ARC Review: What If It’s Us

IMG_6597.jpg

Synopsis:

Critically acclaimed and bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera combine their talents in this smart, funny, heartfelt collaboration about two very different boys who can’t decide if the universe is pushing them together—or pulling them apart.

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 nail a first date even after three do-overs?

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?

What if it’s us?

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from Books for Trade. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on October 9, 2018.*

I love Becky Albertalli’s books and I love Adam Silvera’s books so when I heard they were writing a book together I knew I had to have it. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to find a kind soul on Twitter who was willing to trade their ARC with me for my ARC of Save the Date, which is also an incredible read. Thus, I finally got What If It’s Us in my hands and I’m so glad I got to read it early because it was just as good as I thought it would be.

The story is told in the alternating POVs of Arthur, a Jewish boy from Georgia who’s spending his summer in New York City as an intern at his mom’s law firm, and Ben, a Puerto Rican New York City native who’s stuck in summer school with his ex, Hudson. Arthur and Ben coincidentally cross paths when Ben attempts to mail a box of Hudson’s stuff at the post office. Unfortunately, their love story isn’t an easy one and begins with Ben leaving the post office before Arthur could get his phone number.

Even though I wouldn’t call this a high stakes novel since it’s a contemporary romance, I will say I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how in the world these two guys would ever cross paths again in this huge city. Once they did, I then wondered how they’d ever make their relationship work. Over the course of the novel, there were a lot of questions about fate and whether or not the universe was trying to bring Ben and Arthur together or pull them apart, which I loved.

I also thoroughly enjoyed all the Hamilton and other musical references and I think any musical geek will love this book for that alone. Besides the great references though, this book was also really funny with a great cast of characters. I really loved both Ben and Arthur’s support systems, but Ben’s best friend, Dylan, was hands down my favorite. I also loved that this book took a hard look at Ben and Arthur’s differences. I loved the discussions of race/culture and what it means to be “smart.” I also really liked that the book combated this idea that homophobia doesn’t exist in places like New York City, because it does.

Overall, I will say this book really felt like a perfect combination of Albertalli and Silvera’s talents. While it gave me all the feels, it also made me think, and definitely tugged at my heart strings a few times. In sum, definitely preorder this book if you haven’t already. It’s a must read.

Borrow or Buy: Buy it!

Stars:

5 stars

Other Reviews
Book’s Buzz
Book Dragon Lair
Chasing Faerytales

From Page to Screen: Love, Simon

love-simon-cast.gif

I loved Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli for a number of reasons, but what it really boils down to is I loved it because it made me laugh and cry and was so heartfelt and moving. I could read that book again and again and never get sick of it. So when I heard the book was being turned into a movie I was naturally nervous and hesitant, because let’s face it, book to movie adaptations almost never do the book justice.

But everyone told me they loved it and it was amazing and all these incredible things so I was more than excited to see the movie. I’ll be honest, when I first walked out of the theater I was disappointed. They took out so many of my favorite things, they changed things, my favorite line from the book wasn’t in it, blah blah blah. But then I thought about it; a lot. And I realized two things:

First, yes changes were made but that was to be expected and some of the things that were put in the movie were so good the changes were worth it. For example, Simon’s mom, played by Jennifer Garner, gave Simon this incredible speech after he came out about how he was still him and just reading the quote on Tumblr made me tear up again because it was that moving. And the fact that just reading it made me so emotional all over again shows how powerful that one scene was and that was just one scene. There were so many scenes in this movie that were powerful, necessary, and so incredibly important and I loved that they were in the movie.

The second and most important thing I realized was this movie isn’t for me. Sure, it’s an adaptation of one of my favorite books of all time but I have never and never will need to come out (something that is also pointed out in the movie). I don’t know what that feels like and I can never understand that feeling. This movie is for the LGBTQ community. It’s for people who have never felt they could be or should be their true authentic selves. It’s for all the people that came out after seeing this movie or who saw it with their loved ones who were still struggling to accept them for who they are.

And so when I see all the incredible and moving stories that have come from this movie and when I see how many people in the cast and in their families came out because of this movie I literally can’t say this wasn’t a good adaptation because this movie did exactly what the book did. It helped people and I think that is worth more than having everything from the book being translated to screen word for word.

So, if you haven’t seen Love, Simon yet I highly recommend. I plan on seeing it again and this time I’ll be bringing tissues. I know I’ll need them.

tumblr_p05j1cKr3V1v0clmvo8_1280.gif

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

simon vs. the homosapiens agenda.JPG

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story—wrapped in a geek romance—is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

It’s been way too long since I read a LGBTQ centered novel so I was happy to pick up this one. Simon has been sitting on my shelves for about a year now and for some reason I just never got around to reading it. However, after hearing there’s going to be a movie and needing a quick read after the behemoth that was a A Court of Wings and Ruin, I decided to give it a chance and I’m so glad I did.

The novel is told in the first person POV of Simon Spier who’s gay but not out yet. Though he’s not really afraid to come out and knows he’s lucky enough to have family and friends that will except him, he’s just not ready yet, which is perfectly fine. However, his life gets complicated when his fellow classmate Martin discovers Simon’s secret emails to “Blue,” another gay student who Simon met through the school’s unofficial Tumblr.

Martin uses the emails to blackmail Simon, leading to a lot of problems for Simon who is basically put in the position of either agreeing to help Martin or being outed. Yeah, I’m not Martin’s biggest fan either. Though this is obviously a terrible situation for Simon to be in Becky Albertalli somehow managed to make this novel both funny, romantic, and very heartfelt.

Simon’s sense of humor had be literally laughing out loud and I loved reading his emails with Blue. They’re so incredibly cute together and I loved the mystery of trying to figure out who Blue was. For me, Blue’s identity was surprising enough that I loved the big reveal but wasn’t so surprising that it felt like it came of nowhere. Basically, it was perfectly done.

Besides, Simon and Blue’s epic romance, I also really loved almost every character and for different reasons. Simon’s group of friends includes his best friends Nick and Leah, and relatively new girl Abby, who causes some friction in the friend group, mainly because Leah’s jealous of her. Though Leah annoyed me at points I also found her to be relatable and grew to love her. I really liked Nick and Abby from beginning to end though, especially Abby. She was my favorite.

I also loved Simon’s family. He has an older sister Alice and a younger sister Nora, and I liked that they were so incredibly close but also all had their own secrets. Additionally, I thought Simon’s parents were so funny and I liked that they felt like real parents, meaning they were dorky and embarrassing but also loving and not adverse to handing out the occasionally grounding.

Lastly, I really liked Simon’s teacher Ms. Albright for a long list of reasons but mainly because she’s that kind of teacher that you’d totally be friends with on Facebook after you graduate. She’s chill but also a force to be reckoned with if you cross her.

Overall, I just really loved this novel. My copy is now filled with so many tabs it’s a little absurd. I’ve already reread my favorite scenes at least three times and I could reread this book from beginning to end right now, I love it that much. If you haven’t read this book yet I highly recommend it. Honestly, I’m mad it took be this long to finally give it a read.

Borrow or Buy: Are you serious? Buy it. Like yesterday.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”

Other Reviews

Journal of a Bookworm

Book Addicted Reader

I Love Smart Books