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Book Review: What If It’s Us

Bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera released their co-written novel, What If It’s Us, on Oct. 9. The publisher’s summary of the book reads:

 

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 nail a first date even after three do-overs?

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?

What if it’s us?

I preordered the audiobook and  finished it in two days! This book was so freaking cute! Arthur is awkward, and he seemed shy and extroverted at the same time. Ben is more chill, though carries some baggage, but also evident is the sliver of hope he still has that things could work out between Arthur and him. I love that the characters balance each other out. While Arthur’s head tends to be in the clouds, Ben usually stays pretty grounded. As the story bounces between Ben and Arthur’s first-person perspectives, it brings a nice balance to the reading overall.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the bromance between Ben and his best friend Dylan. Dylan was a fun character to read; his jokes were always entertaining and it’s interesting to see the way he falls in love compared to how Ben and Arthur move through that space. Seeing Arthur’s interactions with his best friends back home also bring a balance to the story I really appreciated.

I also really appreciated how sex-positive the book was. I read a lot of YA romances, and while there is usually a point when the two romantic interests get sexually involved, unlike other YA books I’ve read, this one unabashedly talks about sexual desire leading up to the first time .It deals well with what it’s like when in the heat of things someone realizes they’re not ready to have sex after all. I think these are important strides for a book geared toward a young adult audience, as it  makes sexual desire less taboo and points out that just because you give consent in the beginning doesn’t mean you can’t stop before things go too far.

Overall I recommend this book for anyone looking for a cute romance to get comfy with this fall.

Senior at Emerson College. WLP: Publishing major. Double minoring in Latin American and Latinx Studies, and Marketing Communications. Aspiring managing editor. Bookworm (especially when it comes to YA). Disney Geek. Ravenclaw.
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