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If He Had Been with Me Paperback – April 2, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402277822
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402277825
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Autumn Davis and Phineas Smith grew up together; their mothers are best friends and next-door neighbors. Hand in hand, they experienced life's milestones until adolescence; that's when they grow apart as each one struggles to form an identity outside of their families. Autumn slips to the fringes of the high school hierarchy, while Finny skyrockets to the top. They both find new friends and romantic relationships. Autumn's boyfriend, Jamie, is smart, handsome, and patient enough to nurture her through her bouts with depression. Finny's relationship with his girlfriend, Sylvie, is complex. The heart of this novel is an examination of an unresolved childhood love that is so pure and sweet that it seems too fragile to survive the turbulent years of adolescence. Using tender prose that makes it hard not to care about the main characters, this title chronicles four years of high school and the confusing post-graduation period. At the end, when Nowlin reveals why Finny should have been with Autumn all along, readers are sure to feel the ache of life's capriciousness.-Mindy Whipple, West Jordan Library, UTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Finny and Autumn have been inseparable since before birth, when their mothers were best friends, pregnant, and living beside each other. As happens with too many friendships—especially boy-girl friendships—middle school takes its toll. Finny kisses Autumn, but Autumn is not ready for their relationship to change, and so the two part ways—he to the popular crowd and his girlfriend, Sylvie, and she to the weird but cool group and her boyfriend, Jamie. At weekly dinners, birthdays, and holidays with The Mothers, it’s a strained normal, until the summer before college, when Sylvie goes to Europe and Jamie breaks up with Autumn. This sweet, authentic love story depicts complex characters dealing with complex issues: single parents, divorce, only children yet ersatz siblings; high school, college, the pull of the clique; love, friendship, sex, and teen pregnancy. All are recounted through the eyes of budding writer Autumn. First-time author Nowlin keeps the story real and fast paced all the way until the last few devastating, though not unexpected, pages. Grades 9-12. --Frances Bradburn

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Customer Reviews

I thought this book was cute, well written and was a good story all the way around.
bri
Whenever I read something about Finny, I loved him more, and thinking that he was going to die just shattered my heart into pieces.
Juhina & Farah @ Maji Bookshelf
Even though I knew how the story was going to end from the beginning of the book, I was left sobbing and heartbroken.
Samantha L Kozbial

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Romeo on April 6, 2013
Format: 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Juhina & Farah @ Maji Bookshelf on May 14, 2013
Format: 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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bri on May 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 By Brittany Moore VINE VOICE on June 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finn and Autumn were the best of friends until middle school. That's when they seemed to grow apart. Finn was with the popular crowd and Autumn was with the not-so-popular crowd. Their moms were still friends and they were still neighbors, so they saw each other most days. Autumn has Jaime now and they have been going out for practically forever. So what if she feels a pang in her chest when she looks at Finn. She's happy with her new friends and her new life...right?

Love this book. This will most likely be my favorite for the year. Laura Nowling just gets it. Everything is just completely brilliant in this novel. The characters are totally great and the story is heartbreaking and just so honest. "I want to savour this wonder, this happening of loving a 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 ever again." She also totally gets being a reader. It always draws me into the book when the character is a big reader too.

Finn and Autumn were the best characters. I always wanted a friend like Finn. I wanted that kind of easy friendship where the line between two people is blurred. It was devastating to me to see them not together. I could feel the pull in Autumn's chest each time she saw Finn. Even though she was happy with her other friends and Jaime, she wasn't as happy as she could be. Her heart still wanted more. It crazy how such a small little thing could drive people apart without them even realizing why. A simple miscommunication and two lives are left incomplete. It's awful, but I'm sure it happens all the time.

Jaime was an okay character. I think I loved Finn too much to really give Jaime a chance. It seemed a little bit mean at times, but nothing too bad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 By Laura C on June 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 By Chris L. on June 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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