Blog Tour: What If It’s Us (Review + Playlists)

Before Reading:

Ajdjfjfjsfksijak what is air My favorite authors of all time are basically having a book baby! It’s the collaboration of the century! Who wouldn’t want to throw confettis and just dance to the beat of “CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!”? But of course there’s still a certain fear because you never know. Thoughts in my head ran wild, while I kept on asking on what scale this book falls in: will it make me all fuzzy and warm inside or will it downright have me bawling on the floor in a puddle of my own tears?

Still, What If It’s Us easily became one of the books that I have been dying to get my hands on for 2018. So when I got accepted to join the loveliest tour ever (thank you JM at Book Freak Revelations! I love you to the moon and back!), I just set my mood and I went on my journey to New York City.

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What If It's UsTitle: What If It’s Us

Author: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBT

Date Published: 9th of October 2018

ISBN: 0062795252

Series: None

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary:

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?

After Reading:

Ajdjfjfjsfksijak what is air HOW AM I STILL BREATHING??? THAT WAS SO GOOD MY HEART WAS LITERALLY BEATING FAST AND I’M JUST SO OVERWHELMED WITH FEELINGS FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK HOW DO I EVEN CLIMB DOWN FROM THIS BECAUSE THAT WAS SO FRIGGIN GOOD. I JUST LOVE ARTHUR AND BEN AND BASICALLY EVERYONE AND BROADWAY WHY AM I CRYING EVEN IF IT’S FLUFFY WHAT ARE EMOTIO- //is shot with a tranquilizer dart

*resuscitated*

Yeah sorry about that. Brb just going to play Dear Evan Hansen on loop if you will just excuse me. *rocks back and forth singing What It It’s Us*

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As a part of the tour, I received an advance e-copy of this book. Huge thanks to HarperCollins International for sponsoring the tour. This does not affect my review and all of the opinions and thoughts reflected here are my own.

Now that I have regained my full composure, let me begin by saying that What If It’s Us is easily one of the best books that I have read for 2018. I should know, I only have two and this was one. Jokes aside, I believe that this book deserves all of the praise that it will receive. It’s not your regular love story – it’s THAT love story in New York that is just too die for.

Having read this book in one day felt like going to an amusement park. I know what to expect because I have the itinerary, but I didn’t expect all of the fun. Becky and Adam are both favorites of mine, but I still lowered my expectations. I know that not every book is going to be perfect. That being said, it is in the simplest way possible. We get an instalove story set in New York. There’s the cutest meet cute, the messiest but downright lovable relationship, and an ending that can satisfy angst in one’s heart. With boys who believe in faith and destiny, missed connections, and in one another… Add a magnetic writing that will not let you put the book down, you get this lovely gem.

I love that there’s a stark contrast between Arthur and Ben; Arthur being such a lovable dork and you can feel his giddiness and eagerness with every flip of the page. There’s this optimism and tone in his voice that makes you want to be his friend. Ben on the other hand is a conflicted lead that you can’t help but root for because of his tendencies and confusion. There’s a feel to his struggle, but at the same time you feel him trying to be better. As their love story slowly (or rapidly) invests you to continue on with the book, their development in their relationship will leave you rooting for them till the end. Sure, it can be a bit dramatic sometimes, but what’s a Broadway play without a little tug on the heartstrings? That’s Arthur and Ben for you; flawed, imperfect, and different in style, but you can’t help but love them both.

To note, What If It’s Us also features a lovely cast that prompts wonderful family and friendship dynamics. Arthur and Ben both have such loving parents who are kind, caring, and supportive in their own ways, and there’s so much love felt. There’s also Arthur and Ben’s friends, who are many to mention but all equally wonderful and lovable. Although, one did shine brighter than the others and that’s definitely Dylan, Ben’s best friend and wingman *wink*. He’s the supporting character that I loved the most, and every moment with him was precious and hilarious. There’s this layer to his character that made him very interesting, making you think that he’s not just there for comic relief, but actually to highlight and add more depth to Big Ben’s character. And the award for best supporting actor goes to…

What also makes What If It’s Us shine is the topics that the boys tackle: Arthur’s conflict with his parents and friends, Ben’s struggle with being passed of as white and dealing with summer school so as to not repeat a grade. Asides from the drama that came with their relationship, I love how the struggles that they had to face ultimately made this book closer to the heart. I can’t quite explain it but this book is so fluffy that it makes you want to cry. Does that make sense?

All in all, What’s If It’s Us is a wonderful collaboration. It’s got that right kick of fluff and angst that leaves you drowning in feels. Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera’s writing style wonderfully fits together like they were meant to be, and they delivered a story that will leave you with the question “Do I just burst because of so many emotions?” What If It’s Us gave us Arthur and Ben, two amazing lads with such chemistry that will leave you rooting for them till the end. With heartfelt takeaways, the Broadway references, and the ambiance of New York City, you’re sure to finish this book with a big smile on your face. In the words of Adam Silvera, “Sounds gay. Can’t wait.”

