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If We Were Us

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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 opportunit 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.


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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 opportunit 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.

30 review for If We Were Us

  1. 4 out of 5

    Corina

    There were so many thoughts going through my head while I was reading this book, and again when I was done. It’s hard to put them all to paper. I went through stages of giddiness and heartbreak, with the occasional swooning every few pages. There was no doubt I was 100%, probably more like 150% invested in everything that happened in this book. The writing was fantastic, another debut novel that knocks it out of the ball park, and the overall plot was just outstanding!!!! If We Were Us is about fo There were so many thoughts going through my head while I was reading this book, and again when I was done. It’s hard to put them all to paper. I went through stages of giddiness and heartbreak, with the occasional swooning every few pages. There was no doubt I was 100%, probably more like 150% invested in everything that happened in this book. The writing was fantastic, another debut novel that knocks it out of the ball park, and the overall plot was just outstanding!!!! If We Were Us is about four kids in high school/boarding school. Brothers/twins, a childhood friend, and a new guy that turns their life upside down. I LOVED IT ALL, THE ANGST, THE FEARS, THE DOUBTS, THE STRUGGLES, THE WRONG DECISIONS, THE RIGHT DECISIONS, THE COMING TOGETHER, THE FALLING APART. And the reason why I loved it all was because of the writing. The author nailed it! She made it feel all so authentic, so real, in every way. The struggles about identity, loyalty, friendship, love, expectations, couldn’t have felt anymore real. I also loved Charlie, and Sage’s alternating POVs. The book is actually written in a way that there are two love-stories, but the main focus is the quartet, Charlie and his twin Nick, best friend Sage, and newcomer Luke. The chemistry and banter were through the roof. The characters were all very well developed and the different personalities, with Luke being my favorite, just jumped off the pages. Best of all, whenever the characters were together – cuteness alert. It didn’t matter who it was. The friendships and real affection between all four was what carried this book. Absolutely adorable at times. Sweet. Touching. There was just so much heart and soul in this book. I would have liked a longer ending, I needed a big more of the future of them all. But otherwise, this novel is one of the best YA books I read this year AND last year too. ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review. ___________________________________ Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog. Find me on Bookstagram.

  2. 5 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    On my blog. Rep: gay mc, Japanese American gay li Galley provided by publisher Buckle up, folks, because I have a rant and a half for you. This book may look a cute read, but oh boy did it also manage to piss me off. The story follows two best friends: Sage and Charlie. Sage is straight and sort of maybe in love with Charlie’s brother, Nick. Charlie is gay, but busy dating pretty much every girl he can in an effort to hide it. I think you can probably guess my first complaint here. I’m just tired On my blog. Rep: gay mc, Japanese American gay li Galley provided by publisher Buckle up, folks, because I have a rant and a half for you. This book may look a cute read, but oh boy did it also manage to piss me off. The story follows two best friends: Sage and Charlie. Sage is straight and sort of maybe in love with Charlie’s brother, Nick. Charlie is gay, but busy dating pretty much every girl he can in an effort to hide it. I think you can probably guess my first complaint here. I’m just tired of reading books where the gay character hates themselves. Particularly when it’s not handled at all well (like here). Particularly when it’s not (ostensibly) ownvoices. I’m not saying “you have to be out to write this storyline” or anything, because that’s as shitty as some of the things this book espouses. I just think you need to be a helluva lot more careful about it than here. Two things here made it bad, specifically. Firstly, Charlie doesn’t exactly treat any of the girls very well. He dates them for a couple weeks, then unceremoniously ditches them. And he also doesn’t really treat Luke all that well at times (particularly when they start dating but aren’t out). It would be okay if the book took a clear stance on this, that he doesn’t treat them well and that he can’t excuse it with being closeted. It doesn’t take the opposite stance by any means, but it definitely could have made it clearer. Then, the kicker. Just when you start to feel sorry for Luke, he pulls the “we can’t be together if you’re not out” card. I don’t know how to describe just how pissed off I got at that point. Yes, in the book we’re not expecting Charlie’s family to actually be homophobic (casual comments perhaps aside), but to say that, to have that as the message of the book? Feels irresponsible. Especially since then Charlie doesn’t really choose to come out to his parents, but more does it because Luke has broken up with him over it. I don’t know how to make it clear enough that you should let people come out on their own terms and in their own time. And anything that says otherwise is just bad. One final thing (about the gay rep at least): you know when you get the whole sense of a book being all look at me I’m a gay ally and you just cringe? That’s very much the case here. There’s even a distinct scene I can point to that’s like, the most unsubtle thing. Joking that (view spoiler)[Charlie should be hiding in the closet instead of Sage’s bed from Sage’s parents, and thinking “no one should have to hide in the closet”. (hide spoiler)] No, really. It’s a genuine part. But, besides all that, there were actual other things that stopped me liking the story so much. Namely, I could not give less of a shit about Sage’s storyline. She spends half of it treating Nick like crap for some dumb reason, so that, when she’s upset they’re not together, I have such little patience for her I was tempted to skip her parts entirely. I mean, yes to complex and not always perfect female characters, but no to the ones who do exactly what the male ones do (and piss me off in the same way). Finally (and I mean it this time), there are so many conversations in this book that just get referenced. We don’t see them happening, but they are clearly important conversations, because they get brought up later. But surely it’s better to give the reader those conversations, rather than the ones that merely reference them. Particularly when said conversations might actually provide some character/relationship development as well. And don’t even get me started on the timeskips. So yeah. As you may be able to tell by the sheer length of this review, me and this book did not get along. To say the least.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    This was sweet and charming and compulsively readable (I flew through it in two sittings), but it also had a lot of depth. I so appreciated the discussion on how it can be really fucking scary, but ultimately so freeing and rewarding, to be yourself and to admit, both to yourself and others, what it is you truly want. The depiction of friendship was great, too— and you know I’m always a sucker for a boarding school book. I really grew to love these characters, and I think lots of contemporary re This was sweet and charming and compulsively readable (I flew through it in two sittings), but it also had a lot of depth. I so appreciated the discussion on how it can be really fucking scary, but ultimately so freeing and rewarding, to be yourself and to admit, both to yourself and others, what it is you truly want. The depiction of friendship was great, too— and you know I’m always a sucker for a boarding school book. I really grew to love these characters, and I think lots of contemporary readers will be just as enchanted by Sage, Charlie, Nick, Luke, and their friends as I was.

