Saturday, March 15

Nowlin Laura - If He Had Been with Me

If he had been with me everything would have been different...

I wasn't with Finn on that August night. But I should've been. It was raining, of course. And he and Sylvie were arguing as he drove down the slick road. No one ever says what they were arguing about. Other people think it's not important. They do not know there is another story. The story that lurks between the facts. What they do not know—the cause of the argument—is crucial.

So let me tell you...

“Just because something seems impossible doesn't mean that you shouldn't try.” 

I found this book not so long ago and I was looking forward to read it because I figured the book would be something like Thirteen Reasons Why. I mean that we already know the outcome and we're reading what kind of things happened that caused this event. It was a very interesting read, but I have problems rating it, on  one hand it kept me entertained but on the other hand I just couldn't like the characters. Now you see my problem, it's not exactly a three star book, but I can't give four either, so I guess I must stick to three.

I liked the story, but the characters weren't good enough for me, I couldn't relate to them. I didn't have great expectations about a surprising conclusion because the point of these books is not that. Meanwhile the author could manage to keep us readers interested, which was amazing and I never once got bored, even if I knew what will happen in the end. My problem was that she tried to give us something non-predictable in the end or maybe she wanted us to get that there can always come a bright thing, even in the worst times when we don't expect anything good. This thing happened with two couples in one freaking book which stole from the originality of the story.

The Story
In the first chapter Autumn tells us how she imagines the night when Finn(y) died. It was so heartbreaking even if we didn't know any of them, yet, we could feel her grief, she kept telling herself that if he had been with her this would have never happened in the first place. Throughout the story Autumn deals with a lot of what ifs. She keeps thinking about what would have happened if they have never drifted apart. Maybe then Finn would still be alive, maybe not but it didn't stopped Autumn thinking about it.

Their mothers were best friends since forever so they were a family, which was amazing, they loved each other, and they sticked together. The Mothers always helped out each other it didn't matter if they wanted someone to cheer them up or just to borrow a few eggs they were always there. Knowing this it’s not a big thing the two children grew up together and did everything with the other one, this was until middle school, when they drifted apart. When they were little Autumn was the weird girl, if not for Finn everyone would have made jokes about her. Considering this, it isn't a big deal that in school when she had the chance to become one of the popular girls, she did that, and she drifted farther and farther apart from Finn. When the time came for Middle school they didn't even talk to each other anymore, neither one of them liked this situation, but they went along with it because this was the easiest way (and a "bit" cowardly if you ask me).

Their story continues in the book well-written. We can see their lives in flashback, still I never got confused. The author wrote about a lot of years, but I never felt like I was missing something out. It was built up logically which is a really hard work considering that the whole story was consisted of memories of Autumn. Congratulations to Laura Nowlin because while reading the story I never once thought about unanswered questions because there were none. We got our answers for anything and everything without realizing how fast time flew by in these people's life. 

The Characters:

They were well made still I just couldn't relate to them, so this is why I'm giving three stars to this book. I know everyone makes stupid decisions still I couldn't get a single thing they did. It was so annoying to me. Autumn staying with Jamie just so she won't lose her friends, but she never really admit this to herself. She kept telling him that she loves him even when she knew that it's not true... so I couldn't really feel sorry for her, when she got dumped she totally deserved it. I mean she never was in love with him, she kind of used him all along, a lot of times she felt like Jamie loves her more than she could ever love him still she stayed with him just because of fear. She didn't dump him when he was a total jerk to her either, and tried to make her do what he wanted. All the time I was waiting for her to come to her senses and dump the jackass, so you can imagine how angry I was when it happened the other way. 


Jamie was not a good guy, I never liked him, he was such an asshole, he always tried to control everyone around him like when he made Autumn cry just because he wanted to know something. And he needed to be in the central of attention all the time.  


As I said before I absolutely adored how the characters could stick together, even if Autumn's Dad was a jerk she had a happy life with her mother, her aunt and Finny, because they were a REAL FAMILY, it was so amazing how the two women remained friends for so long.

While reading the book I was wishing for Finny to stay alive someway, maybe he just fell into coma and he will eventually wake up at the end of the story, I would have accepted the lamest excuse I just wanted him back. He was an amazing character, a loving one, but I don’t think that a guy like him could ever exist he was sweet and shy but still popular and unbelievably good-looking.

I just couldn’t get how these characters with amazing personalities, giving encouraging quotes could be such cowards. Finn thought something, Autumn thought something so they didn't talk because they were afraid. I would totally get why they were afraid if they wouldn’t know each other for long, but they grew up together and they still had family dinners so I don't know why is it such a big deal to talk things out with your ex bestfriend.

All in all I gave three stars, but I would still recommend it to anyone who wants to read about real feelings, memories and loving families who stick together no matter what. (plus a cute boy) :) The story proceeds slowly but steady so it isn't confusing at all and as I said before we will get all the answers.

The feels at the end of the story... Finn's death seemed so final. 


The story idea: 3/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 2/5
The cover: 5/5
All in all: 3,5/5

I recommend it to those who like books which are not really surprising but very emotional. 

Favorite Character: Finn 
Least Favorite: Jamie

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