I am by no means an Albtertalli or Silvera expert. I’ve only read one of their books each. But What If It’s Us is superb. It combines the best of both authors – clever dialogue, hilarious inner monologues, and romance.
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?
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Right from page one, I knew I was going to love What If It’s Us. And my love only deepened as the book developed. By showing us both Arthur and Ben’s perspective, in Becky and Adam’s voice, we are able to see each of their inner monologues and fears. We get to know them, inside and out. As we witness events from their unique perspective and see each other from their eyes. Not only is it a unique way of witnessing a love story, but it gives us a deeper appreciation of each of these hilarious and endearing characters.
But while you may be expecting this adorable romantic comedy that you may associate Albertalli with (ever since Love Simon), there’s a depth to What If It’s Us that takes your breath away. It treads the line between hilarious and heartfelt, between heart warming and heart break. And Albertalli and Silvera constantly show us both sides of the story. We ping pong between secrets, memories of our past, and our own struggles beneath the surface. I think this is only further proved as the book continues.
So while this is a story about Arthur and Ben, about trying to craft perfection, it’s also a story about friendship, about moving on, and about being authentic. The side characters have their own lives, their own stories. And, for a summer, they are ours. We see the friendships broken and formed. The loves lost and found. And by the end, we have a genuine sense that life will go on. That at the end of the summer, our lives, our love, won’t end.
What If It’s Us is a book about fate and missed connections. But even more than that, it’s about finding our own luck. Having the guts, the strength, to live our life authentically. To not hold back, from love, from the universe’s signs, and from the future. We have the choice every day to move forwards. To not let the past hold us back, to make new memories, and take a stand in our destiny. Life doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s in the little moments that didn’t turn out the way you planned. These are the nights you remember. The days you treasure.