Review of What if it’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

4 of 5 stars

I received an eARC of this book from Edelweiss. This is my honest review.

CW: cringy anxiety moments,

Because so many people are anticipating this book and everyone will have a different reading experience with it, I’m going to start with a little of my reading backstory before I jump into the review. I have read all three Becky Albertalli books. I love Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and feel mostly okay about The Upside of Unrequited and Leah on the Offbeat. I have very intentionally avoided reading any of Adam Silvera’s books because I know his reputation in the book community as an intense and emotional author and I’m just not here for that right now. After my okay-but-not-amazing feelings about Leah and my general trepidation about Adam Silvera, I was a little worried about this book.

I ended feeling pretty good about this book even though I will probably never re-read it. The story felt incredibly realistic, which was what I both liked and disliked about it. My biggest problem was the abundance of cringe-worthy moments. There are quite a few instances of miscommunication, accidental microaggressions and little screwups and I hated every minute of it. Each instance caused me peripheral embarrassment and added to my anxiety, which was no fun. However, it was also a wonderfully written example of perception. Because we got to be in each character’s head, we knew what they meant and were failing to communicate, but in real life we never have that luxury. The world I experience is entirely unique to me because of my history/mind/everything that makes me me. It was a testament to how important communication is in any relationship and how much work it takes.

I feel like when What if it’s Us was announced the question on everyone’s mind was “Who won, Becky (who is prone to happy endings) or Adam (who… isn’t).” Without any spoilers, I think they both won. The ending was a really good balance of how I perceive these two authors and I was happy with it. I enjoyed the writing, craft elements, and themes of the story enough to make up for much of my discomfort (though not nearly enough to make it a 5-star read).

I would recommend this books to readers who enjoy contemporaries that deal with real issues but are looking for a lighter story or for readers who enjoy contemporary love stories that aren’t picture perfect.

Author: SeeOwlRead

They/She. I’m a queer reviewer and librarian.

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