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98 Reviews
5 star:
 (62)
4 star:
 (22)
3 star:
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2 star:
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written book for all ages.
I am in my 30's and have never been a fan of the "young adult" category-even when I was one. This book did not disappoint...it was recommended to me by a friend so I gave it a try. Beautifully written with well-developed characters. The book is beautifully descriptive, but without being overly wordy or pretentious and gets to the point. This is a book for all ages and has...
Published 15 months ago by Melissa Romeo

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Do I give 4 1/2 stars...or do I give it 1 star....
This book is really difficult for me to review. If I could rate it in parts...like the majority of the story and then the ending, I'd probably give it a 4 1/2 and a 1. I did enjoy the story...a LOT. I was completely into it.

I hated the ending. I guess I expected it not to end well. The beginning of the book gives that away. But I couldn't help myself. I...
Published 2 months ago by Annette B.


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written book for all ages., April 6, 2013
This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Paperback)
I am in my 30's and have never been a fan of the "young adult" category-even when I was one. This book did not disappoint...it was recommended to me by a friend so I gave it a try. Beautifully written with well-developed characters. The book is beautifully descriptive, but without being overly wordy or pretentious and gets to the point. This is a book for all ages and has set the bar high for other books to come in that category. This book will leave you feeling so many different emotions which is a skill most authors do not have. I can't wait to see what other stories Ms. Nowlin has up her sleeve.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL TIME FAVORITE <3, May 14, 2013
This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Paperback)
I've been dreading writing the review for this book. As soon as I finished it, my biggest fear was HOW am I going to write my review for this? It's definitely difficult, but here I go. The main protagonist of this book, Autumn, is the awkward child. Autumn lives with her mom, and her dad visits for holiday's and weekly dinners from time to time. Autumn's mother is best friends with their neighbor, and the two are mentioned as "The Mothers" throughout the book. Being neighbors all their lives, Autumn and Finn (Who Autumn calls Finny) were inseparable. They were born the same month and same year. Their mothers were best friends since childhood. They completely did everything together, and couldn't imagine being separated when they were kids. In middle school, they somehow started drifting apart. Finny became more of the chill, popular guy, while Autumn stayed as the awkward child. They each that their own "clique". What's funny is that Finny and Autumn families still celebrate every christmas, thanksgiving, and any other family event together. Talk about awwwkward... The Mothers definitely found it weird that Autumn and Finny wouldn't speak to each other at those events, but decided not to say anything about it. The thing is Finny was never mean to Autumn, and vice versa. It was SO hard for me to read about a friendship like theirs drifting away. As we read through the book, we're taken about 4 years back, before the accident.

As I read on and on, my heart was LITERALLY breaking into pieces. The way Laura Nowlin was able to grasp a perfect reality such as this, was breathtaking. The simple yet important things friends did was what she spotlighted. I loved it. Despite the book being throughout high school, there were many flashbacks in order to explain to us how precious and important their friendship was. Reading on, I started to think of the fictional characters, as NON fictional. I just couldn't believe how real they felt to me, like they were a part of my personal life. Just thinking about them now makes me feel like I've lost two of my best friends. I think the thing that got to me was how sad it was to see such a friendship as theirs drift apart. I was crazy with questions like why, and who was the one at fault, and WHYYYY? I was seriously depressed at that point. I remember on page 264, I read that page about five times, bawling my eyes out. Not because it was sad, but no, it was such a simple yet beautiful page. I mean yes, it's still sad that they aren't good friends, but oh God, I don't even know how to explain it.

The annoying thing is that while I was reading, I had his death at the back of my head. No, I didn't spoil anything, it's in the synopsis. Whenever I read something about Finny, I loved him more, and thinking that he was going to die just shattered my heart into pieces. I didn't even want to finish the book because of that reason. I start crying every time I remember that he dies, and I would keep hoping that maybe, just maybe, Laura Nowlin just wanted to trick us. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I'm still glad I finished the book, because in someways, it was happy. Like Autumn would say, death can be happy sometimes. I know, it might sound weird, but she's right. This book, in my opinion, is a masterpiece. It will always be a part of my heart, because to me it's not just a book, but more like a memory I want to treasure forever. I thank Laura Nowlin SO much for letting me find a treasure as great as this. The writing style for this book was just exquisite. I will definitely treasure it forever. There's also a quote that Autumn said, that just literally described my feelings for this book:

