Here’s to Us

Quill Tree/HarperCollins/. (What if It’s Us: Bk. 2). Dec. 2021. 480p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063071636.
Gr 8 Up–The boys are back, and the dream team of Albertalli and Silvera have reunited for this much-anticipated sequel to What if It’s Us. It’s been two years since Arthur and Ben’s whirlwind relationship, and Ben is enjoying the summer after his freshman year of college. He’s deep into his fantasy novel with the help of Mario, his classmate and Spanish tutor turned not-quite boyfriend. Arthur is gearing up to take things long distance with his boyfriend, Mikey, for a summer in New York City as part of his queer theater debut as the intern for the assistant of an off-Broadway director. The two haven’t connected in months, but Ben stumbles upon the wedding of the postal worker from their meet-cute, which prompts him to check Arthur’s social media accounts, where he learns that Arthur’s en route to New York. All summer they keep gravitating towards each other. Clunky and awkward at first, the two manage to reconnect while they learn to navigate their new friendship. The authors capture just the right amount of romantic tension and show teens how people and relationships change over time. The story also conveys the importance of making space for growth, not only through the relationship between Ben and Arthur but also through side characters like Dylan and Samantha. The story may wrap up too neatly for most readers, but this is still a place where readers will want to go.
VERDICT A first purchase; teens will be eager to throw themselves back into this heartwarming world.

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