What If It's Usby Published 09 Oct 2018
|What If It's Us.pdf|
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?
"What If It's Us" Reviews
“Maybe this isn’t how life works. Maybe it’s all about people coming into your life for a little while and you take what they give you and use it on your next friendship or relationship. And if you’re lucky, maybe some people pop back in after you thought they were gone for good.”
So. This was the most anticipated book of 20gayteen. And I have to say that I expected a little more from this fabulous collaboration.
In fact, I do have a lot of criticism. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy this book. It was a quick, cute and obviously super gay read. But the fact that Becky and Adam are two of the biggest names in the YA industry made me have the highest expectations. Here are three major points where the authors could have done a better job:
Pop culture references
I won't lie, I always love to see authors make Harry Potter references. And I don't mind when a character is a big fan of a franchise that I have never given much attention before. But when the pop culture references are so numerous that they threaten to overpower your own original content, you should maybe think about restraining yourself a little. When content that you have not even created yourself - in this case it's Hamilton - takes up so much space in a story that people forget about the original material, you should be worried. I've seen both Adam and Becky doing this in their own books as well. And it has become a trend in YA to reference lots of non-fictional fandoms, franchises, etc. What If It's Us took all of that to a whole new level, though, and it didn't do the book any good. Especially because it doesn't exactly promise a bright future for a book when the characters keep talking about things that might be entirely out of fashion in ten years time.
Look. When you think that a relationship is too smooth and you need to fill the pages with more drama because it might get boring otherwise, please find a valid reason for a fight or just leave it out altogether. Don't just fish for something irrelevant to construct a ridiculous fight that could have been avoided altogether. It makes me doubt your creativity as a writer when you make up drama just for the sake of including drama. And, man, these are two talented and experienced authors who have written several good books so how did they manage to write scenes that felt so...amateurish? Arthur and Ben are teenagers, yes, but they're not 13 years old. They are a little more mature than that. Make them act like it, too, please.
When people make fun of Trump and Putin kissing or even having sex with each other, that's not funny. Why is that? Because these kinds of jokes and cartoons seek to diminish their integrity and masculinity. (I'm not saying they have integrity but simply pointing out the effect that this kind of method has.) And what makes them less masculine, less respected, less powerful in such jokes? Not the fact that they are incompetent or close-minded leaders but the fact that they are gay.
So I do not understand why Becky and Adam would buy into this kind of narrative. There were two instances when such jokes were made in this book. They were not as crude or explicit as you might imagine, but they still crossed a line that YA authors should never cross. Especially when they write about gay characters. Especially when they happen to be gay themselves.
Lots of stuff to think about that could have easily been avoided or ironed out during the editing process. It would have been so easy, really. I know this was a heavy dose of negative criticism - but keep in mind that I am this critical because I actually admire Becky and Adam a lot and just expected a little better of them.
But here is the good stuff:
The ending was my favourite thing about this book. I think it was done really well, especially because it's so realistic. When Arthur and Ben decide to end their romantic relationship and try to stay friends, it is not the most romantic outcome, but definitely the healthiest and most logical one. A couple of weeks of romance do not ensure a life-long relationship, especially when that relationship has to be a long-distance one. At 16 or 17 you might be in love with a person, lose your virginity to that person, but it's unlikely that that person will be the last one you will ever love or have sex with.
I do love that the possibility of a shared future remains, though. Ben and Arthur still have feelings for one another, and I am confident that their paths will cross again.
This book has a gay Puerto Rican main character and a gay Jewish main character with ADHD. And it was written by OwnVoices authors - they gay, Puerto Rican author wrote the gay and Puerto Rican character, the Jewish author wrote the Jewish character. It also features a variety of characters with different ethnic and social backgrounds, and topics like anxiety, privilege and homophobia are openly discussed. I'm glad that YA has come this far and is still growing.
While I didn't always connect with Arthur and Ben, who often managed to annoy me, I really liked some of the side-characters. Jessie seems to be a really good friend. Samantha is an adorable character with a big heart. Namrata and Juliet are my personal sarcastic heroes and made me laugh a lot.
In a nutshell: an entertaining novel with ups and downs.
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never in literature history have the gays won so hard until this collab
sounds gay, can't wait
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH <3 I shall be talking about it more in my upcoming Stories I Ate video, but UGH SO CUTE SO HAPPY MAKING SO WONDERFUL!!!
I really loved this book! I have been waiting for this book since the moment it was announced and it truly did not disappoint!
CW: cheating, homophobia, racism, panic attacks
I of course enjoyed the writing style of this novel. Adam and Becky were able to perfectly co-author this contemporary, making Arthur and Ben’s individual personalities present, whether they were writing their respective character’s chapters or writing the other’s in their own scenes. I feel their two styles blended together perfectly, creating a cohesive story full of fluffy romance and detrimental heart break *insert evil laugh here*. It is heartwarming, humorous, awkward, and inspiring. I virtually had to force myself to put it down when necessary and could not wait to pick it up again. If you are a lover of Adam and/or Becky’s work, you won’t want to miss their debut project together.
I really loved the romance between Arthur and Ben. Not only does it feature a gay romance, but Arthur is Jewish and has ADHD while Ben is also Puerto Rican. I truly loved the set up of their story – not only the charm having a “missed connection” to find each other later, but also the hilarity of their terrible, terrible dates! It’s a fantastic twist on a typical meet-cute. In that respect, they have a very unique love story that I feel is absolutely worth reading. I also loved the fact that I was able to get annoyed/angry with both main characters so frequently. I LOVE characters who’s reactions make me mad while also enabling me to see their viewpoint and fully understand their reactions. Arthur and Ben are both complex, layered characters. They are easy to love, yet remain flawed; exactly as I feel realistic characters should be, and their love story is the same.
My one main critique of the story is it felt a bit predictable. There were only two significant events throughout the entire story that I had not anticipated beforehand – One being the ending which on the plus side, was EXTREMELY surprising and closed out the story in the most satisfying way possible. (A lot of y’all probably won’t like it but if you can set aside a personal opinion for the sake of a fantastic literary ending, I think you’d really appreciate the value of it.) I just wish it had pushed the boundaries of what is to be expected of a typical young adult contemporary romance a little more. I can’t say much of my other critique without spoilers, but I would have liked one of the more intense moments of the story to be more impactful. I attended Epic Reads Day with Adam and Becky where on their panel, they discussed a scene they disagreed over regarding a character’s response to a certain plot point and how that dictated the storyline. I have a strong feeling this is the moment I was underwhelmed by and while I completely understand their reasoning for the decision based on that conversation and how it played out in text, I was left wishing for more.
Overall, I really loved my time reading What If It’s Us. If you are someone who is excited for this story, I don’t feel you will be disappointed. I would definitely recommend to all my lovers of diverse contemporary romance!
This book was sent to me unsolicited and for free by Harper Collins. I had no obligation to review this book and all opinions are my own.