Sunday, 30 September 2018

What If It's Us // too adorable for words

I don't think I've read anything so freaking adorable in my life. This was honestly more cuteness that my heart was prepared to handle. I knew I was right to be excited by an Albertalli-Silvera collaboration, but What If It's Us was everything I could have wanted and more.

The story is about Arthur, a reckless optimist and lover of New York, and Ben, freshly heartbroken and stuck in summer school. The two of them meet completely by chance, and start to question if it was coincidence or fate that brought them together. Because maybe the two of them meeting was a mistake. Or maybe it is the start of something extraordinary.

These characters were too precious for words. Arthur is academic and theatre obsessed and has zero chill, and I found him adorable and so relatable, particularly the way he makes accidental innuendos and tries a little too hard to make friends and overthinks everything, because wow that is me all the time. Ben is also impossible not to love. He's not good in school and is much more chill than Arthur, but just as nerdy, only about writing instead of theatre. His experience with being white passing but with a non-white surname really spoke to me, and I loved that I finally found a book that talked about that experience.

The romance wasn't what I expected, and I'm so happy it wasn't. Arthur is such a Becky Albertalli character, and Ben is such an Adam Silvera character, and it's clear pretty early on that they don't exactly fit. They have a series of missed connections and do-overs, and their relationship is awkward and imperfect, but that's part of what makes it so lovable and real. I adored the fact that they were so supportive of each other's interests and how they were able to find a connection despite their differences.

Even though this is a romance book, a lot of focus is also on Arthur and Ben's individual friendships. Just like their relationship, their friendships are messy and far from perfect, but super realistic. I particularly loved Ben's friend Dylan, whose lines are some of the biggest highlights of this book for me, and their bromance is absolute friendship goals.

Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera write very different types of stories, and they were able to reflect that perfectly in this book. It's got parts that make your heart melt and others that lightly crush it. It is good and pure and I just know people are going to have mixed feelings about the ending, but it left my heart feeling like it was sitting on a cloud of happiness. What If It's Us had me grinning like a fool practically from start to finish, and I couldn't have loved it more.

Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with this ebook in exchange for an honest review.


YA Contemporary Romance


Arthur is gay, Jewish, and has ADHD; Ben is gay and Puerto Rican

homophobia, panic attack