What If It’s Us

What If It’s Us (2020) by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera is a super-cute queer YA romance set in one perfect NYC summer.

Arthur is in New York City with his parents for the summer between his junior and senior year, working as an intern at his mom’s law firm. He left his two best friends home in Georgia, but he’s excited to be there and wants to have the NYC moments he’s seen in his favorite musicals.

Ben lives in Alphabet City with his parents, spends a lot of time with his best friend Dylan, when he’s not writing his fantasy novel or stuck in summer school with his ex-boyfriend.

They meet-cute at the post office and are tragically separated by a flash mob after a short conversation. Told in alternating-perspective chapters, they are able to find each other through the help of social media/ cyber-stalking, and old-fashioned close observation and bulletin boards.

I’m a fan of Albertalli (Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda,(#84 of 2018), Leah on the Offbeat), and I loved how she and Silvera captured the breathless, anxiety-ridden nature of teenage crushes and new relationships. I loved the presence of both sets of parents and each boy’s relationships with them. I loved the acknowledgement of Ben feeling that his Puerto-Rican-ness is often erased because he is white-passing, and acknowledgement of Arthur’s ADHD, and the open discussions between them about the class differences and expectations that others have.

The ending is realistic and healthy and I am so looking forward to the sequel, Here’s To Us (2021), set two years later. And there is not a hint of anti-fat bias, although there were also no explicitly fat characters. I’d consider it weight-neutral.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: