This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.What If It's Us by Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli
Series: What If It's Us #1
Published by HarperTeen on October 9, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT
(Last Updated On: June 8, 2022)
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?
After reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and They Both Die at the End, I was extremely excited to give What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera a read. Actually, I’ve had a copy of it sitting on my shelf for a while and finally decided to pick it up.
Unfortunately, I found What If It’s Us to be a disappointment. Parts of it felt rushed, and on audiobook, it was hard to tell the difference between the two main characters. I absolutely loved the character cast and parts of the love story. The Hamilton references were a huge plus.
Keep reading to hear my thoughts on What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera!
What If It’s Us Summary
I’ll be honest; What If It’s Us truly starts off with a bang. The two main characters, Arthur and Ben, meet at the post office right at the beginning of the story when one of them is dropping off a package to send to their ex-boyfriend.
Arthur is from the south but lives in New York City for the summer for an internship, while Ben lives there but is going through a recent breakup. They end up striking up an interesting convo, and you just immediately know that you’re going to love the characters by the end because of their chemistry.
Their meeting could be fate, but who knows! There ends up being a flash mob, and they part ways after a fun meet-cute conversation between the two of them.
Then, the next chunk of the book is all about the two of them thinking of each other and making missed connections. It got a little slow around this point before picking back up again.
(This is one of the odd things – there was lots of talk about using Craiglist for missed connections, but I’m part of Gen Z and have never heard of someone our age actually using that feature. However, we are pretty likely to fall into a pit on social media trying to find someone which was excellently portrayed!)
As you can probably guess, they do end up finally crossing paths again, and that’s when the story really starts to take off.
Overall, I did thoroughly enjoy the story in What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera, but in the audiobook, it was tough to tell the difference between the two characters. The story is told through Arthur and Ben’s dual perspectives, which I love because it does give you more background on each character by hearing the story through their voice.
Don’t get me wrong, personality-wise they were different, but sometimes I had to question whose chapter I was on because of the similarities.
Truthfully, I think this is because Albertalli and Silvera have similar writing styles, which works great for co-writing a story but can make it a bit confusing at times. (No hate, though, I absolutely love their writing styles; they’re two of my favorite authors!)
The cast of characters really made this story for me. I think they were more interesting than the plot itself. Plus, it truly was diverse, which I love to see in YA books. It was also great how involved their families were throughout the story.
As a member of the queer community myself, I do have to say I love how this book did represent a teenage LGBTQ+ romance – this is a book I would’ve loved to read as a teenager. It felt very accurate to teenage dating as well, mainly because they kept wanting to redo their first date until it was perfect.
Despite the representation, I do think the relationship felt a little rushed. The book felt slow at first when I realized that it would take a while for them to connect again after their meet-cute but then it felt pretty quick once they finally crossed paths again.
Other than that, though, I did love the Hamilton references. Now, that I can get behind! Overall, the characters were also excellent, including the entire cast of side characters.
I also know many people were frustrated with the ending, but it made sense to me. And even though I’m not necessarily giving this book five stars, the ending definitely made me want to continue and pick up the sequel.
Overall, even though there were parts of this book that I liked, I do have to give What If It’s Us three stars. I liked it, but I think I wanted more. It’s also worth mentioning I’m not always the biggest fan of contemporaries, which may be why this book wasn’t 100% my jam.
If you love meet-cutes in the YA genre and don’t mind romances that are a bit fluffy, then I think you’ll enjoy this book. Plus, like I said, you’ll definitely love the characters!
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