  4. 5 out of 5

    love, tappkalina

    So you want to tell me this is going to be a duology? The first book doesn't even come out yet! If it isn't pure torture, I don't know what is. ------------------------------------------------ 2020 is THAT year for us, gays.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 3.5/5 Stars Let's start this review by saying that I enjoyed this book, even though there are some things that I wish were different. But first, let's talk about what I liked. What made me like this book very much were the characters, I found them enjoyable and I loved the two main couples. I liked how they were all connected and friends and also how deeply they cared for each other, I especially l The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 3.5/5 Stars Let's start this review by saying that I enjoyed this book, even though there are some things that I wish were different. But first, let's talk about what I liked. What made me like this book very much were the characters, I found them enjoyable and I loved the two main couples. I liked how they were all connected and friends and also how deeply they cared for each other, I especially liked Sage and Charlie's friendship. This is a very character-driven narrative, in the sense that not much happens apart from the lives and the relationships these characters are involved in. I guess this might be a deal-breaker for some people, but I'm usually one that enjoys character-driven books and this one was no exception. I also really enjoyed how the theme of the boarding school was dealt with, it was fun and I also think it was depicted in a pretty realistic way. Now to the things I didn't particularly liked. The first thing is the double point of view. We get to read the story from Charlie and Sage's perspectives, but the two of them don't sound different at all. I enjoyed them, don't get me wrong, but they just felt like the same person. The thing that I disliked the most was how a certain "trope" was used. At one point a character breaks up with another because they feel like they cannot be together if the other's not out. I think this event kind of forced the coming out of said character and this was something I definitely did not appreciate since I believe everyone should come out when and if they are ready. Also, I found this behavior to be very out of character and that’s what made me despise it even more. Overall I think this particular plot line kind of sends off a bad message and so I just want to point this out so that you're aware this is something that happens in this novel. In the end this was an enjoyable read and even though I don't agree with some things that happened, I do still recommend it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    SUCH. STILTED. WRITING. I really liked the premise of the book, but the characters were incredibly two-dimensional and shallow. I got zero sense of their personalities - even though it was in first-person. There was nothing to majorly differentiate the male POV from the female one, and they both felt like puppets doing random illogical things because the author wanted them to. E.g. Sage, the heroine, was a lot less conflicted over lying to her supposed best friend than I would have expected her SUCH. STILTED. WRITING. I really liked the premise of the book, but the characters were incredibly two-dimensional and shallow. I got zero sense of their personalities - even though it was in first-person. There was nothing to majorly differentiate the male POV from the female one, and they both felt like puppets doing random illogical things because the author wanted them to. E.g. Sage, the heroine, was a lot less conflicted over lying to her supposed best friend than I would have expected her to be; the author did not draw out the level of angst suited to the situation in order to make it properly emotional. Ergo, puppets. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Garan

    this is the first book i’ve finished in one day in a v long time. i loved it with my whole heart. i laughed so much and cried so much. i would die for charlie and sage and luke and nick. thank you @SourcebooksFire for sending me a copy. thank you @kl_walther for the healing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rach

    I loved this book. We have two main characters in this book who are Sage and Charlie. Sage and Charlie have been best friends since they have been little. They both go to Bexley which is a boarding school, Charlie’s twin Nick also attends. Sage and Charlie both have secrets. K L Walther gives the authentic feel of high school and how life is difficult in high school whether it’s with relationships, deciding what to do after high school or general life. The two main relationships are both hidden a I loved this book. We have two main characters in this book who are Sage and Charlie. Sage and Charlie have been best friends since they have been little. They both go to Bexley which is a boarding school, Charlie’s twin Nick also attends. Sage and Charlie both have secrets. K L Walther gives the authentic feel of high school and how life is difficult in high school whether it’s with relationships, deciding what to do after high school or general life. The two main relationships are both hidden at the start for different reasons . I loved both of these relationships and each couple adore each other. Sage and Charlie start to figure how who are they are and who they want to be and not to worry what other people’s expectations are of them. I can’t wait to read her next book I received a ARC from Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an objection review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Madison Mary

