If He Had Been with Me By Laura Nowlin

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A New York Times BestsellerAn achingly authentic and raw portrait of love, regret, and the life altering impact of the relationships we hold closest to us, this YA bestseller is perfect for fans of Kasie West, All the Bright Places, and Dear Evan Hansen If he had been with me, everything would have been differentAutumn and Finn used to be inseparable. But then something changed. Or they changed. Now, they do their best to ignore each other.Autumn has her boyfriend Jamie, and her close knit group of friends. And Finn has become that boy at school, the one everyone wants to be around.That still doesn't stop the way Autumn feels every time she and Finn cross paths, and the growing, nagging thought that maybe things could have been different. Maybe they should be together.But come August, things will change forever. And as time passes, Autumn will be forced to confront how else life might have been different if they had never parted waysCaptivating and heartbreaking, If He Had Been with Me is perfect for readers looking for: Contemporary teen romance books unputdownable novels complex emotional YA stories Jenny Han meets Dear Evan Hansen If He Had Been with Me

Like all things that have become history, I now feel as if I always knew it, as if all through this story, it had been lurking in the shadows. The story underneath the story.

This F'ing book!! It gave me a bad bout of depression laced with a hint of bipolar disorder then hope and ultimately sadness and curiositydamn unresolved endingIs she or isn't she??? I moped around the house while reading this book from the very first page and it wasn't until about 90(ish)% done that I started to feel anything other than despair and frustration. The beginning of the book starts off letting us know that a horrible thing will occur. So yeah, we were warned but waiting for it to come to pass was agonizingly slow (and slightly annoying) mainly because I wanted to smack Autumn (the quirky/beautiful MC) throughout the entire book. How blind can someone be to the fact that all your hopes and dreams are not only possible but completely within your grasp if you just get out of your own head and OPEN YOUR EYES???

Finny, my Finny, kissed me. It was horrible. It was strange and wonderful. It felt like I was watching a meteor shower and did not know if it meant the stars were falling and the sky was breaking apart.

The two main characters (Autumn and Finny) are EXTREMELY well formed. They are 3 dimensional, robust and without a doubt savory. Their relationship is exquisitely complex and undeniably beautiful. I manically kept watch on the page count. I wished desperately that I could freeze the moment and live within it a bit longer while simultaneously devouring each page because I just HAD to know what happened next.I read in bed. I read in front of the TV. I read in the bathroom and in the car BUT when I got to the end I cursed this freaking book because it was an unsatisfying (semi) Cliffy : (

Damn book! This heartbreaking, Coming of Age story deftly highlights how subjective our life experiences are. The writing is emotive, the characters and world building are excellently crafted and the sentiment is poignant and tragically beautiful. I think we all can relate to the cast of teens (and the Mothers as well) as they face the horrible truths of Adulthood. There are a host of Coming of Age realizations and each one made me feel like I was welcoming home an old, friendly pain that had slowly become inconspicuous by blending into the background din of Adulthood. Sound dramatic and fatalistic?? It does and this book has enormous amounts of both but the underlying sweet innocence of it all is heartrending and definitely on the sweeter side of bitter sweet. I picked this book because I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel something profoundly and this book delivered. My heart is still aching. Paperback I was drawn into this book from the very first page. Although this book is narrated by a girl in high school, Autumn is still surprisingly insightful and mature even during the times when she’s not making the best decisions. As the story goes on, it feels as if we as readers are growing with Autumn. I was warned that this book was going to break my heart and it truly lived up to that warning but if I could go back and have my heart broken by this book for the first time again, I’d do it with zero hesitation. This is the best book I have read in a long time. Paperback The stretched out drag of time, and precarious relationships, and interpreting and misinterpreting all the looks and glances. There were times that you couldn't quite tell if something was happening or if something was just a daydream which became a little annoying.
In fiction and in real life one of my biggest pet peeves, is when people don't say what they mean.
It saves time.
And so many other things.
When it became clear that this book was going to just keep on keeping on with that nonsense, I skipped to the end real quick and was prepared to just end it and rate it after that.
But after seeing the somewhat satisfying way it was going to wrap up I went back and just finished the damn book lol
The characters felt real, the measure of time and the pace of the story felt natural and kind of hypnotic. I genuinely enjoyed it despite my own personal annoyances and I think if you're looking for a best friends to lovers style coming of age type story (what a mouthful) then you're going to love this too.
If you need every little thing spelled out for you in order to be satisfied with an ending and a neat and tidy little epilogue that inexplicably switches to the guys POV and blah blah blah
Then I'll be honest with you, you probably aren't going to love it.
But then that's life. Paperback For some reason I thought the first chapter was written from the mother's perspective and kept waiting for another chapter from her. The narrative was interesting and the characters were believable. When I finished the book I felt very sad and as is my custom got another book. I could not read another book because I was still immersed in and affect by IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME. Paperback ** spoiler alert ** I was hooked while reading this book and I think it's because I totally fell for Finny. It was difficult not to, though. He was perfect in nearly every way, except I wish he had spoken up sooner! That was one of my issues with this book: both of Finny and Autumn could have said something, had a simple conversation, and could've lived happily ever after. However, had that happened, there would have been no book so I get it.

One other critique was the predictability of many of the other details. The first mention of Jamie and Sasha hanging out together sent up a red flag. Angie and Dave having unprotected sex once you had to see that baby coming. And I also just *knew* Autumn's baby would happen, too.

