Title: If We Were Us
Author: K.L. Walther
Publication Date: 2 June 2020
Genre: YA Contemporary
Number of Pages: 368
Summary: From Goodreads: “Everyone at the prestigious Bexley School believes that Sage Morgan and Charlie Carmichael are meant to be….that it’s just a matter of time until they realize that they are actually in love.
When Luke Morrissey shows up on the Bexley campus his presence immediately shakes things up. Charlie and Luke are drawn to each other the moment they meet, giving Sage the opportunity to steal away to spend time with Charlie’s twin brother, Nick.
But Charlie is afraid of what others will think if he accepts that he has much more than a friendship with Luke. And Sage fears that things with Nick are getting too serious too quickly. The duo will need to rely on each other and their lifelong friendship to figure things out with the boys they love.”
Review: Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire and Net Galley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Sage and Charlie have been best friends their entire lives. When Sage found out that Charlie was going to Bexley School, Sage immediately applied because she couldn’t imagine going through high school without her best friend. Everyone at Bexley thinks that they belong together, but they don’t know that Sage is in love with Charlie’s twin brother Nick and that Charlie is afraid to tell anyone, even Sage, that he’s gay. When Luke shows up at Bexley in their final year, their world starts to shift, and they’ll have to fight for the boys that they love.
My favourite thing about this book was all of the friendships. I liked that Sage and Charlie had been friends their entire lives, and that they were able to rely on each other, and that it was awkward and stressful when they kept secrets from each other. I liked Charlie and Nick were such great friends, I liked the sibling bond that they had, and I liked that they were protective of each other. I enjoyed the friendship between Sage and Luke; I liked that they gravitated towards each other and that they were able to talk to each other about their boy issues.
I also really liked the characters in this book in general. I liked that Sage went all out for themed school events and that she was unsure about her future. I liked that Charlie was a huge Survivor fan and that he was involved in theatre and sports. I liked that Nick was super into astronomy and that he was a bit of a hopeless romantic. I liked that Luke was incredibly observant and that he opened up and became a lot more confident once he felt comfortable with someone. I also liked the side characters, and I thought that the group of friends that the characters had at Bexley was a lot of fun.
I liked that a large part of this book was about Charlie struggling with his identity. Charlie spent most of his time at Bexley going from relationship to relationship while struggling with knowing that he’s gay. When he meets Luke and starts falling for him, the struggle starts to eat him up inside, and it starts to take a toll on his physical health because he’s scared to admit that he’s gay. I don’t know if the representation in this book is good, because this isn’t something that I can relate to, but my heart ached for Charlie and his struggle. I’m also glad that he had a friend like Sage, and that she kept his secret, even though it impacted her relationship.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were a few moments that annoyed me (Survivor hasn’t been in Thailand since 2002), but overall, the book was very enjoyable. I liked the characters, I liked the relationships, and I liked the friendships.
Rating: 4 Stars!