    "Sometimes I thought stuff like this, what it would be like if Sage and I were together. If we could actually be the way people thought we should be. If I could actually be the way people thought I was." A sweet but hard-hitting coming of age contemporary romance about two teens discovering what it means to love. SUMMARY Everyone thinks that Sage Morgan and Charlie Carmichael are meant to be. They've been best-friends since childhood and are practically joined at the hip. When senior year begin "Sometimes I thought stuff like this, what it would be like if Sage and I were together. If we could actually be the way people thought we should be. If I could actually be the way people thought I was." A sweet but hard-hitting coming of age contemporary romance about two teens discovering what it means to love. SUMMARY Everyone thinks that Sage Morgan and Charlie Carmichael are meant to be. They've been best-friends since childhood and are practically joined at the hip. When senior year begins, Luke Morrissey appears. He develops a quick friendship with Sage, but Charlie finds that the friendship he is forming with Luke is more than that. Suddenly Charlie and Luke are spending a lot more alone time together, which gives Sage the chance to explore her feeling for Nick Carmichael, Charlie's twin. Suddenly these two best friends find themselves falling fast and they will have to finally explore the parts of themselves they've been ignoring. REVIEW I won't lie... I am disappointed because I really thought this would be a five-star read and the fact that it wasn't hurts a tad. I think that I have just read some really stellar YA contemporaries recently that tackle the same topics and this didn't quite hit the mark. That being said, I will keep an eye out for more from K.L. Walther in the future. Recently I have read some amazing coming-out novels, and I think that because Walther is a female writing a gay romance, you could see that Charlie's POV lacked the depth that Sage's POV had. This is where the novel fell a bit flat for me. Let's start with Sage Morgan. Damn did I love her. Sage was the highlight of this novel (other than Luke, but more on that in a second). Ever since her parent's divorce Sage has been hesitant to form any real romantic connection in high school, she believes it could never last. When she begins to form feelings for Nick, Charlie's twin, she freaks out. She wants to embrace them but she is also scared of ruining what could be (and it doesn't help that Charlie basically said for her not to pursue Nick). I saw flashes of myself in Sage and her hesitancy in romance but also her full-frontal bubbly persona when in public. This somewhat sunny front she exudes while dealing with her own inner doubt was tangible and very well written. I did love Charlie's story. His journey is so important, but it lacked an extra depth to it in comparison to Sage. I always felt like I was only getting half the story from Charlie, and maybe that was because Charlie never really knew the full story either. It is a hard road to navigate but I feel that Charlie's story was real. He struggled so deeply with his sexuality that it took not only a mental but physical toll. This was very hard hitting, and I would like to put in a TW for EDs because anorexia is mentioned briefly. (as someone who was diagnosed with anorexia six years ago it wasnt triggering but the blatent use of the term did hit me the wrong way and probably also contributed to a lower star rating). Now, the gem of this story was Luke, especially his friendship with Sage. It was a shining part of the novel and it would've benefited from more deeper scenes between the two of them. Luke was the connecting force between the two storylines of Sage and Charlie - that is a lot of pressure to put on a side-character. However, Luke really did shine and I love that he was never apologetic for being his true self. I think when I step back, a part of me realises that this book lacked that extra depth that I look for in coming-of-age LGBTQ+ novels. Overall, I think that the book should've focused on one or the other. While I did love Sage and Charlie, I think that their POVs being so different was more a hindrance on the novel than a blessing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chadreadsbooks

    firstly thank you to netgalley and the publishers for the Earc In exchange for review before going into this book I was so excited to dive in and I wanted to read this one when I first heard about it as the premise of the book sounded great and something I would enjoy. sadly this book fell flat for me and was just a okay read. I'm not one for doing negative reviews so I will only say the positives of the novel will a little critique because there definitely were moments that I enjoyed throughout firstly thank you to netgalley and the publishers for the Earc In exchange for review before going into this book I was so excited to dive in and I wanted to read this one when I first heard about it as the premise of the book sounded great and something I would enjoy. sadly this book fell flat for me and was just a okay read. I'm not one for doing negative reviews so I will only say the positives of the novel will a little critique because there definitely were moments that I enjoyed throughout such as this is set in a boarding school setting which is a nice feature in books that I love. the friendships I really enjoyed too and how really supportive they were to one of our main characters Charlie who is currently in the closet and is too scared to come out to friends, family and the school because of the repercussions he thinks it will have on himself and doesn't want anyone to treat him differently. I will say Charlie was a great character but from time to time he did annoy me (just my opinion) and finally I really like the cute romances we do get but I wished we got so much more from them as I felt that throughout the whole story we only got snippets of romance and felt it was never fully touched upon. yes don't get me wrong we do see build ups to the relationships but I felt something was missing. overall if we were us was a good read just wasn't on par to what I thought It could of been. I will say it was a really fast read for me and went by very fast. if your looking for something light and cute definitely read this one if you are interested.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    2.5 Stars DNF @ 32% There was absolutely nothing wrong with this story, I just really lost interest the more I read. I was so excited to see a story with a platonic soulmate in it - and I loved the relationship between Sage and Charlie, but even really liking the idea of the relationship, I didn't quite connect with the characters the way I wanted too. The characters never felt real to me -there was an exaggerated outlandishness that made the story feel unattainable. And even my love of boarding s 2.5 Stars DNF @ 32% There was absolutely nothing wrong with this story, I just really lost interest the more I read. I was so excited to see a story with a platonic soulmate in it - and I loved the relationship between Sage and Charlie, but even really liking the idea of the relationship, I didn't quite connect with the characters the way I wanted too. The characters never felt real to me -there was an exaggerated outlandishness that made the story feel unattainable. And even my love of boarding school books didn't help because it all just felt so out of reach. I only started to see the relationship develop between Charlie and Luke and Sage and Nick respectively, and while I liked them they weren't enough to keep me going. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    dani