Though I was content with the ending, I think I would have been satisfied with Autumn's successful suicide, as cruel and morbid as that sounds. It would've wrapped up the book neatly and it would've made sense because of all that she'd been through and the history of depression in her family. But, that also would've sent the wrong message to the young adult audience. Suicide is never an answer; however, sometimes it's a powerful literary tool.

Also, one other thing that keeps bugging me The cover The foot that is farthest back, partially in the puddle It looks like a dog's foot. I can't NOT see it. It looks like maybe a golden retriever's paw. I know it's not, but I can't un see it. This has nothing to do with my rating. Paperback

Despite the title, and the first chapter, I guess I was expecting a miracle or a sick twisted prank. But no, I finished (and started) this book this morning and I'm still in shock and heart broken 4 hours later. This book was so damn good. Throughout I kept wanting to grab Autumn and shake some sense into hergeeze girl, Finn totally wants you. And then hurray, they get their crap together and you're all happy and then he gets ready to go break up with his dumb girlfriend andNOOOOOO.

Loved it and hated it. Would definitely recommend it. Paperback What Occurs:

If he had been with me, he wouldn't have died.

Throughout their childhood, Finn and Autumn were inseparable. Two peas in a far out pod. But once they get to middle school, then high school, things change and they're thrown into different social circles. And despite the fact that they're mothers are still close, Finn and Autumn aren't friends any . Just neighbours who used to know each other.

Finn has Sylvie. And Autumn has been dating James for years. Still though, she can't help but wonder what life would've been like if her and dear ol' Finn were still sharing baths.

But the night she gets her answer is a night she wants to forget forever.


This was not what I expected.

Going into this book I thought I'd be getting an intense romance with a tragic end. Instead, what I got was of a coming of age deal. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, it just wasn't what I had in mind. And, if I'm honest, it got kind of tedious. I mean, stuff happened, but nothing was really happening. And least not until the last few chapters.

The story is mostly Autumn growing up, from when she was a kid, to middle school, to high school. There's a lot about her friends and her boyfriend James, but not nearly enough about Finn who is what drew me to the book in the first place.

I wanted there to be moments between them swoon and just build up. But, alas, no. And when Autumn realised her feelings it made things feel rushed and underdeveloped because they just hadn't interacted enough in recent years.

BUT (and this is a J lo sized but) the last few chapters were awesome and exactly what I hoped the rest of the book would be. I don't want to give things away, but those last chapters made everything worth reading. It was swoony and heartbreaking and sweet and INTENSE. Seriously intense.

So, is this the kind of book I'm going to re read? Probably not. But did I leave feeling satisfied? Yes. Any quibbles I might've had with the book and the writing were put to bed (no pun intended) by the end.

I'd recommend this to anyone who's a fan of coming of age books and The Big Romantic Build Up. Just don't go into this thinking it's going to be a swoon fest from start to finish.

Overall rating: 3/5 little birdies

Check out of my reviews at Little Birdie Books: Paperback At first, this book was a little slow to read, but by half way I could not put it down. By the end of this novel, it was 1:30am and I was a blubbering mess, wishing I could go back a few chapters and make a new ending! You know an author has got it right when they manage to hit you right in the feels! Brilliantly heartbreaking. Paperback I bought this book on a whim from . I actually bought a physical copy of the book because the difference in price for a physical copy in comparison to a kindle copy was something like.50 cents. At first I really struggled to get into it and I was worried that I was going to have to DNF it, but by the end, I was bawling like a baby. It wasn’t a pretty site…

I really struggled to empathise with Autumn. It took a while for her to become fleshed out enough that I could sit with her on the same level and actually understand where she was coming from with some things. I don’t know if this was done on purpose to try and convey out MC growing up, or whether it was accidental – but either way, I think it deterred from the story a bit because I was constantly questioning the motives behind her actions.

I really liked Finny. I mean, I know he was guarded and everything up until the end, but he came across from the first moment as someone who could be relied on and as someone who I could easily be friends with. I know that the reader already has an insight as to what is going to happen to him later in the book, but I was still hoping beyond hope that it wouldn’t and that things would change. So, eventually, when the end came, I struggled to deal with it. I bawled like a baby and my 8 month old baby was looking at me like I was gone out! That’s how bad it was! I just… Why Nowlin???

The book was a little bit slow. It took a while for me to get into the book because it seemed like nothing was happening. It spanned out over 4 years (which the time frame actually confused me a little bit), but it didn’t feel like four years because not a lot happened. It would be like watching a couple of teens going through their everyday life and nothing . There may be some entertaining arguments every now and then because you think that they are still children, but other than that, the plot was pretty dry up until toward the end.

The redeeming factor was that the love between Finn and Autumn was a slow burn. It took them forever to actually realise it and come together, but when they did, I had all the feels and I loved it – which basically made the ending 1 million times worse!! It’s still killing me, even hours after finishing it!

I was going to give this book 3 stars because of the drag in the plot line, but I decided to up it to four after my emotions went wild at the end! I struggled to deal with the ending because it is bittersweet and not at all how I wanted things to go. This book basically broke my heart, broke it again, and then broke it again and I am just sat here trying to pick up all the pieces! Way to go Nowlin! I gave this book 4/5 stars. Paperback