I think What If It’s Us has been the most anticipated book of the year for so many people. It feels so strange that we’ve been waiting for this for so long and all of a sudden it’s out and released and we’re all able to read it. I picked up a copy of it when myself and Sophie were in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago so i could get a head start (and also i much prefer the U.S. cover to the U.K.).
I was trying not to get my hopes too high for this book. I absolutely adore both Becky and Adam as authors, and their characters are some of the best i’ve read in YA, so admittedly i have been excited. I didn’t know how they would bring their talents together though, especially as Adam’s books tend to have some kind of different element to them. It turns out they were excellent and i want them to continue writing cute romances for ever and ever together.
First of all, the writing of this book was lovely. It flowed so well between the two characters and really worked with each others writing. I really loved the difference in the voices but the writing was similar enough for you to recognise you were reading the same book (one of the things i don’t like in co-writing is when the authors voices are so incredibly different). The voices of Ben and Arthur were completely unique. I just really loved how quickly this book seemed to go by and how lovely it was to read.
Speaking of the characters, i feel like i formed a love of every single one of them. One thing i particularly liked about What If It’s Us is the fact that there were family, and friends of the two boys involved in the book. It’s usually one or the other i’ve found in YA recently, so having the family element of two really nice and supportive families, along with really good friendship groups, made me very happy. Dylan, Ben’s best friend was a really great character in this book. He was funny enough that it lifted the book but still went through some issues that were good topics to discuss. It truly is the happy LGBTQ+ story that i think YA needs at the moment.
I think overall, i connected to Ben a lot more than Arthur. I found Arthur slightly overpowering, even though i enjoyed his character. Ben was a lot more chilled out. However, i did appreciate Arthur’s love for musical theatre and Hamilton – admittedly this was probably because i love Hamilton just as much as Arthur does. It felt like a really good popular reference to add to the book and there aren’t enough books that talk about musical theatre in this way i don’t think.
The story-line itself was really enjoyable – although i found it a little unrealistic (it probably isn’t that unrealistic) i thought it was really cute and the perfect read that gets you in a happy mood. My one issue with the book as a whole was the seriousness of Arthur and Ben’s relationship from the start. They are teenagers, met as strangers in the street and then form a very very close relationship straight away. I think a lot of this was fixed for me in the epilogue, thankfully.
If you want a light and fun read, What If It’s Us is definitely that. It’s a wonderful celebration of LGBTQ+ people and fandom. I absolutely adored it, and i can only hope that Becky and Adam will write together again some time.