What if it's us

Becky Albertalli

Book - 2018

Told in two voices, when Arthur, a summer intern from Georgia, and Ben, a native New Yorker, meet it seems like fate, but after three attempts at dating fail they wonder if the universe is pushing them together or apart.

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New York, NY : Balzer + Bray ; HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2018]
Main Author
Becky Albertalli (author)
Other Authors
Adam Silvera, 1990- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
437 pages ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Arthur's interning in New York for the summer, but even the proximity to Broadway can't stop him from missing his life in Georgia. Ben's an Alphabet City native, reeling from a breakup that fractured his friend group. When they meet by chance, Arthur is sure the universe has spoken, but Ben isn't convinced. After several false starts, miscommunications, and second guesses, they have to wonder how much of a say does the universe really get? Albertalli (Leah on the Offbeat?, 2018) and Silvera (They Both Die at the End?, 2017) each provide a first-person narrative for one of the boys, rounding out the will-they-won't-they love story with a vibrant supporting cast. In the coauthors' capable hands, Arthur and Ben are distinct, empathetic heroes; Broadway-loving Arthur, who has Ivy League aspirations, adapts to the ways his recent coming out changed his friendships, while Ben struggles in school but dreams of writing, and sometimes isn't sure how to connect with his Puerto Rican heritage when he passes as white. A comforting exploration of self-discovery and self-creation. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Albertalli and Silvera are both superstars in their own right put them together, and there's no way this stays on shelves.--Maggie Reagan Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Authors Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) and Silvera (They Both Die at the End) team up for a charming, sweet-natured love story between two very different boys. Arthur (written by Albertalli) is in New York for the summer while his lawyer mother works a big case. His family's affluent and Jewish, and he's a Broadway geek and a virgin with good grades. Native New Yorker Ben (Silvera) is Puerto Rican. His family's on a tight budget, he's just out of a relationship, and he's stuck in summer school. Arthur believes in love at first sight; Ben's not even sure he believes in love. After they bump into each other at a post office, then are separated by a flash mob, Arthur searches the New York haystack to find one adorable high school junior. But the course of meet-cute never did run smooth: complications include friends, Ben's ex, cultural differences, and the difficult and confusing nature of love. The authors-one known for happy endings, the other for breaking hearts-split the difference believably, and it's impossible not to root for Arthur and Ben and their many do-overs. Ages 14-up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-This team effort is a meet cute between two high school boys in New York City. Broadway-obsessed Southerner Arthur (in the city for a summer internship) wants his magical New York moment. So he follows a cute boy into a post office in the hopes of making it happen. But fate-in the form of a flash mob proposal-separates them before Arthur gets the chance to learn Ben's name. Each boy tries to find the other using small clues from their first meeting until, eventually, they're reconnected. When their first date-Arthur's first date ever, Ben's first since breaking up with his ex-doesn't quite go as planned, they have a do-over date. And another. And another. But, as Arthur's return to Georgia at summer's end draws closer, is their flash relationship fate? Alternating between Ben and Arthur, the first-person chapters give readers both sides of the story. The supporting cast has diverse and endearing characters-including one friend who identifies as a biromantic ace. Ben is Puerto Rican, while Arthur is Jewish and has ADHD. The quippy dialogue is chock full of pop culture and musical theater references (especially to "Harry Potter" and Hamilton). Albertalli and Silvera balance cynicism and starry-eyed optimism to paint an honest, compelling picture of adolescent romance. VERDICT A must-purchase. Part feel-good, part star-crossed, this seamless blend of the authors' styles will appeal to fans old and new alike.-Alec Chunn, Eugene -Public Library, OR © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Ben and Arthur meet-cute in a Manhattan post office, leave without exchanging contact information, and spend the first act trying to track each other down, with a little help from the universe. When they finally locate each other, a series of creative attempts at first dates and do-over dates ensues before the relationship turns more serious. Underlying issues propel their conflicts: class differences, Arthurs impending return to Georgia, misunderstandings about Bens ex-boyfriend. Homophobia plays a brief role; newly out Arthurs insecurities play a more extended one. But mostly, the novel is a happy and often laugh-out-loud-funny rom-com, full of theater and other pop-culture references (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, lots and lots of Harry Potter) and silly banter between Ben and Arthur and within their friend groups. (Particularly Bens, whose straight best friend is refreshingly comfortable being close with him.) The alternating-POV chapters make each protagonists concerns believable and sympathetic as we see the story unfold through their individual perspectives, even as much of the plot hinges on unbelievable luck. shoshana flax (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Fan-favorites Albertalli (Leah on the Offbeat, 2018, etc.) and Silvera (They Both Die at the End, 2017, etc.) join forces in this tale of a New York City summer romance.When Ben and Arthur cross paths at a post office but fail to exchange contact information, they both regret the missed connection. Through mutual efforts and a healthy dose of coincidence, the boys find each other again. A rocky series of do-over first dates proves that they are different in many waysArthur is a white, Jewish, show tune-loving, Southern boy with ADHD who has never been kissed and dreams of attending Yale. Ben, on the other hand, is a Puerto Rican, Catholic, native New Yorker recovering from a recent breakup who is self-conscious about attending summer school and writes a novel in his spare time. However, the boys have one important thing in commonthey're both willing to believe in the universe's bringing them together. Their alternating narration, chock-full of witty banter and pop-culture references, also delves into themes of identity and the complexities of relationships, both romantic and platonic. In particular, Arthur's jealousy over Ben's ex-boyfriend raises discussions of whether past relationships should be regretted or embraced. Central to the narrative are Arthur's and Ben's friends, who are diverse and richly drawn, and the boys' parents, who encourage their relationship.This joyful romance is both sweet and substantial. (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.