I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: What If It's Us #2
Published by Quill Tree Books on December 28, 2021
Source: the publisher
Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera reunite to continue the story of Arthur and Ben, the boys readers first fell for in the New York Times bestselling rom-com What If It’s Us.
Ben survived freshman year of college, but he’s feeling more stuck than ever. His classes are a slog, his part-time job working with his father is even worse, and his best friend Dylan’s been acting weird for weeks. Ben’s only real bright spot is his writing partner Mario, who’s been giving him a lot of Spanish lessons and even more kisses. Mario’s big Hollywood dreams make Ben start to dream bigger—and the choices he makes now could be the key to reshaping his future. So why can’t he stop thinking about a certain boy from his past?
Arthur is back in New York City for the first time in two years, ready to take the theater world by a storm as the world’s best . . . intern to the assistant of an off-off-Broadway director. Of course, it sucks to be spending the summer apart from his sweet, reliable boyfriend, Mikey, but he knows their relationship is strong enough to weather the distance. Which is why it’s no big deal when his ex-boyfriend Ben stumbles back into the picture. And it’s definitely fine that Ben’s blissfully happy with some mystery boy. First loves are special, but it’s way too late for what-ifs. Right?
Even as the boys try to shake off the past, they keep running into each other in the present. Is this the universe trying to tell them there’s a do-over in their future?
I honestly don’t know if I can properly put my feelings about this book into words. I’m still kinda processing it. This book took me on an absolute emotional rollercoaster. It played my heart like a ping pong ball. I had moments where I had to put the book down and walk away, and moments where I cried so hard, it was embarrassing.
The pandemic hit me hard, emotionally, mentally and financially. It put me in the worst reading slump I’ve ever been in. The last book I read was in March 2020, and I didn’t read again until I picked up What If It’s Us in February 2021 and read it in 3 days. It was such a relief to be reading again after a year of being unable to pick up a book. I remember being sad with how it ended, but loving the book overall, and being super excited for the sequel.
And then Here’s To Us was in my hands and I started reading it right at the end of 2021. It felt right to end 2021 with Ben and Arthur, just as I had begun 2021 with them – and, consequently, began 2022 with them, as well. This series – and these characters – really were there for me when I needed them, and I’m forever grateful for that.
But it definitely put me through an emotional rollercoaster. The slow burn was torturous, and at one point, the book just… I’ve been struggling with my mental health, and it made me feel super depressed when I was halfway through and everything was still broken and a mess. I almost stopped reading. I really struggled to get through it. And I LOVE slow burns, but something about this… The idea that Ben and Arthur might NOT get an HEA…? I mean, Becky and Adam had done that once already. But I figured, why would they write a sequel just to have it end with Ben and Arthur apart? So I powered through. And I’m so, so, SO glad I did. Because that ending? Truly, absolutely, amazingly perfect. Worth every single moment that made me sad and made me cry. So damn worth it.
I loved seeing these characters grow up. Loved seeing them through their ups and downs, their good moments and their mistakes. Loved seeing their character growth and development. Loved seeing them find their way back to each other. I actually HUGGED the book when I was done reading it. Not gonna lie, I really wanted MORE of Arthur and Ben together and happy, but the ending was still utter perfection.
I know this isn’t much of a review, but… I just have so many thoughts and feelings and I’m really having trouble articulating them. All I can say is that I loved this book to pieces. I love this series to pieces. I loved these characters to pieces. I love Becky and Adam to pieces. And I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend everyone go read this book ASAP.