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

And just in case you want something to listen (but oh trust me you need this), I curated these three playlists just for you to get a feel of each perspective.

Now since Arthur is the ultimate Broadway geek, this playlist consists of some of its contemporary offerings. I loved selecting songs from different plays that conveyed Arthur’s feelings throughout the book perfectly.

With Ben, it’s more of a mix. He’s a cool guy, but he’s also got some jam in him. New York is his home, and he’s got some chill on him. With that, he’s also a classics guy at heart. His playlist was harder to curate I have to admit, but all in all it suits him well.

Inspired by the story’s alternating perspectives, this playlist is dedicated to all of the feelings that this book made me feel. Conflict, throwing caution to the wind, and believing in fate; What If It’s Us gives all the feels.

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Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta.

Connect with Becky!

Website || Twitter || Instagram || Goodreads

Adam Silvera is the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not, History Is All You Left Me, and They Both Die at the End. His next book What If It’s Us is co-written by Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) and releases on October 9th, 2018.
He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.

Connect with Adam!

Twitter || Instagram || Goodreads

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Win a copy of What If It’s Us (open internationally, with the exception of UK, South Africa, Australia, and India)

Want more chances of winning? Enter the Twitter and Instagram giveaway!

Again, huge thanks to JM at Book Freak Revelations for organizing this tour and HarperCollins for sponsoring.

So… ARE YOU EXCITED TO READ WHAT IF IT’S US? ARE YOU READY FOR ALL OF THE FEELS? Gosh, I seriously need to calm but I can’t help it. I’m attached because I’m in love.

But really, what’s your favorite Becky Albertalli book?

Favorite Adam Silvera book?

Did a book ever make you feel like crying while being happy at the same time?

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PH Blog Tour: The Upside of Unrequited

Hello everyone! Welcome to your first stop for The Upside of Unrequited PH Blog Tour hosted by Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads. It is an honor to be the first one to review this book in all of its glory. So let’s start this tour with a bang.

The upside is that I believe that this book stood out as a book that matters, especially in the society we live in today. I want to stress that in this review. But first, a few fangirl moments.

Before Reading:

BLESSED BE THE BOOK GODS. The news is too good to be true! I get to read The Upside of Unrequited early. And why do I feel like it is the story of my unrequited life? Wait… should I prepare tissues? I’m not ready for this. But no… I AM. Let’s just get to reading.

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Cover-Reveal-The-Upside-Of-Unrequited-LargeTitle: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Year Published: 11th of April 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Balzer & Bray / Harper Teen

Source: Paperback, provided for the tour

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: Amazon | TBD

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

After Reading:

Yes, you can say there were tears. AND IT WAS BLOODY 3 AM. Do you know how hard it is to render 3D animation misty eyed? No, it’s not hard. It’s just that the progress bar is all blurry. BUT STILL. THIS BOOK. MOLLY, YOU ARE LOVELY. ALWAYS BELIEVE THAT.

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The Upside of Unrequited is a character-driven story that focuses on Molly. She is a big girl who is insecure and careful. But because of that factor, it makes her real.

Why does The Upside of Unrequited matter?

It matters because it lays pressing issues on the table. First, is the feeling of what it is like to have someone you admire returning your feelings back. (I know, I said feelings a lot.) Conveying the depth that lies within the unrequited is no easy task, but the beautiful prose within was enough to tug heartstrings. I can testify to that, since compared to Molly’s 27, I am probably in a predicament that is much worse. The emotions were swirling, and it felt human. I wanted to just jump in that universe and give Molly the biggest hug. Having the feeling of something unrequited is probably one of biggest pains anyone can feel. But yes, this book has the upside to it all.

It matters because it doesn’t shy away from presenting a modern family. The representation presented in Upside is natural. It felt like they were real people that did not have a single hindrance on living as themselves. The Peskin-Suso family is the sweetest. Nadine and Patty were the coolest moms who offer the most solid advice and support to Cassie and Molly’s troubles. They honestly deserve all of the happiness that was given to them in the latter part of the book. That being said, seeing Molly grow as her own person throughout the story may have been a bit of a pain especially if you know the feeling too well. But looking at the bright side, it will feel so good once you see how her actions affect her family as a whole.

It matters because it teaches the reader to love themselves. It conveys the message that through loving yourself, you can have the confidence that other people love you to the moon and back. That was the message that reached me, and as someone who is probably in the same department as Molly, it goes without saying that I felt that this book represented me. No more, no less.

