Featured Review: What If It's Us (Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera)
About This Book:
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?
*Review Contributed By Jacklin Updegraft Staff Reviewer*
I’ve read both Becky and Adam books and What If It’s Us is a combination of the very best of both of them. Filled with so much heart WHAT IF IT’S US follows Ben and Arthur through New York as they spend the summer together. Ben a New York native just had his heart broken and will thank the universe to mind it’s own business. Arthur a hopeless romantic, is spending his summer in New York. When he meets Ben he thinks its fate bringing them together and he’s willing to put everything on the line to see Ben again.
I want to give trigger warnings for racism, homophobia, panic attacks, and cheating.
When I went into this book I wasn’t sure if we were going to get an Adam book or a Becky book, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Becky and Adam came together to seamlessly blend both of their voices together. They created these two characters who are adorable, awkward, and so relatable. Ben is heartbroken and all he wants is to get through this summer. He’s more practical and more realistic about love and life. Arthur is the dreamer, the hopeless romantic, the one who believes that fate brought the two of them together. And what I love about this is that they both bring out those tendencies in each other. I loved the romance between Ben and Arthur. These two characters are different but they fit together and they bring out the best in each other. Also, can I just talk about how much I loved Ben’s best friend Dylan. He was funny and I loved the relationship between them. It felt like a friendship, one where you have known someone for a long time. You get them and they get you. Dylan was very much my favorite part about reading Ben’s chapters.
Ben is Puerto Rican and Arthur is Jewish and has ADHD. This book talks a lot about the privilege that both Ben and Arthur face but also the racism and homophobia they face daily. Ben talks a lot about his identity, both inside his home with his family and in the real world. And there are several moments where Ben will challenge the micro-aggressions he faces on a daily basis, as well as the blatant homophobia. It added a whole new aspect to this story and showed how we internalize and continue to perpetuate negative harmful beliefs or ideas. In a book where the focus is mainly on the romance, these moments were really eye-opening. The way each moment was handled was amazing and really well done.
I think my only negative with this book was that the problems Ben and Arthur face in their relationship were blown completely out of proportion. It felt like a non-issue and not something that they really needed to get into a fight over. In the overall book though that was a tiny negative in a sea of positive. This book was beautiful and full of heart. That ending though was not really at all what I expected. And while it was not my favorite I do appreciate how they wrapped up the book but also left it hanging where there could possibly be more. Overall I think Becky and Adam make such a great team. Their writing so beautifully combines to create this lush cast of characters who drop a whole bunch of nerd all over this book. It’s adorable and had me laughing out loud which is rare. If you haven’t picked up this book or you were hesitant I would recommend this one a hundred times over.
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