Does "What If It's Us?" Live Up To The Hype?

"What If It's Us?" is one of the few new releases that enjoyed a hype before it had been available.  People who had been blessed with ARCs were head over heel in love with it. The blurb hadn't sounded shabby either, thus it ended up on my "New Releases That I Have My Eyes On" list. The hype went on and so I decided to get into the dirty fight and beg on twitter for a spare ARC - which I did not get. Then I went down the more traditional road and pre-ordered a copy. Boring ... but we all start somewhere.

When the 10th of October rolled on and I had my copy in the letter box and I decided to check if it could live it up the hype:

What If It's Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
What is "What If It's Us?" even about, I hear you ask.

Arthur has an internet ship in what he considers the most fantastic city on the planet: New York City. While running errant for the law firm, he sees a cute boy walk into the post office. However, before he can get his name or number the universe interferes and he is gone again. Now Arthur sets out to find "Box Boy" again. He isn't alone, "Box Boy" whose name is Ben, also thinks of Arthur and wonders if they will ever meet again. As fate and a poster in a coffee shop hung up by Arther will have it, they do ...

At this point you have rooted for these two dumbos to finally meet and get to know each other, and then they do and it's almost perfect! However, I am afraid that "What If It's Us?" peeks here - which is a mere 100 pages into the whole book.

Afterwards, you'd expect them to slowly and awkwardly fall in love and start to get involved. While the story does - with a few hick-ups - go along those lines, the chemistry falls flat for me. You are not really given a lot of "aww", "uwu", and cute moments as the plot goes on. Because of this I never started to root for either of them.

On top of this, I found it hard to connect with Arthur - as he sees the world with rose-tinted glasses and unworldly who seems to think that everything has to be perfect, and exactly how it is on screen. Furthermore, Arthur has no chill whatsoever. He is unforgiving when it comes to minor mistakes and does not trust Ben at all. It's not easy to pine for a love story when you find one half annoying and get the feeling that the other half is not really in love.

While Ben is a grounded character who goes through his own issues, I was never really sure if he was in love with Arthur or if it was more of a "ah, well then" attitude. This does make him into a more fleshed out character than Arthur but as a result this couple has no chemistry at all!

However, the story does get a brownie point for featuring diverse characters. New York City is not just a hippy town full of LGBT+ lovers but also has a darker face. Meanwhile, Ben is Puerta Rican and his heritage is discussed. Arthur and his family Jewish but only by christening.

Since the whole plot of "What If It's Us?" is their love story it does fall flat and makes it, in places, even awkward to read. And if I am honest, I don't think "What If It's Us?" was worth the hype.

What If It's Us? by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Published2018by Harper Teen
Pages: 433
Goodreads:Add to shelf
Buy on ...

If you are looking for a LGBT+ love story with an addictive chemistry that isn't awkward then may I suggest "Loving A Warrior" - which is never going to enjoy the same hype but it should.


  1. It's a shame when books don't live up to the hype and I've heard such great things about this one.
    Gemma @

  2. I still want to check this one out, but I’m sorry it didn’t live up to the hype for you.

  3. I hate when books are blown out of proportion.

  4. Another book not living up to the hype. Pity. Great review though.

  5. They must have an excellent publicist ;)

  6. I hope that your next book is far more enjoyable.

    1. Thank you! So far I am enjoying my current read ♥

  7. Great honest review! Too bad it didn't work out for you.

    1. Thank you, and yes, I really wanted to like it but it just wasn't meant to be

  8. Great honest review, I'm really sorry this book really didn't work out for you, I hope your next read is a much better one. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

  9. That's why I don't pick up hyped books a lot. I've read a lot of hyped books, but some of them were authors I was reading before they got SO hyped so that's different then I think. But a book as hyped as this one is, is often a disappointment to me, yikes. Loved reading your honest review! Haven't read anything yet by either one of these author's. Maybe someday... they don't have any priority atm.

    1. I also think that there is a great difference between "my favourite author is writing a new book and I am excited" and the hype of "This is The Best TM love story the world has seen, everyone must buy it" which was what was going on here - even if I am exaggerating but you catch my drift. If it hadn't been for that it would have probably been an average love story ...


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