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Review: If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Goodreads summary: Throughout their whole childhood, Finn and Autumn were inseparable - they finished each other's sentences, they knew just what to say when the other person was hurting. But one incident in middle school puts them in separate social worlds come high school, and Autumn has been happily dating James for the last 2 years. But she's always wondered what if...
Autumn and Finn had been close childhood friends. They started drifting apart in high school, hanging out in different cliques and barely exchanging words despite frequently seeing each other during 'family' dinners where their mothers (aka The Mothers) bring them together for meals.

This book details the events leading up to that tragic August night when Finn passed away due to a car accident (which is no spoiler since it's given in the book summary). Autumn also reminisces her childhood past with Finn and we are left wondering how they were the best of friends and transitioned to being practically strangers within the span of a few years. All the could'ves, would'ves and should'ves are lain out by Autumn's recount.

Autumn's obsession with Finn was so strong, it was very annoying how many times she kept acting like she didn't care in front of him. She kept having to convince herself that settling for another boy (if he loved her more than she loved him) was a good thing, whilst she was constantly imagining how Finn would have acted in situations she experienced with that boy. It was maddening but somehow I couldn't put the book down! I just had to find out if Autumn confessed her feelings to Finn, whether Finn felt the same way and whether Finn's death would affect me more than it did when it was revealed in the first chapter.

I didn't like the book's ending as I felt it was a bit of a cop-out. It was like the author served us two bombshells on a plate and then told us to conjure up our own resolution.