    i am numb as i am writing this. i am possessed by emotions, my heart is filled and cannot take anything more. i received an arc approximately 6 hours ago and i started reading it as soon as i could. by the time i was ten seconds in, i knew the story was undeniably going to become my favourite of this year, and i was exactly right. apart from that, let’s talk about the book itself. we have sage and charlie, best friends since childhood who people believe will end up together at some point however s i am numb as i am writing this. i am possessed by emotions, my heart is filled and cannot take anything more. i received an arc approximately 6 hours ago and i started reading it as soon as i could. by the time i was ten seconds in, i knew the story was undeniably going to become my favourite of this year, and i was exactly right. apart from that, let’s talk about the book itself. we have sage and charlie, best friends since childhood who people believe will end up together at some point however sage likes nick, charlie’s twin and charlie is gay. moreover, we have luke. a new student who immediately catches charlie’s attention. i cannot begin to explain how consuming their relationship is, most of my notes are about them; they’re adorable, heartbreaking and WHOLESOME!!! whereas nick and sage were cute too, not as much as them. nick made some mistakes that infuriated me but they still produced many screams that came from my mouth. this book was absolutely perfect, the friendships were SO loyal, it was endearing to read; they cared deeply about each other (i cried many, many times) the romance was engrossing, i was a doomed fool who knew what she had in store yet reacted with wonder every single time. in brief, the book is a work of art, it’s real and foolish at some points (they could have fixed numerous problems BY TALKING) that you begin to recognize how something can be perfectly imperfect, it’s a 5/5 and it’s obviously going on my favourites from this year. *many thanks to netgalley and sourcebooks fire for allowing to read the arc!*

  13. 5 out of 5

    Martina

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with the digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. FULL REVIEW HERE. 3.5 stars. When I bumped into this book on NetGalley, I was immediately sold. The plot sounded promising and I was surely expecting a cute story about two best friends, their last year before going to university and their discovery of love. And I wasn’t disappointed. Anyway, I also found some things that didn’t quite convinced me. If We Were Us Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with the digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. FULL REVIEW HERE. 3.5 stars. When I bumped into this book on NetGalley, I was immediately sold. The plot sounded promising and I was surely expecting a cute story about two best friends, their last year before going to university and their discovery of love. And I wasn’t disappointed. Anyway, I also found some things that didn’t quite convinced me. If We Were Us by K. L. Walther is an entertaining book that revolves around Sage Morgan and Charlie Carmichael. These two have been best friends since forever and here we can definitely see that they care very deeply about each other. Their friendship is one of the best aspects of this novel because they always try to be there for each other, no matter what. Sage and Charlie are really an adorable duo! And that’s something I really appreciated. I liked the writing style and I think it was perfect for this novel. However, I wasn’t a fan of the two points of view here employed. To me, it felt like they were pretty much the same. At times, I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to read whose actually POV I was currently reading about because I kept getting confused. What I didn't like is that a character was kind of forced into coming out because he wasn't ready to do it, but he does so in order to not lose the loved one. I think this kind of message is not okay, not even a little. Especially because young people could read this book and get the wrong idea. Everyone should come out on their own terms and when they feel like it’s the right time. The decision is up to them and not to anyone else. Overall, If We Were Us is an enjoyable and light read. If you love reading about true friendship and the discovery of love, then it’ll definitely be your cup of tea!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gerardine Betancourt

    sorry but i can't handle this book anymore. I found it extremely boring. From the beginning I already knew where the story would go. The author introduced so many characters to the book that it seemed unnecessary since I was confused to what relationship they had with our four main characters. It might not be my type of reading, but if the premise catch your attention you may like it. thanks to netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    If We Were Us by K.L. Walther is the story of four teenagers and how their lives intertwine in a private boarding school. Everyone at Bexley School knows that Sage and Charlie are destined to be together. No matter how many girlfriends Charlie has had over the years, everyone knows he’ll always come back to Sage. But when Luke starts Bexley School as a prefect, life for Charlie changes. Luke and Charlie are drawn together, and Charlie can’t deny the attraction he feels for Luke. How does the big m If We Were Us by K.L. Walther is the story of four teenagers and how their lives intertwine in a private boarding school. Everyone at Bexley School knows that Sage and Charlie are destined to be together. No matter how many girlfriends Charlie has had over the years, everyone knows he’ll always come back to Sage. But when Luke starts Bexley School as a prefect, life for Charlie changes. Luke and Charlie are drawn together, and Charlie can’t deny the attraction he feels for Luke. How does the big man on campus come out of the closet as a gay man? Sage, for her part, is happy for Charlie. His distraction means she can spend more time with Charlie’s twin, Nick. And she really likes Nick. As the year goes on, the relationship dynamics between the four teenagers changes and shifts. One thing’s for certain though: it’s never simple, and it’s never easy. If We Were Us by K.L. Walther was a cute read. It was simple, sweet, and a breeze to get through. So why did I only give it three stars? The biggest reason is that all of the characters blended together. While the perspective of the book shifts back and forth between Sage and Charlie, the voice sounded the same. All four characters acted and sounded remarkably alike, so I got lost at times trying to remember which character I was actually following. On the plus side, the romances in the book were sweet. I enjoyed watching the characters get to know each other better and grow closer as the book went on. Would I recommend If We Were Us by K.L. Walthers to others? Yes, if you enjoy young adult contemporary fiction, this a book you should consider! Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    Oh, you guys. I am OBSESSED with this story. The synopsis doesn't do it justice; this review won't do it justice. It's just this incredibly sweet, incredibly awesome love story. (Love stories, plural, really; it's so good and I don't think I can talk about it like a rational person and parse exactly why I love it so much.) I mean, yes, boarding school stories. And yes, first love. And yes, secret romance. And yes, friends that are like family. But it's all of those things and more. I have literary Oh, you guys. I am OBSESSED with this story. The synopsis doesn't do it justice; this review won't do it justice. It's just this incredibly sweet, incredibly awesome love story. (Love stories, plural, really; it's so good and I don't think I can talk about it like a rational person and parse exactly why I love it so much.) I mean, yes, boarding school stories. And yes, first love. And yes, secret romance. And yes, friends that are like family. But it's all of those things and more. I have literary-related crazymouth. So just get this and read it and thank me later. Highly recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristel

    *Netgalley ARC* Such a cute and sweet love story. Because yes, this is a love story with all the heartaches and pains and puffy eyes and tears and make out and make ups, and it was a really sweet one. The book is told from two POVs, from Sage and her best friend Charlie. Charlie is facing his feelings for new super cute boy Luke, and Sage is trying very hard not to fall hard for Charlie's twin Nick. Both are pretty charmed, both act pretty stupidly. How can you do? They are impulsive, indecisive, *Netgalley ARC* Such a cute and sweet love story. Because yes, this is a love story with all the heartaches and pains and puffy eyes and tears and make out and make ups, and it was a really sweet one. The book is told from two POVs, from Sage and her best friend Charlie. Charlie is facing his feelings for new super cute boy Luke, and Sage is trying very hard not to fall hard for Charlie's twin Nick. Both are pretty charmed, both act pretty stupidly. How can you do? They are impulsive, indecisive, young, afraid. Things can't always come easy, right? Among all the sweetness and how cute both of the couples were, there's one thing I wasn't a fan of. Nothing should be forced to come out, no matter how much it's hurting, coming out if you're not ready shouldn't be used as an ultimatum. I can understand the frustration, the sadness, the need to be free, but nope, if you're not ready nobody should force you. Boarding school life sounds really great or at least that's how the characters made it look like. They were always having themed events, parties, dances, always out and about having adventures and so much fun. They made it sound like something I would've loved to experience. I liked both voices, Sage's and Charlie's, and how you could read how both of them were trying to find themselves besides them being a duo. How they were without having to share everything with one another, having secrets for the first time ever, to protect themselves. But their friendship is a solid one, and I loved how they were always there for each other, even if being there could've cost them something they started caring much about. I finished the book in under 5 hours, I needed to know how it was going to end. My heart hurt and was full of feelings. I wanted to see all of them happy because I started caring about these characters, about all their group of friends, and I wanted them to have all the happiness in the world. I definitely recommend this book! Preorder it asap!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    human

    HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! Oh my god this was so adorable. And funny. And slightly heart-breaking. It was a fluffy read, but I loved it. SO. HECKING. CUTE!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Whether high school is just slightly in the rear-view mirror or long ago, author KL Walther, in her debut novel, will take you back to the bittersweet days of senior year through the lens of the four main characters in If We Were Us. Set in a fictional East Coast boarding school, she immerses the reader in the day-to-day of life-long friends Charlie and Sage-- who most on the campus presume are more than BFFs-- and Charlie’s twin brother, Nick. The new guy on campus is the smart, funny and self- Whether high school is just slightly in the rear-view mirror or long ago, author KL Walther, in her debut novel, will take you back to the bittersweet days of senior year through the lens of the four main characters in If We Were Us. Set in a fictional East Coast boarding school, she immerses the reader in the day-to-day of life-long friends Charlie and Sage-- who most on the campus presume are more than BFFs-- and Charlie’s twin brother, Nick. The new guy on campus is the smart, funny and self-deprecating transfer student Luke (we all have a favorite character and he was mine) who is taken under Sage’s wing and introduced to her circle of friends. Everyone on campus takes a special interest in Luke, especially Charlie. The two hit it off instantly. Walther's page-turner takes us on a journey exploring the meaning of friendship, identity, teen insecurity, and love. Told in the first person, this author has a great knack for creating scenes with enough tension and energy and snappy dialogue that it had me wanting to tag along with this band of friends at their favorite after school hangout. I ditched everything for two days to see where the four would end up and with whom as they created a memorable senior year. This book stuck with me long after I finished the last page.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Townsend

    I love this book with all my heart and I cannot wait to read it again when it comes out in June. With engaging characters and relatable situations (whether you’re in high school or out of it), Walther hits the nail on the head with her debut novel. If We Were Us has everything that you could ever want: an iconic Best-Friend Duo, swoony love interests that make you want more, and real-world relatable problems. Set in the fictional boarding school of Bexley, the novel makes you wish that you went I love this book with all my heart and I cannot wait to read it again when it comes out in June. With engaging characters and relatable situations (whether you’re in high school or out of it), Walther hits the nail on the head with her debut novel. If We Were Us has everything that you could ever want: an iconic Best-Friend Duo, swoony love interests that make you want more, and real-world relatable problems. Set in the fictional boarding school of Bexley, the novel makes you wish that you went there too. Between the crazy antics of Sage and her girl squad to the events "The Flock" friend group gets up to, I never wanted to put it down. And don’t even get me started on the love interests. Luke Morrissey and Nick Carmichael, you both have my heart for the foreseeable future. As a person who reads a lot and loves this genre, I can say I probably set my record with how fast I read this book. I just could not put it down. Between Bexley being well Bexley and the dual narration from Charlie and Sage, I constantly wanted to know what happened next, always keeping reading. To watch them grow throughout the book was a ride, as I felt for them every time something happened. Between the good times and the bad, Walther had me laughing and crying with as well as crying for these characters. If there is one thing I can tell you, this book will easily become one of your favorites due to the sheer relatability of who these characters are. 10/10 recommend.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carol Flores

