By: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Published Year: 2018
Publisher: Harper Teen
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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 cover is adorable and definitely the number 1 reason I added this book to my to-read list. I have previously read Albertalli’s Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda and thought it was ok (probably the first incident where I enjoyed the movie more than the book) and haven’t read anything by Adam Silvera. The summary sounded like the ultimate meet-cute, so I knew I had to read it.
What I thought
Arthur is in New York for the summer with his parents when he makes a coffee run for his internship. He ends up outside of a post office and runs into a very cute guy mailing a package. This boy turns out to be Ben, who Arthur immediately has a crush on. Even though the universe seems to split them apart before they can exchange numbers, Arthur is convinced that they are met to meet and works to find Ben.
This book was very cute. I really enjoyed Arthur and Ben’s love story. Arthur is overly enthusiastic about everything and Ben is unsure of everything. I loved the way that Arthur worked to find Ben without it seeming stalkery. It was fun and light hearted and I was rooting for them to meet.
When they did finally get together, I felt their nerves and awkwardness. I was worried just like they were that the idea of the other person was going to be bigger than the actuality of their relationship. Fortunately, that’s not the case. I do think the story is a bit happy bubble. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I think it then threw me a bit when there was a scene dealing with controversy about PDA for a gay couple. It was one scene and then never mentioned again which made me scratch my head a bit. I guess I don’t get the point in including the scene other than to make Arthur and Ben closer which seems a bit like abusing a hot topic.
I appreciated the ups and downs of their relationship. I also loved Ben’s relationship with his best friend Dylan. Dylan is also working through the beginnings of a new relationship with Samantha and it creates so good friendship dynamics. Ben and Dylan have the ultimate bromance and it was interesting to see their relationship contrasted with Arthur’s relationship with his friend Ethan post coming out.
I also really enjoyed all of the New York City references. There were a lot of references to Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, and Levain’s cookies. The city of New York truly became its own character without becoming annoyingly descriptive. I always enjoy when the setting is such a central part of a story, and Albertalli and Silvera did a great job.
My biggest issue with the book was the ending. While I’m sure some people will like it because it’s different, it’s maybe a little too realistic for my tastes. I appreciated the epilogue because it did at least give me a little bit more of what I wanted, but overall it was a disappointment. I think I was leaning close to giving this a 4 start rating (probably rounding up from a 3.5), but the ending brought me down to a 3.