily jumped down his throat. But Arthur is 16. When I was 16, I was immature and deluded and jealous and also had never eaten a churro. So I think Arthur could be grit-your-teeth-frustrating, but he was so sweet and energetic and adorable. I have a weakness for characters with no chill.
☆ BEN: He is the softest introvert™ and just the fact that he loves living in his head, playing Sims and writing fantasy novels, afjdksald it just made me really connect to him. I absolutely think it was too early for him to get into a relationship after 2 weeks-post break up with Hudson but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ the universe decreed apparently. Seriously Ben stole my heart and I adore him. I think he was a lot more humble about his faults too and willing to do better.
THESE TWO. Seriously the characters were incredible and just leapt off the page with the BEST banter.
The secondary characters were all great too! Dylan reminded me of someone who faceplanted out of a John Green novel. And both boys had such wholesome (albeit messy) parents which was nice!
Themes of “friendship breakups” were explored as well as romance.
I think that’s so important. And sure the focus of the story is Ben/Arthur with the “will-they-won’t-they-work-out” story line, but I appreciated how ti talked about friendship dynamics changing and how friendship-breakups can ALSO break your heart. I don’t think this gets discussed enough in YA!! How many of us have had a devastating friendship-fall-out as teens?! I sure have and it still haunts me 7 years later, so I’m glad this book explored both (A) forgiveness and working through it, and (B) letting go.
It’s also a Quiet YA™ story.
I did like that about it. The world is about BEN and ARTHUR and their universes collide and tremble and change, but the world just moves on around them. It touches on homophobia and failing school and worry about divorce…but the central conflicts are mostly Ben and Arthur needing their heads knocked together because they ARE NOT PERFECT. Adorkable. But wow do they need work.
Can we have a sec to talk about the ending?!
So basically it is soft and sweet and entirely captivatingly written and dID THINGS to my feels.
Maybe the ending leaves me annoyed, but the rest makes up for it. Like the writing just draws you in and the characters utterly steal hearts. I can’t even. This book has so little chill I love that. (I just really love when books crack me up!) Although I don’t think it has the complexity of the authors’ other books.
ALSO BY THESE AUTHORS
THANK YOU TO SIMON & SCHUSTER FOR THE REVIEW-COPY. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silver is published October 2018.
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?