What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

What If It’s Us is a YA novel by two well-known authors that combines classic romcom tropes with a realistic sense of teenagers navigating life. Arthur is in NYC for the summer and it’s living up to his dreams. Ben has lived in New York all his life and has recently broken up with his boyfriend, who he’s also stuck in summer school with. When Arthur and Ben meet by chance in a post office, it isn’t clear whether the universe is trying to get them together or ruin things between them.

What really sets What If It’s Us apart is the way that it both embraces romantic tropes—such as someone only being in the city for a limited time—but also gives them a realistic spin, showing how life can seem like a musical or a comedy when really it is just life, full of ups and downs. There is a sense of uncertainty throughout the book as to what will happen with Arthur and Ben which powers the narrative and shows how it is difficult to expect good or bad with confidence. The supporting characters are endearing, particularly Ben’s best friend Dylan, and the book is a great light read that gives complexity to its teenage characters.