If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin

if he had been with me

Published: April 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire

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… (Goodreads)

I bought this book on a whim from Amazon. I actually bought a physical copy of the book because the difference in price for a physical copy in comparison to a kindle copy was something like .50 cents. At first I really struggled to get into it and I was worried that I was going to have to DNF it, but by the end, I was bawling like a baby. It wasn’t a pretty site…

I really struggled to empathise with Autumn. It took a while for her to become fleshed out enough that I could sit with her on the same level and actually understand where she was coming from with some things. I don’t know if this was done on purpose to try and convey out MC growing up, or whether it was accidental – but either way, I think it deterred from the story a bit because I was constantly questioning the motives behind her actions.

I really liked Finny. I mean, I know he was guarded and everything up until the end, but he came across from the first moment as someone who could be relied on and as someone who I could easily be friends with. I know that the reader already has an insight as to what is going to happen to him later in the book, but I was still hoping beyond hope that it wouldn’t and that things would change. So, eventually, when the end came, I struggled to deal with it. I bawled like a baby and my 8 month old baby was looking at me like I was gone out! That’s how bad it was! I just… Why Nowlin???

The book was a little bit slow. It took a while for me to get into the book because it seemed like nothing was happening. It spanned out over 4 years (which the time frame actually confused me a little bit), but it didn’t feel like four years because not a lot happened. It would be like watching a couple of teens going through their everyday life and nothing more. There may be some entertaining arguments every now and then because you think that they are still children, but other than that, the plot was pretty dry up until toward the end.

The redeeming factor was that the love between Finn and Autumn was a slow burn. It took them forever to actually realise it and come together, but when they did, I had all the feels and I loved it – which basically made the ending 1 million times worse!! It’s still killing me, even hours after finishing it!

I was going to give this book 3 stars because of the drag in the plot line, but I decided to up it to four after my emotions went wild at the end! I struggled to deal with the ending because it is bittersweet and not at all how I wanted things to go. This book basically broke my heart, broke it again, and then broke it again and I am just sat here trying to pick up all the pieces! Way to go Nowlin! I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

3 thoughts on “If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin

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