(Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera, 2018)
Expected Publication Date: October 16, 2018
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 quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?
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 I Liked
- I really liked that I am unfamiliar with either author (I know who they are and what they wrote, but have not read anything by either one of them). It was kind of nice to remove that guessing game of “who is writing who” and just enjoy the story for what it was.
- I really loved Dylan’s character. I think he was perfectly hilarious, and I loved his relationship with Ben. That he was the funny man, and Ben was like the cranky old man. They are so supportive of each other, and love each other so much that you really feel that radiating outside the book.
- I really liked Ben’s character too. I felt that he really was well written, and complex. He had a lot of triggers, but what teenager doesn’t? I felt like he handled his situations a little more realistically, and honestly was just so sweet that I couldn’t get enough.
- The first third of the book was so intense after their initial meeting, that I had to know if they would meet again or not! It was another perfect tie-in to the title (What If) and had me guessing all the way to the conclusion.
- Harry Potter
- There are so many pop culture references in this book that it is in danger of dating itself further down the line, but right now, it was just a little sprinkle of joy each time they were mentioned. They talked a lot about Instagram, Craigslist and SIMs, but also Harry Potter! And we all know how I feel about Harry Potter (if you don’t….I honestly don’t know how to help you). I personally love the pop culture references in books, but I totally understand the risk authors take when including them in their stories.
- Title Tie-in at the End
- SPOILERS: I kind of liked that the story had a “What If” ending, which obviously goes perfectly with the title of the book (and subsections). Typically I don’t like when things are unresolved, but in this case, I thought it was fitting and borderline satisfying.
What I Disliked
- Arthur really got on my nerves a lot in this book. I thought that he was a bit too much at certain points, and that he was a bit irrational even, in others. I also saw a lot of myself in Arthur, a lot of what I don’t like about myself, so I think that aided in my dislike for his parts of the story.
- I complain about this a lot I think, but when a book features a text conversation between characters, especially if it is more than a quarter of the page in length, it would be so much easier to make the them look like text messages! Change the colors, go from bold to italic, something to show a difference between characters. It gets SO difficult figuring out who said what that I spend more time on figuring that out, than actually paying attention to the conversation. It is just a slight pet peeve of mine.
I featured this book in a First Impression Friday, where I predicted either 4 or 5 out of 5 stars rating. I ended up giving this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars, which is basically (in my book) right on the money. I really liked this book and was super excited that I was able to get my hands on it at Book Expo! It was one of the few books I KNEW were being “dropped” but I was already on line for something else. Luckily, my coworker was wandering and was able to swipe one for me! This is my 2nd ARC review (1st physical one) and it is so thrilling! I have decided to stick to physical ARCs for the time being; I just cannot get comfortable with my Kindle.
The story was so cute, and the tension at the beginning of the book was enough to encourage me to pick it up at any moment I could. While one character annoyed me, the other intrigued me enough to continue with their story, and see it out to the end. I am very much looking forward to picking up books by both authors later down the line. Their writing style flowed very well together, to the point where I wasn’t guessing who wrote what, I just enjoyed the story.
YIKES! Guys, I haven’t done a book feature since MAY! How bizarre. Hopefully I will be better about reviewing my books now that I have a few back under my belt. We shall see!
What do you think of this book? Is it on your TBR? Have you read either of these authors before? Let’s chat!
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi