If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin
Release Date: April 2013
Place on Hold
Synopsis: Finn and Autumn had been childhood best friends, but in middle school they drifted apart. Now they are in high school and even though Autumn has a boyfriend she can’t help but wonder what would have happened between her and Finn. This is the story of how she finds out.
This book was heartbreaking and amazing. It was told from Autumn’s point of view as she and Finn slowly reconnect. I loved everything about this book, but one of my favorite parts was how the author handled Autumn’s relationship with her boyfriend. Throughout the book you can tell that Autumn loves Finn but she won’t admit it to herself, yet she still has her boyfriend, Jamie. Autumn and Jamie’s relationship is what I call strained. They were together because they should be and they loved each other because they were boyfriend and girlfriend and they had to. They were never real and it was obvious throughout the course of the book.
Another thing I really liked was Autumns group of friends. They were one of the few teenage characters that I’ve looked at and said ” yeah, I know people like that.” For me that’s rare and I really appreciated it. I also appreciated that the author gave them real struggles that weren’t over the top. They weren’t partying and doing drugs every day but they weren’t perfect either and that was another ” yeah teenagers are like that” moment. A lot of the times I feel that the real lives of teenagers get lost and over exaggerated in YA so I liked the realistic feel of book.
Finn and Autumn’s relationship was an amazing ride. It was hot and cold but you could always tell that they felt something for each other. It was just a matter of when they would finally admit it. And when they finally did oh my god. It was heartbreaking and amazing and definitely at least PG-13. And then the title tied in and I sat down with some chocolate and cried. (SPOILER ALERT) when Finn died in that car crash when they had just gotten together I was heartbroken. It’s like NO !!!!!!! I’ve waited the whole book for this and them you go and kill him off !? Not okay. Because if he had been with Autumn, if he had done what she wanted and stayed with her instead of going to talk to his girlfriend he would still be alive. This book broke my heart in the best possible way and it’s one of my favorites. I would recommend this book ( with a box of tissues) anytime.