    If We Were Us is about Charlie and Sage, two bffs who happen to find love in the most unexpected moments of their lives: Luke and Nick, respectively. All four are friends, but from the moment they met, Charlie and Luke make a connection not only as friends but as guys who find each other attractive. On the other hand, Sage and Nick (he’s the twin brother of Charlie) also have a thing between them, but they must keep it a secret for now. I think this book tried really hard to say that figuring yo If We Were Us is about Charlie and Sage, two bffs who happen to find love in the most unexpected moments of their lives: Luke and Nick, respectively. All four are friends, but from the moment they met, Charlie and Luke make a connection not only as friends but as guys who find each other attractive. On the other hand, Sage and Nick (he’s the twin brother of Charlie) also have a thing between them, but they must keep it a secret for now. I think this book tried really hard to say that figuring yourself out might not come as easy as it is for others. Knowing who you are and what you want to do with your life can mess your mind, but you never stop learning, even from your mistakes. Now, I really wanted to love this book. I mean, the synopsis sold me some nice things I tend to enjoy, and while it did have them, I just couldn’t’ connect with any of the characters (at least not on a deep level). For the most part I was just thinking that I’ve outgrown YA books, and perhaps I am. Anyway, there were a few things I did like, such as: -The friendship between Sage and Charlie. I totally understand what is like to have a bff that you love so much, but not in that way. -Nick and Charlie being really cool brothers to each other. I mean, the fact that they both protected the other from harmful situations says a lot. Also, Nick being totally OK with Charlie being gay was a plus. On the other hand, the list of things I didn’t like is bigger: -Some scenes and chapters were abruptly finished, and when another began I had to re-read the last paragraph. -This is a book told by two POVs (Charlie and Sage) but they feel almost the same. More than 5 times I had to go back to the beginning because I didn’t know who was narrating the chapter. -The big drama here (Charlie coming out of the closet) was solved in barely a page. I mean, I kind of liked that it wasn’t a big deal (because in reality it shouldn’t be), but I still felt like it was lacking something important. It was the biggest bummer, really. -So much drama could have been avoided if the characters talked to each other. This whole miscommunication trope is really a turn down for me. I know they’re teenagers and they make a lot of mistakes, but c’mon, it’s 2020, talking to other person is like the easiest thing ever nowadays. -For the most part, I couldn’t stop thinking that Charlie was really selfish. I mean, I totally get what it’s like to create a different version of yourself in order to fit in, but when you use people like objects (all those girls he dated and then dumped like they were nothing), and when you hurt people for not telling the truth (Luke, and Nick and Sage), then I think you have to realize you’re doing something wrong and coming clean is the only answer. -Also Luke said he was OK with being in a secret relationship until Charlie was OK to tell his parents but then he’s obviously not, and he even breaks up with him for the same reason. I don’t think that was true love, or at least, I don’t feel like they will last a lot. Anyway, I don’t think this book was for me, since I’m a full grown queer adult, but I think it might be good to teenagers who are still trying to figure it out what they want in life ‘cause sure has some quite a few topics that are entertaining to see in contemporary books. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it had a good premise but the execution wasn’t my favorite. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Thomas

    Actual rating: 4.5 stars K.L. Walther is a new author that I haven't heard much buzz about, but the title, cover, and description of this book had me immediately intrigued and I hoped my local library would obtain a copy so I could check this book out. Luckily, they did! I really enjoyed this story. If We Were Us is set at a high school boarding school and follows two main characters - Sage and Charlie who are best friends entering their senior year of high school. The whole school thinks Sage an Actual rating: 4.5 stars K.L. Walther is a new author that I haven't heard much buzz about, but the title, cover, and description of this book had me immediately intrigued and I hoped my local library would obtain a copy so I could check this book out. Luckily, they did! I really enjoyed this story. If We Were Us is set at a high school boarding school and follows two main characters - Sage and Charlie who are best friends entering their senior year of high school. The whole school thinks Sage and Charlie are secretly in love with each other, including Charlie's twin brother, Nick, who has a major crush on Sage. The story starts with the arrival of a new student, Luke, who's called a PG (post-graduate) because he actually graduated in the spring and is spending the next year at Bexley before going to college the following year. Immediately, Charlie and Sage are taken with Luke, Charlie even more so. From there you have a beautiful story about friendship, family, first love, and finding yourself. (The alliteration is purely accidental!) I thoroughly enjoyed this story and read it in one sitting, not even putting it down to eat dinner. I am very picky about YA contemporary and I'm happy to say this book nailed it. You get likable and realistic main characters, fleshed out side characters, some swoon-worthy romances, amazing friendships, and best of all - HUMOR! This book was so unexpectedly funny and it never felt like it was trying too hard. I feel like the humor elements really made this book. If I had to have one criticism it would be something relatively minor that's really a "me" thing. This book is told in alternating chapters from Sage's POV and Charlie's POV. Something will happen in a chapter and as a reader you think it's going to be a "big thing" that will be shown in the next chapter from that character's POV only for it to be completely glossed over awhile later. A good example of this is during one of Charlie's chapters it is mentioned that his birthday is coming up in October and Luke tells him he bought him a present. As a reader I was super intrigued to see that scene - see Luke give the gift, Charlie open it, his reaction to the gift, etc. but then Charlie's chapter has ended and you think the scene will be in his next chapter. Nope. Instead, the gift isn't mentioned for awhile and it's like a throwaway comment where Charlie mentioned what Luke got him and he says he loves it, but we miss out on the actual scene. This happens a few time with events in Charlie's chapters, but also multiple times in Sage's chapters. It's not like you miss out on vital events that shape the story or the characters, not at all. I think it's more of a writing/formatting/stylistic choice that the author made. And I'm not entirely mad at it, it was just kind of jarring and not something I am used to. Again, it's just a small part of the book that I didn't love, but like I said, I doubt it would be on most people's radars. You could even spin this as a positive that by saving all those elaborate scenes the author was actually able to include more details even if those details were brief in description. So, maybe I'm not so mad at it! K.L. Walther is definitely an author I want to keep on my radar. If you are a fan of YA contemporary romance stories (that also focus heavily on friendship) then I highly recommend this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    At their boarding school, best friends Charlie and Sage have always been the talk as being “more than best friends,” that they’re in love with each other, that they should be together. Turns out, they like different boys. How do their individual journeys in finding love affect their friendship, but most importantly, their relationships? Oh my heart! This was such a loving story about loving the guy, loving your best friend, and loving yourself. I felt so much more for Charlie! And, as for Sage, w At their boarding school, best friends Charlie and Sage have always been the talk as being “more than best friends,” that they’re in love with each other, that they should be together. Turns out, they like different boys. How do their individual journeys in finding love affect their friendship, but most importantly, their relationships? Oh my heart! This was such a loving story about loving the guy, loving your best friend, and loving yourself. I felt so much more for Charlie! And, as for Sage, what a strong best friend. This book took coming of age to another level, and it was such a joy to read. Full disclosure: one of the final chapters definitely made me cry. YA readers, you’re going to want to check this one out! Thank you Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for providing me this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Isaiah

