Blanche’s Book Club: ‘What If It’s Us?’

My allergies have been awful lately, and are only contributing to a little bit of fatigue and lack of motivation. Just when I need to get to a dance class or a yoga session the most… is when I’m hunkered down beside the box of Kleenex. That’s Austin for ya!

I think I had a bit of a book hangover after reading “What Remains” last week — I mean what can follow that? But, there’s nothing like a stack of nearly-due library books to get my butt in gear!

Last night, I finished reading “What If It’s Us?” by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. Before I jump into my thoughts on it, here’s the description from Amazon:

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?

I’ve had this book on my list ever since I read Albertalli’s “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” and I probably had some pretty high hopes for this one, although I didn’t really read anything about it before opening it.

In general, this is a really solid YA novel. There’s a few things I really liked about it: 1. It talks a lot about New York City. The Big Apple is basically another character in the book and I really enjoyed that aspect.

I don’t know if it’s because now that I’ve been there I can better picture the places they were going, but I felt like I was right along with them.

Sometimes I feel like New Yorkers do New York wrong. Where are the people swinging from subway poles and dancing on fire escapes and kissing in Times Square? The post office flash mob was a start, but when’s the next big number?

I also enjoyed all of the Broadway references, and overall, this book has a really hopeful feel to it that I appreciated.

On the flip side, I hate admitting this, but I had a difficult time remembering which character was Ben and which was Arthur. I am honestly never good with characters — sometimes even TV shows with more than four characters are just too much — but this one really had me.

Part of it was that the book flipped perspectives from chapter to chapter, so you don’t spend much time with each character. Plus, they had similar characteristics, and when they are BOTH looking for each other, I was really confused.

Other than that though, I think it captures the teenage spirit, and part of me felt like I’m so far gone from this mentality… but maybe I’m not!

I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re into YA novels… and if you really like Broadway plays.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Ohio” by Stephen Markley. Check out my Instagram stories @Orangejulius7 to get real-time updates on my reading!

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