What if It’s Us?
Becky Abertalli and Adam Silvera. HarperTeen/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-279525-0
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. [em](Oct.) [/em]
Reviewed on: 08/06/2018