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

What If It's Us 
Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Publication date: October 9, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
Source: Harper Teen & Edelweiss
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 is like getting a big squishy hug from your best friend – who just happens to be made of warm melted chocolate, cotton candy, and rainbows. I read most of this little gem with a big smile on my face because Arthur and Ben are Just. That. Precious.

“Sometimes I feel like New Yorkers do New York wrong. Where are the people swinging from subway poles and dancing on fire escapes and kissing in Times Square?” - Arthur

When Ben and Arthur meet at the post office, the clock is already ticking on their relationship. And the cards seemed stacked against them. Arthur’s days in New York are numbered before he returns home to Georgia, native New Yorker Ben is still in the throes of a recent break-up, and then there’s the fact that once separated they have no idea how to find each other again. But never underestimate the power of a hopeless romantic who is certain the universe is on his side (aka Arthur).

“He laces our fingers and shrugs. And I’m dead. I am actually dead. There’s no other way to explain it. I’m sitting in fucking Herald Square, holding hands with the cutest boy I’ve ever met, and I’m dead. I’m the deadest zombie ghost vampire who ever died. And now my mouth isn’t working. It's like I'm stunned into silence. That never happens.” - Arthur

What ensues is an adorably funny and sometimes bittersweet story of a relationship that almost wasn’t. How it can’t be forced, how it isn’t always what you expect it to be, and how it’s still worth taking a chance on. Albertalli and Silvera created two characters that I fell for immediately and only loved more as the story progressed. Arthur’s enthusiasm and utter guilelessness were contagious and Ben’s more reserved, introspective nature made him relatable. Arthur experiences his first crush/first date/first kiss and the reader gets to suffer through all the cringey awkwardness right along with him. Ben’s recent break-up has left his self-confidence shaken and questioning whether he is even worthy of love. He and his former friend-turned-boyfriend aren’t speaking so even his friend group is splintered just when he needs his friends most. Luckily, he still has best friend Dylan and that’s saying a lot. The bond between Ben and Dylan is total #FriendshipGoals and added so many laugh out loud (and heartfelt) moments.

“I think about the way Arthur smiled so hard during dinner when he thought no one was watching him and what I could do to win as many smiles out of him as possible.” - Ben

Speaking of friendship, it’s alive and represented well all throughout the novel. Both boys have strong friendships that have always been rock solid but are now showing the strain of growing up, new relationships, and circumstances.

What If It’s Us is chock full of pop culture references, Broadway talk (Hamilton lovers will rejoice!), first date do-overs, and the kind of witty banter than makes me grin goofily and actually giggle out loud. Sometimes I wanted to shake Arthur (the boy had no chill), sometimes I wanted to shake Ben (inertia, thy name is Ben). And yeah, maybe I was hoping for a little more from the ending (what can I say, I like my fictional endings tied up with a nice little bow). But none of that changes the fact that I adored these two boys and being a witness to their relationship filled me with all the happy.

4.25/5 STARS

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. This does not my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.


  1. This sound fluffier than the books I normally read, but I need it! I love both of the authors. I’m glad you liked it!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I am so excited for this one. I love Becky Albertalli and this sounds adorable. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I'm so glad it was good, it looks like a neat read and I don't think I've seen a bad review yet!

    1. I’ve seen exactly one bad review... and it kind of broke my heart. LOL

  4. I love your simile at the beginning XD This sounds so cute! I love that squishy feeling you get when you find a really cute romance like that.

    1. This one definitely gave all the squishy feels, Kristen. :)

  5. Really great review! This is a book I'm super excited for because Silvera and Albertalli are both such incredible voices in the YA community at the moment. Plus, it's set in New York which is where I live, and I always get a rush of excitement when a book is set somewhere that's familiar to me. :)

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    1. I felt like New York played such a big part of the book (Arthur was *in love* with NY!) and as a New Yorker you’ll probably know all the landmarks which will be fun. I hope you’ll love it, Aimal!

  6. I skimmed because I have this one coming up. With Slivera - I just don't want one of the boys to die at the end and I'm good lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything in saying that they both survive the book. LOL

  7. Yeah, I've heard the ending isn't really a favorite, but I can't wait to read this one! :)


    1. I certainly didn’t dislike the ending (I mean, it wasn’t bad)... I’m just greedy and wanted more. :)