Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Arthur and Ben meet in a New York post office. Arthur’s convinced it’s destiny that they met, but Ben isn’t, and leaves before he even gives Arthur his name. But the universe isn’t done writing their love story, and after some crazy, desperate attempts to find each other, the two reunite. But they know at the end of the summer, Arthur will return to Georgia, leaving them wondering if they should end their relationship, or try for what they can. In the end, they call things off but remain good friends, with both of them thinking that one day, they will re-enter each other’s lives.
One of the strongest aspects of the novel is its portrayal of teenage relationships. Many times in young adult novels, the romance is written as if the characters are each other’s soulmates and will love each other to the end of time, which isn’t a realistic reflection of many teenage relationships. The fact that this novel shows them ending in healthy ways can help teenagers understand that they don’t need to find true love in high school. Arthur and Ben’s relationship is more about them discovering themselves with each other. Additionally, Arthur and Ben are unsure about the future, but are still willing to try and make the best of the present. A major theme of the book is to make the best of the moment. The book shows how you should always be willing to find what makes you happy, because it isn’t getting what you want that’s important, it’s what you learn in that journey that will help you grow.
*Contains moderate language and moderate sexual content.