Sunday, 28 October 2018

REVIEW: What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Pages: 433
Format: ARC Paperback
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Release Date: October 18th 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy The Book: A Great Read - Book Depository

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?

Arthur is in New York for the summer with his parents and ends up working as an intern with his mother’s law company. Whilst on a coffee run, he ends up meeting Ben, a boy who has recently split with his boyfriend and is trying to send a box of his belongings back to him. Though they initially leave without trading numbers, the pair manage to reunite and find themselves on a series of dates.

The plot is genius. Especially during the first part of the book whilst the boys are searching for each other. Trying to find someone you had a chance encounter with is so much easier thanks to social media and the internet. That thought might be low-key creepy, but it makes for a hilarious plot point within this book, and an epic start to a summer romance. 

These characters are just too wonderful, honestly. Ben and Arthur don’t have a lot in common at first, but they end up sharing interests with each other along the way, which is something I adored about their relationship. What was especially great about them is that they each had their own flaws that they needed to work on throughout the story. Doubts they had about themselves and each other were acknowledged and fixed. 

The friendship groups here are iconic. Ben’s best friend, Dylan, is an absolute gem. Their friendship is literally perfect and I could easily read a whole spinoff just based around them visiting various coffee shops. Whilst we don’t get much time with Arthur’s friends due to him being away from them, I appreciated their group chat messages and FaceTime calls. Whilst there are difficulties between the friends in this story, you can see how much they truly care for each other. I’m all about strong and supportive friendships in YA. 

  • The narration from both POVs is wonderful. Usually when it comes to split POV stories, I tend to have a favourite, but that wasn’t the case with this one.
  • Rocky relationships. This book is a perfect example of how things don’t always work out how you wanted them to, but it doesn’t matter. Things can still work out for the best in the end.
  • Arthur’s love for Hamilton. A big Mood.
  • Ben’s work-in-progress story that he’s writing. HE’S SO ADORABLE, I CAN’T COPE.
  • Ansel Elgort. I cried laughing. That is all. 
 
This book is exactly the type of book I needed right now. Even though there was drama and disaster along the way, this ticks all the boxes for a cute read, Considering the slump I’ve been in when it comes to books lately, I needed something more fun, and this was perfect for the job. I’d definitely recommend picking this one up if you need something to put a smile on your face. Ben and Arthur are characters who will stay with me for a long time.
 

Royal Rating:

Monday, 1 October 2018

Harry Potter Reread #2: Philosopher's Stone


 
I’M DONE WITH THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE!!!

It took me a while to get there because I kept putting the book down for other books, but that’s the beauty of rereads, you can pick it up whenever. There’s no pressure. It’s been over eleven years since I last read the first book in the series, so it’s safe to say my reread was well overdue.

This time around, I really appreciated how closely the film followed the first book. Even though I hadn’t read it in so long, I knew most of the story word for word because of the movie, which goes to show how much content was taken directly from the book.

During this reread, I found the Dursleys a lot more difficult to put up with. When I was younger, they were just nasty characters who were annoying to read about, but now that I’m older, I can see how truly awful they were. The mistreatment of Harry in general was a more bitter pill to swallow, especially when it came to Snape. There are no excuses for bullying an eleven-year-old child.  


What I’d forgotten is how much of a savage Book Harry is. THIS BOY, HONESTLY. He definitely had more attitude to him than his on-screen counterpart, serving some brilliant one-liners that I wish had made it to the film. Something else I was able to appreciate more this time around was the friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione. Their friendship is still one of my favourite things about this series and I enjoyed getting to relive their first meeting again.

One thing that was different for me with this reread was that I realised I preferred the movie ending to the actual book ending. I’d completely forgotten that our golden trio make it back to Kings Cross in Philosopher’s Stone. The ending of the film taking place as they’re leaving Hogwarts just seems more fitting than Harry having to re-join the Dursleys before we leave him. 


This time around, I also able to truly appreciate the cleverness in the writing and foreshadowing. The fact the Rowling had already planned out the way this story was going is so incredible, and you can see it clearly in the conversation Dumbledore has with Harry in the hospital wing.

It was so much fun getting to delve back into this world from the very beginning again and I’m hyped to move on to Chamber of Secrets!

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