Becky Albertalli, who has been known for making us swoon in between bouts of teenage angst, and Adam Silvera, who continuously breaks our hearts, have teamed up for their first co-authored novel — and the result is a book that makes us swoon in between bouts of teenage angst, while continuously breaking our hearts.
That is to say, both authors shine in their joint effort, What If It’s Us.
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?
I adored both of these characters (especially Arthur and his bubbly, effervescent personality) — and seeing them come into each other’s lives was such a magical unfolding. There are so many adorable moments in What If It’s Us, thoughtfully balanced with more serious topics.
At times, I suffered from Adult-Reading-About-Teens-Being-Teens syndrome — which is nothing against the book — just my adult brain going, OMG you idiots! at the very realistic ways these two teens screw things up along the way to swoony-town. But that also just speaks to how well Albertalli and Silvera have nailed their teenage protagonists. Their reactions and emotions are wholly believable.
It’s easy to see what fans of these authors will adore this book; everything we’ve come to love about their solo books shines through here — but seeing their skills work together is what really makes What If It’s Us a delight to read. Look for it in stores October 9th.
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