What If It’s Us
Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
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?
Published: October 9th 2018
A Homophobic Scene, An Extreme Panic Attack
“I believe in love at first sight. Fate, the universe, all of it. But not how you’re thinking. I don’t mean it in the our souls were split and you’re my other half forever and ever sort of way. I just think you’re meant to meet some people. I think the universe nudges them into your path.”
For someone who has an iffy relationship with Contemporaries, this was perfection. I can’t find one bad thing about this book so…. be prepared for all the gushing forever.
Arthur – Jewish, gay, white, has ADHD. Living in New York for the summer and is a firm believer in the universe.
Ben – white passing Puerto Rican, gay. His ex cheated on him and is cautious about relationships.
A meeting at the post office and a question: did the universe nudge them together? Can this work? What if?
There’s so much to love about this book. The meet cute? The awkwardness? The Hamilton references? The rep? Not only is there and aromantic asexual side character, we have our main characters— Ben, who is a white passing Puerto Rican and discusses how much privilege he gets from his looks. Arthur, who had ADHD and openly discusses the benefits Adderrall has helped him. Both of them talking and having their privilege checked?
“Okay, no. No no no. Craigslist is not a father-son bonding activity.”
But he’s already typing, and I can tell from the set of his jaw: he’s all in.
And the family is such an important part of the story. Both characters had some of the best family relationships. Ben comes from a low income family while Arthur from a more well off family. They find a middle ground and both families are so supportive and there for each of them.
“You’re going to make fun of me.”
“I sang you a song about a rat.”
But the main theme here is fate. Ben and Arthur have been brought together, separated, found their way to each other again and all by fate. And they both own my heart. Arthur and his rambling, awkward, cinnamon roll self? Ben and his pessimistic yet hopeful look at love? Them together falling in love? They had that movie romance quality while still feeling realistic. They argued, they had their misunderstandings, they talked it out, they were just so pure.
But even with all that, they were both trying to find out what they want from life and from themselves. Of what they want from the people around them. In addition to all of that, this book was very sex positive? Ten points to all the Hogwarts houses please.
And the friendships. Dylan by far may be my favorite character ever. A true romantic, has sever anxiety, a loyal friend and he had the best lines. He is a best friend everyone should aspire to have. Yet even the relationships that are going through some rocky times have depth. There’s a big theme of possibilities and taking your shot
no Hamilton pun intended that goes for a lot of the scenarios in this book, but can be directly pointed at the relationship dynamics of both Arthur and Ben’s friend groups.
This is such a sweet, hopeful book. Two boys trying to make things work based off a what if. The ending is so fitting for the narrative; it’s been a long while since a book has made me this genuinely happy— this book holds my entire heart.