    To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews. I got an ARC of this book. I saw total rom com potential in this book. I saw so much hope for a light and fluffy read that would leave my heart happy. I was ready for something light and fun. This book wasn’t light and fun. Instead it was full of half formed angst that didn’t really make any sense. The plot line for Sage was just really half baked. The reasoning why she couldn’t be in a relationship was barely mentioned. I saw no real reason why that p To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews. I got an ARC of this book. I saw total rom com potential in this book. I saw so much hope for a light and fluffy read that would leave my heart happy. I was ready for something light and fun. This book wasn’t light and fun. Instead it was full of half formed angst that didn’t really make any sense. The plot line for Sage was just really half baked. The reasoning why she couldn’t be in a relationship was barely mentioned. I saw no real reason why that plot existed except to make the boy/boy romance have more weight. It just felt like it was thrown in. Add in that it was implied that Sage slept with guys, but didn’t date. This was then thrown out so she could lose her virginity to her “true love” and equate having sex with being in love. I just didn’t believe they were in love. I also didn’t vibe with the seeing them as married with kids when they were 17/18 during the scene it was brought up. I needed more to see them as long term potential. The boy/boy plot has already been done so much, but this one had a bit more One was mildly out and one was just coming to terms with being gay in reality. The bit more in this case was the support for being a secret, though it didn’t last. I knew it wouldn’t. The plot was always destined to be “come out or lose me” that is how these plots go. I was disappointed. I though there was going to be more depth to this than some tired cliche plot that even Grey’s Anatomy had. I shipped the boys at least. I thought they made a cute couple. The weird family dynamic plot with an aunt made no sense to me. Why was she making comments? What was even the point of those interactions? It just felt like it was adding angst, when it was just adding to my annoyance. The coming out scene was great, except for one character. It felt forced and then awkward. Like the author lost control of the scene, but didn’t want to follow through. The epilogue also bugged me. It was too close to the timeline of the story to really give me closure. I wanted to see them meeting up for summer or winter break during college or maybe after college. I wanted to have a happier ending or at least one that didn’t feel like it was tacked on. I didn’t care that they graduated, I had no doubts they would. The speech was underwhelming. Overall, I was just let down. I was hoping for more. I wanted more cute, I wanted more romance, I wanted more realistic angst.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kat (from Minas Morgul)

    Longer review on my blog Kat from Minas Morgul the good: - the friendships ♥ especially Sage and Charlie's, it's so wonderful - the unconditional love between them - also Luke and Sage's friendship!! - the characters themselves - how the struggle of being a closeted gay was written - how Brexley was its own little world and how wonderfully it was described the bad: - it was so fast? some scenes barely started before they were over again - a certain trope regarding LGBT+ people ugh no (view spoiler)[tired Longer review on my blog Kat from Minas Morgul the good: - the friendships ♥ especially Sage and Charlie's, it's so wonderful - the unconditional love between them - also Luke and Sage's friendship!! - the characters themselves - how the struggle of being a closeted gay was written - how Brexley was its own little world and how wonderfully it was described the bad: - it was so fast? some scenes barely started before they were over again - a certain trope regarding LGBT+ people ugh no (view spoiler)[tired of seeing stuff like "I can only be with you when you're out" (hide spoiler)] - no differences between the voices

  26. 4 out of 5

    noveldoll

    There is no one who is sadder than me right now for not liking this book. This was one of my most anticipated releases for this year. And in the end, I felt kind of unsatisfied with the story. The characters were forgettable, the story as well. I did not vibe with the writing style, not one bit. I am not saying that I would not recommend this book, I most certainly will. I guess I had different hopes or just expected too much which is my fault entirely.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Krysti

    A delightful, bright, and romantic debut from author K.L. Walter! Fans of boarding school novels will be sending in their applications to Bexley by the end of page one!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thamy

