This seems like such a hyped up book at the moment since it has only just recently released. Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera are both such esteemed YA contemporary authors so obviously many people including myself expected a banger.
Alas, cue the M83 sad soundtrack because this was a disappointment…
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?
This book was seriously bittersweet. I did mildly enjoy reading it and I always want to commend the efforts and hard work that is put into writing any novel especially when it’s an author collaboration. Unfortunately, for me, this book didn’t quite hit the mark and I personally wouldn’t read it again despite how great it was to speed through the story. Since I like to categorise and I didn’t particularly enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, the categories will be in PROS and CONS.
Side-note: @ambsreads recently reviewed this and I basically agree with everything she says. Keep slayin’ girl.
The writing was great. I’m not going to lie, this book started off so smoothly. The writing was just so nice to read, this was a really fast read for me considering how crazy my schedule is right now. I expected myself to start slumping again until I picked up this bad boy. I think Becky and Adam definitely worked well together in terms of the writing’s cohesion and flow of sentences.
The potential this book had is basically a pro in itself. It could’ve been so much better, and it also redeemed itself towards the end, until the plane crashed and burned again. I can’t talk too much about specific things for this point, because of spoilers duh but let me just say that the potential for this book is massive.
Emphasis on friendships and their effect on relationships. I really liked how this book explored how friendships can be just as valuable as relationships and that we shouldn’t just forget our friends if we’re in a relationship. It’s happened to me before and I know how much it sucks when a new relationship and/or a break up can seriously affect a great friendship and potentially ruin it. I personally love reading about great friendships and I think this was a great theme throughout the novel.
Diversity & Fluff.
It’s super GAY, with (albeit sometimes really strange discussions about) other cultures and religions. I’m all for representation and embracing that rainbow like a snuggie. I also admit that this book had its very cute parts. It was very cute and fluffy at times and who doesn’t love that in a contemporary.
Just Dylan. You almost saved this book, Dylan, I know. You tried. Dylan was just so funny and the best comic relief. He had better chemistry with Ben than any other character and their friendship just emphasises my previous point on the importance of good friendships very apparent in this book.
Lack of chemistry.
I think that both protagonists, unfortunately, seemed to lack chemistry. I couldn’t see it very well, other than their cute meet-cute, the only reason they seemed to want to stay together was that they liked each other from the first moment they met. I thought their communication was quite awkward for the majority of the book until maybe towards the end when it improved a little bit. They also didn’t seem like they were ever on the same page; one treated the other kind of like crap and the other was completed besotted and oblivious and was just so annoying. I kind of hated one the protagonists (won’t name who but you can probably guess) and he had so many overreactions and was so dramatic, it reminded me of the stereotypical gay drama queen character and it was just tiring.
There was a plot?? Oh right, the ROMANCE. Anything else? Um…I don’t think so…*buzzer* NEXT.
Don’t you just love it how they conveniently just disappear and let their kids roam New York City at night without at least making sure they’re safe and they’re ok?
Culture references = too much.
I admit that I love Harry Potter references, they’re great. Hamilton, you say? I know like two songs, it’s pretty good I guess but I wouldn’t be the greatest judge. AND YET. This book almost had me hating Hamilton before really knowing it in full because it was referring to it or at least Lin Manuel-Miranda so much. It had way too many cultural references, so to someone who doesn’t know much Broadway like myself, it is super confusing with an extreme lack of context or enthusiasm for the topic being constantly discussed at hand. Not only that but WTF is LYFT? I had to ask Instagram because I’m not American and I didn’t know. I hope that these authors weren’t sponsored to include this brand in this book because it constantly came up. After the 3rd time, it made me stop and ponder for a minute. It’s NEW YORK. GET A TAXI.
^^^^^^^^^WTF WAS THAT. I cannot compute that epilogue. excuse me. get OUT. This was honestly the worst part of this book.
As you can see, I ended up with equal pros and cons somehow…although that the first point for CONs actually counts as like 5 different points for me but because I don’t wanna spoil, you can find those points out for yourself if you ever give this book a read.
Hopefully, those points/list review explained a little bit as to why I’m so disappointed. Both authors are so popular and popularised that it obviously automatically set a – at least – medium kind of standard so you would expect a decent read. I’m truly sad that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I wanted! I wanted it to be so good and to end so well despite its little problems but alas, it was not.
I personally would still recommend anyone to give this a go. I know from personal experience that moods can affect the way people interpret and enjoy certain types of books, so like many people out there, you may actually love this one! I love Simon Vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli but I’ve yet to read any books by Adam Silvera. I hope that when I do, however, that they bring a much better experience than this one.
Have you read What If It’s Us yet? What did you think?
Until next time,
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was definitely honest, and I really wished I could’ve enjoyed it more.
Justine @ Bookish Wisps
I have been seeing a lot about the ending of the book. And WOW THAT REFERENCES throughout the book huh? I am overwhelmed by these.
I love how you divided it this way I got a more balanced perspective.
Oh yeah, I’ve seen the outrage as well. It just…makes the whole book pointless for me in a way. And I was so sick of those references. Thank you! It was tricky at first, but I’m getting the hang of this review categorising thing 😁❤️❤️