Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Book Review: What If It's Us

I just need it on the official record that this? This is book 105 for the year. I have OFFICIALLY finished my Goodreads challenge for the year.

Don't be afraid to bring me cake or a gift. I'll accept either. Or both. Surprise me.

What If It's Us - Becky Albertalli

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?

I am almost afraid to admit the next couple of things: I don't like Broadway plays (or any theater really) and I'm usually not a fan of LGBTQ books. 

Please don't hate me. 

I have to be clear it's not that I don't support the LGBTQ community, I absolutely do and I will fight for equal rights until my last day. It's just that in a book... it's not my thing. Just like historical anything puts me to sleep, and Jodi Picoult makes me want to throw a book into the dump personally (and Nicholas Sparks- fight me), and some paranormal stuff is just TOO weird, it's not my thing. 


I actually kind of really liked this book. I really connected with Arthur right away because he's just so awkward and weird, he's literally everything that comes to mind when you think of an obviously gay young man. He's only in the city for the summer and he's not taking to it like he thought he would and he's losing touch with his friends back home. One accepts him for all that he is and the other (a guy) doesn't really and Arthur struggles a little bit with that and doesn't think his preference on who he is attracted to should come in the way of a long established friendship. He's just completely dorky and I liked him.

Ben is exactly the kind of kid I would expect to have lived in the city for awhile. He's a little bit jaded, has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, and he definitely doesn't believe the universe is out to help him. He's fresh out of a relationship that he thought was rock solid but definitely wasn't and so he's trying to figure out what's next. He's also realizing that once his best friend (who is totally OK with him being gay) gets into a relationship, that means he's kind of on his own for awhile... but he doesn't really know how to be alone, alone.

I feel like the first couple of chapters set the book up for a really great story... but fell just a bit short. While the romance itself was kind of cute and it felt like you were with Arthur through the book (it felt more like I was with Arthur than Ben, even though Ben has his own POV chapters... it just never felt like you were connected with Ben) and you just want things to work out. You feel dedicated to finding "box boy" with him and wanting the universe to work for them. I will say... Arthur has some stalker-like tendencies, which is creepy. I don't care who you are, some of his tactics to finding "box boy" are kind of weird. But this book is full of drama coming from parents, friends, miscommunication, the universe, cultural and religious differences, and it's weaved together like a good YA book should be.

Overall, I really liked it. Having never read anything else by Becky Albertalli or Adam Silvera (I know, guys- I know I'm behind in the times. Don't throw things at me.), I wasn't really sure what to expect of this. I know some people say there are mentions of their other books and of course I missed all of those because I was clueless, but if you are a fan of theirs, you have that to enjoy in this book as well. I'm going to give this one a solid 4 starts because I did find myself laughing throughout and for every one thing I didn't like, there were two things I did like to make up for it... which gives the book a good, angsty feel to it.

1 comment:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I think you liked this a bit more than me even, so yay! And I love LGBT+ fiction, but I get it, not every type of book is for everyone...regardless of personal belief, etc. I did find this book enjoyable overall and it made me laugh so yay!