*I loved the Easter eggs in the book. It can make any Oreo lover scream. 😉

What mattered to me is that The Upside of Unrequited made me feel that I was worthy to be a young adult heroine. Big girls like Molly get to be happy, and it gives a glimpse of hope to see a character like myself as happy. To be honest, nothing warmed my heart more than reading about Molly’s happiness. The way she grew out of her comfort zone and became her own person is one story that can put the biggest smile on your face.

Why read The Upside of Unrequited?

Like it’s older brother Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited is a cute story about self-love and finding love. It also proves that seeing your family happy is the best. But what takes the cake (or rather, the cookie dough in the mason jar) is the love that you gain for another book that will make you want to love yourself. Highly recommended on a summer day while eating Cadbury Mini Eggs and in the mood where you just want something sweet.

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

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View More: http://thedecisivemoment.pass.us/becky-headshots

Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. She now lives with her family in Atlanta.


To Becky Albertalli,

Since May is the month for moms, I want to thank you for the two lovely books that you have. It is truly lovely, and one can say that one them is like the story of my life. At one point, I almost wanted to just go ahead and call you “mom” on Twitter. The reason being is that you just shine and you’re so amazing.

Truly, no words can express how blessed I felt to have read your novels. The Upside of Unrequited really has a special place in my heart. You are a gem. I hope you are aware of that. Thank you for making me feel that I am represented. You are the best. 💙


Huge thanks to Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads for letting me join this blog tour. Honestly, this gave me the boost that I needed to make myself believe that 2017 is better than 2016. All the love. 💙

Follow the rest of the tour:

Nicka at Read by Nicka [Review]

Inah at The Bibliophile Confessions [Review]

Fay at The Bibliophile Soprano [Review]

Josiah at The Bookish Fanboy [Review]

JM at Book Freak Revelations [Review]

Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads [Review]

Now, have you read The Upside of Unrequited? How many crushes have you had? What body positive books can you recommend to me? Let’s chat! It’s been a while. 😉

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Top 5 Wednesdays: Books To Get You Out of A Reading Slump

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Welcome! To a Top 5 Wednesday. I hope to do these, too. Just to get me in the mood to blog again. Words, words, words, we need a lot of words that are understandable and clear to the majority of the human race.

Top 5 Wednesday is created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Check out the Goodreads group!

Now my friends, I am not a noob when it comes to reading slumps. I faced a lot of it while doing big projects. The feeling goes: I’m halfway through a good book, and then suddenly the workload comes pouring in. I end up disregarding the book’s existence for days. When I get back to it, the slump hits me in the face.

But, during my lay low days, I ended up discovering books that can cure the slump. After the long months of hitting rock bottom just to get things passed, I have discovered the what kind of books to pick to get me back into a reading mojo. And here are some of them:

5. If The Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman

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Re: Read a short book. 

Honestly, this book is too cute to not recommend. It’s a short book, and it’s honestly just cute and fluffy. Dogs + food descriptions + hot guy + family ties + body love.

If The Dress Fits can be like a palette cleanser if you want to feel a lot of feels real easy and quick.

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Re: Read a book that will keep you on your toes

Sure, people say that this can either put you in a slump even more, but I say that it gives you back that hunger for books. We Were Liars kept me on the edge of my seat because it has been a really long while since I last read a book in one sitting. I stayed up until 2 am just to finish this book. I kept my guard up for this book and it still got me in the end.

Be warned, but also have a fun time in reading it. Just keep your guard up.

3. Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Re: Read a fluffy book.

What I meant by fluffy is that you should pick something so sweet that it will give you cavities. That will wake you up. Perfect example is Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. Not only will you score some bonus points for checking out if it really lives up to its name (it does, friend), but you also get OREOS.

OREOS are what I call the cast of this book. Everyone is giving me cavities for being the best cast ever, especially Blue. (Not you, Martin. No oreos for you.)

2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Re: Read something out of your comfort zone

Science fiction is not exactly the genre that I would normally reach out to when I am in the mood to read. I do not read it at all times, and majority of my books are still mostly contemporary. But I have to give it to Illuminae for breaking a slump. I guess if we don’t usually read books outside our comfort zone, it gives us that push to get out there and finish it. The action, the intensity, and the interesting format made me stick to the world.

Granted, this one took me weeks to get through. But I ended up reading continuously after. Plus, this book is huge. I don’t know if I have read something else that is so gloriously long.

1. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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Re: Read your favorite book.

Do I even have to explain this one when it honestly speaks for itself? My love for this book echoes to the beyond. When I am in a reading slump, this book is the first book that I pick up. It gives me comfort, and it reminds me of how great books can be. The Perks of Being A Wallflower is the best thing for me to read whenever I feel like I don’t know what happens next (basically me when I read something that left me lying around for days.)

But this one must serve as a last resort. Reading slumps are basically inner demons. There is more than one way to conquer it. Think of this as the Excalibur, or the lucky token. You only take it out if there’s no way out.


So what books do you guys read when you’re in a reading slump? I would like to know more about it. 🙂

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