On ‘What If It’s Us’

By Jaime Babiera

In actuality, I really didn’t have any plans to read any books this year. Until one quiet morning in January, I stumbled upon the book What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli while trying to idle the hours away. I saw two young gentlemen on the cover, and I got intrigued. The next thing I knew, I was already halfway to its first chapter.

The characters in the book and the dating idea it wants to suggest are already past my age. I mean, I’m too old for that. But somehow, I found the book interesting, and I genuinely enjoyed reading through the chapters as though I were falling in love again for the first time. Maybe some scenes narrated in the book brought back good memories in my mind. Like when Arthur came across his significant other, Ben, at the post office and knew at first sight that he was the one for him. I exactly felt the same thing when I first met mine in front of Jollibee. I remember him hugging me from behind to say “Hello,” and even before I got to answer back, I already knew by then that we were meant to run into each other, spend quality time together, and discover what the universe has in store for us. Perhaps that was the chief element that caught my elusive attention and eventually got me engrossed in the novel.

But I realized later on, as I reached the middle part, that this printed work of art actually offered a lot more than anecdotes and reminiscences. The book covered matters concerning friendship, family values, self-discovery, homophobia, and racism. Although the discussions were not rigorous, Silvera and Albertalli did a great job at sprinkling valuable insights while keeping the engaging and simplistic flow of the story. For me, that made What If It’s Us great in its own way.

Would I recommend it? Well, if you wish to ease up and take a break from novels with tangled narratives and unpredictable plot twists, I believe this book will have a special place in your heart. I suggest you go along as the story builds up and let its beauty unfold before your eyes. Don’t expect too much. Just enjoy the experience.

*****

Now that we’re already talking about love, allow me to greet all of you a happy Valentine’s Day. To my better half, I love you more than any word can say. See you soonest.

Email: jaime.babiera@yahoo.com / X: @jaimebabiera

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