"This book is a treasure; I did not suspect it would be so good when I picked it up, but now I can feel the printed words seeping through my skin and into my veins, rushing to my heart and marking it forever. I want to savour this wonder, this happening of a loving book and reading it for the first time, because the first time is always the best, and I will never read this book for the first time again" - If He Had Been With Me, Laura Nowlin
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written., May 7, 2014
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This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Kindle Edition)
It was amazing that even though you know how this book was going to end you still didn't want it to end the way it did. I thought this book was cute, well written and was a good story all the way around. It did have its moment were it dragged on but most books do. I think most people would like this book if they gave it a chance, it's hard not to love a sweet romance with a tearful ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars love, growing up, July 5, 2014
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This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Kindle Edition)
A very captivating story about friendships, love, growing up, and that although death is sad it can also be beautiful. I held tight as I devoured the book in only a day not being able to put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, June 15, 2014
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This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Kindle Edition)
Everyone should read this story. I hadn't read YA in years, but enjoyed this book so much. Beautiful and very real relationships - of all sorts. I love the author's style and way with words. I will be reading more by her. So many parts of so many pages in this story really moved me. Great story, Great author!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If he Had Been With Me, June 14, 2014
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This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Kindle Edition)
I think this book was for a younger reader but I read it anyhow. Very touching, well written, great characters come alive, a really good insight how teens today function. Some things never change. I don't want to say anymore and spoil the ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If He Had Been With Me, June 8, 2014
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This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Kindle Edition)
It was so authentic re: adolescents...their friendships, their need to belong and first "true" love complications.
Finny and Autumn seemed so real.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, June 7, 2014
By 
Allison Burke (Los Angeles, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Paperback)
This is probably one of my favorite books in the YA genre. You basically know that something terrible is going to happen from the very beginning - I mean, look at the cover - but that doesn't mean The Thing That Happens doesn't shock you with its intensity when it arrives like a bowling ball to the face. Seriously, I haven't cried so much from a book since The Fault in Our Stars.

It's a stunning telling of one girl who is just weird - not nerd-weird, but weird in general - and she's with this dude because it's just easier than facing what's right next door or across the street or whatever, and I totally asked my best friend to throw me a tiara party because of this book. I don't know if it's just me that can relate to this book and everything in it - maybe I'm just weird in general - but it's these strange little ethereal quirks such as the tiaras that are so unique, yet so simple. Autumn is this girl who is an annoying teenager that doesn't know anything, but she doesn't annoy me, and I think that's the whole point. She does annoying things that you want to shake her for, but she's not an annoying person. She's really intelligent. She has this grand ability to read these situations, while not even knowing she's doing it, and throughout the whole book, she uses said ability to read herself, and, again, without even knowing she's doing it, point herself in the right direction. She is just a wonderful human being who is perfect to me because she is flawed in all the right ways. I love her - she reminds me a bit of Grace in Shiver - and I love Finn, and I just wanted to die at the end because Nowlin has this intense way of bleeding emotions all over the page without being too wordy or a showoff.

Honestly, this is my book. There's a thing going around that the first author that successfully writes a book wherein the protagonist falls in love with the reader will be the ultimate AuthorGenius, but I think Nowlin came pretty damn close because I fell in love with Autumn and I'm not even a lesbian.

I love the YA genre because of books like this. I hate the YA genre because of books not like this. And I know that is extremely closed-minded, to say if it doesn't stand out of the genre and is beautifully written and is not annoying and doesn't use the word totes or something, I won't like it, but it's the truth. We need more books like The Fault in Our Stars, Eleanor and Park, and now If He Had Been with Me. They are important and they test the banality of the entire teenage society and I think a lot of people - adults included - could learn from its brilliant test of humanity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new favorite, May 31, 2014
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This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Kindle Edition)
Just finished it and as I lay here taking it all in, knowing it would end sadly, the author did give me a few surprises in the end. this book will be on my favorites list for sure. the word reminds me of white oleander or the book with the sisters who all committed suicide together... melancholy throughout, but beautiful and rich in the ideas. a great book I think I will force my book loving friends to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my heart was broken by the end, May 30, 2014
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This review is from: If He Had Been with Me (Kindle Edition)
I adored the book while hating every second of knowing what would happen due to the first chapter but without it I probably wouldn't have gotten to the end. It is well written and my heart broke and was elated with Autumn the entire time.
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If He Had Been with Me
If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin
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