Book Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

What this book is about: 

Sixteen year olds Arthur and Ben have a chance meeting at a post office in New York one day in this queer teen romance. Ben disappears when a flash mob shows up, and Arthur finally takes matters into his own hands to hunt down Box Boy. Of course, Arthur is only in New York for the summer, interning at his mom’s law office, so the clock is ticking for them to find each other and discover if somehow the Universe had plans for them.

What I liked: 

I liked the side characters a lot. Most of them seemed to have more personality than Ben and Arthur combined and they are the ones who kept me in the book to the end.

I did enjoy the drama of the boys FINDING each other. It was amusing to see both sides of the not finding each other coin, and how their families and friends tried to help. I also felt that the DRAMA level was spot on for teens.

What I didn’t like: 

Hormonal, edgy teens don’t really do it for me, so I struggled to identify with the MCs at all. I remember being 16, but that was half a lifetime ago and I certainly wasn’t as hip, cool, and financed as these two kids.

As far as the drama being there, it was a bit much for me, but I couldn’t expect anything less from a teen book.

Overall thoughts and opinions: 

When we go to the library, my five year old has a habit of pulling chapter books off the shelf. Since SHE isn’t going to read them, I feel a COMPULSION to read them myself. Despite its size and word count, it read very quickly.

As a Christian (which I suspect is obvious if you’ve been around her much, if not, hi, welcome!), I kind of expected to be more weirded out by the book simply because of my growing up background, but the fact that the boys are gay didn’t bother me at all. In my mind, they were just two average, hormonal, confused, and dramatic teenagers. I did have to do a bit of pondering on my growth/change as a human, but I wasn’t bothered by anything I read.

That said, if you’re not really into angsty teen kind of books, this isn’t the one for you. Secondary characters feel far more interesting than the primary ones (which is unfortunate) and a lot of time is spent inside their own heads trying to figure out relationship. It was an okay read. I give it three stars.

3 star rating

Learn more about the book and the authors, Becky and Adam.

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