    A love quartet of two couples in a boarding school told from two points of view. This actually deserves a 3+, because it was different enough, but this difference can be strange to some readers. Sage is like a ray of sunshine to anyone in the Bexley boarding school, she's always with her group of friends and after some fun. But Charlie, one the twins, is probably the actual son in their school, Charming Charlie. The smartest and most popular guy, always with a new girl. The two have been friends f A love quartet of two couples in a boarding school told from two points of view. This actually deserves a 3+, because it was different enough, but this difference can be strange to some readers. Sage is like a ray of sunshine to anyone in the Bexley boarding school, she's always with her group of friends and after some fun. But Charlie, one the twins, is probably the actual son in their school, Charming Charlie. The smartest and most popular guy, always with a new girl. The two have been friends forever and everyone knows they ought to get together one day for their happy ending. But the truth is that Sage is secretly dating Charlie's twin, and Charlie may have found his first true love in the new student. With these changes, will their friendship bond be enough to protect them? I like that this is just an apparent love "triangle of four". There is really no actual intertwining, but the four main characters don't leave unscathed either. The mess they get themselves into was what piqued my curiosity, although it also aggravated me at times. The most beautiful thing about this is Sage's friendship to Charlie, which isn't 100% as pure on his side, but still strong enough. I loved that complexity. I also liked Luke a lot, but not Nick as much. Sage is surely my favorite, even though I have no idea how an eighteen-year-old would have the emotional strength to hold on as she did. Being a story about a boarding school also made this book also relatable with older teenagers starting college and the such. There are a good number of topic for discussion as well. Most of the book I kept asking myself if I would make the same choices as Sage. If I should admonish Charlie for his indecisiveness or if maybe Luke should respect it more. If maybe Nick should put himself more in the other's shoes. There are many layers to the story and my head couldn't stop thinking.But it was also what made the reading a little sour—the reader is also put in a hard place. Aside from that, I feel there were so many points to make, the writing got a little messy. My biggest issue is that I had trouble differentiating Sage's and Charlie's voices as they alternated narration, despite the two being completely different characters. But the way we're presented with their universe was also a little all over the place and took me some "let's not worry about understanding it now and just enjoy", which is a patience not many readers will have and they'll either be stressed out and stuck in the beginning or just drop the book for the next. And while it was a nice read, the conclusion was actually predictable, without that many moments to make the way so memorable, either. It's not a book everyone will like, and even for LGBT readers, this will be yet another coming-out story, but there are details that made it an interesting book. And I do plan to read more from the author. Honest review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janet Walden-West

    Guys, this book. It gave me ALL the feels. I went into If We Were Us with expectations of a fun read, and my personal catnip--an awkward high school faux love triangle (real love triangles are a no-go, but faux ones? Perfect.), and all the ups and downs that go with being on that line between teen and adult. The automatic drama that comes with navigating that epic senior year when you can't wait to leave the familiar fishbowl you've swam in for years, but also feel both on top of the world, becau Guys, this book. It gave me ALL the feels. I went into If We Were Us with expectations of a fun read, and my personal catnip--an awkward high school faux love triangle (real love triangles are a no-go, but faux ones? Perfect.), and all the ups and downs that go with being on that line between teen and adult. The automatic drama that comes with navigating that epic senior year when you can't wait to leave the familiar fishbowl you've swam in for years, but also feel both on top of the world, because seniors, baby. But every game, dance, and dinner is also kind of bittersweet because, senior year. K.L. Walther delivered, but also gave us a sweet, messy ride-or-die best friend duo and two equally sweet and messy slow-burn romances. Sage and Charlie both face what it means to keep other people's secrets, while figuring out who they really are, or want to be, versus the overwhelming weight of outside expectations. I adored the world of Bexley and it's Ivy League traditions, and can't wait for another couple and another trip to its tradition-wrapped grounds.

  30. 5 out of 5

    iam

    Cute YA romance set at a boarding school featuring childhood best friends, one's brother, and the new guy at school. Content warnings include: casual homophobic jokes, internalized homophobia, unacknowledged eating disorder and weight loss, breakups, off-page sex between teenagers; mentions of mild violence. This kind of felt like a typical American high school romcom, except also not. There was the big cast of popular characters, the tons of parties, everyone knowing everyone, so much drama arou Cute YA romance set at a boarding school featuring childhood best friends, one's brother, and the new guy at school. Content warnings include: casual homophobic jokes, internalized homophobia, unacknowledged eating disorder and weight loss, breakups, off-page sex between teenagers; mentions of mild violence. This kind of felt like a typical American high school romcom, except also not. There was the big cast of popular characters, the tons of parties, everyone knowing everyone, so much drama around relationships, supposedly a ton of homework except everyone is always hanging out and doing activities together literally all the time... and yet it didn't annoy me in the same way those shows usually do. I liked that there was no bullying or cliques, no nerd/jock/art kids/goths separation, no real unecessary jealousy drama, no forced or involuntary outing, blackmail, inappropriate teacher/student relationships or similar things. There was a storyline about a gay couple with one of them out while the other isn't, and the tension around them was focussed on the closeted one struggling with the idea of coming out, but it was handled respectfully, with both characters being fully in their right and without actively pressuring each other. The two protagonists, Sage and Charlie, are best friends, but I found their friendship less of a big deal as the book's description made me believe. Instead, Sage and Luke, the new guy at school, had a friendship that at least to me was in the foreground a lot. The one thing I couldn't quite wrap my head around was Sage and her hang-up around high school romantic relationships. The drama and heartbreak that caused had no relation to the reasoning she named and could have been solved had she just spoken up earlier, and when she does she gives in immediately anyways without any big discussion or character development. Generally I had some issues with the timeline - I couldn't always tell which parts were described as having happened in the past and which were happening at present. Other events only happened during the POV of a non-present character, so the reader only learns about them second hand, which I found a weird choice since it's switching POVs anyways? My biggest issue was probably all the names - there is a huge cast of not only all the people at the boarding school, but also their extended families, all the different buildings each had a name, as well as several locations at the protagonist's homes, and at no point was it explained who was who or what was what or where, and that was just super annoying. Even now that I'm finished there are several names that I couldn't tell you who or what they are. Overall still a fun read that passes the time. I received an ARC and reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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