What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

I expected a lot from What If It’s Us and I got most of what I thought I would. The book was an amazingly upbeat, quick, summer read. One that made me feel good about the future and hopeful for Ben and Arthur’s impending romance.

However, the book did leave me wanting something more. In a way, it sometimes felt like the book had no climax or no general direction, it was simply a slow build to their separation which didn’t really hit me in the feels as much as I hoped it would. Some of the ‘conflict’ in the book felt a bit juvenile, considering their age (16/17). I understand this is their first relationship and Arthur is extremely nervous and insecure about dating, but often he came off extremely childish, moody, and oddly dramatic.

I have seen people complaining about the large number of references throughout the book, and I am inclined to agree with them. There are a LOT of social pop referenced that young teens will eat up. On one hand, this is completely fine and I loved a lot of them, but there did come a time in the book where I felt overwhelmed with the number of references almost like the author’s were fishing for reader’s to go ‘oh I know that~’ or ‘that’s so me’.

The writing was exceptional, as is the case with both of these authors. Exceptional wording, with the majority of their narration being inflective thought-processes of the two main characters with limited details or descriptions about their surrounds. I enjoyed this style of writing for this story and it worked well when exploring both of their separate mentalities as their relationship progressed.

Although I did find issues with the way the characters reacted to certain scenarios and the overwhelming amount of references, I still managed to read the entire book in one day and found myself smiling like a maniac at times. I recommend this book – flaws and all – as a great read about two teen boys exploring relationships. Although the ending left me wanting more and feeling a little underwhelmed, it was still a crazy ride which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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