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If He Had Been with Me

If He Had Been with Me - Laura Nowlin This book was really good.

That being said, this book also pissed me off epically. Beware there will be some spoilers but not also because we already know what happens in the end from the first chapter.

SO basically the story is about Autumn and Finny who are/were best friends. Their mothers were best friends and pregnant at the same time. Finny and Autumn were born one week apart and up until they were 13 they were inseparable. They lived next door to each other and during elementary school they had no other friends aside from each other. That all changes on one New Year's eve when Finny kisses Autumn. Autumn tells they whole story from the beginning of freshman year in high school, with flashbacks to herself and Finny when they were younger.

Autumn is a cool character. Not my favorite but I liked her because she was spunky, different and weird. She had this thing for tiaras and wore them all the time. She called herself and her friends the misfits of their school. She begins dating Jamie in freshman year and is with him until the day after graduation of their senior year. I didn't really like Jamie all that much. There was nothing wrong with him- he was a really nice guy (until he cheated on Autumn with her best friend) and he loved Autumn very much. I guess I just didn't like them together because I wanted her with Finny. Also it didn't really seem like she really loved Jamie. Sure she said it but there was the other factor of her not being sure and her thinking about Finny all the time. I think she tried to convince herself that she love Jamie and succeeded in deluding herself. Also at times you get the feeling that their relationship was not all that healthy. Autumn had to give in to Jamie all the time, he was selfish and she wasn't allowed to do certain things or wear certain clothes because he said no. For instance she wasn't allowed to open the window when they were driving. She couldn't wear an army green jacket because he said he wouldn't like it on her. Gimme a break. Autumn and Jamie talked about getting married and such and she was kind of clingy to him saying things like "Promise you'd never leave me." Those parts made me gag. I remember thinking I'm going to marry my first boyfriend and whatever and now that I look back I can't believe how stupid I was. But I guess at that age that's what you feel.

At times Autumn frustrated and pissed me off til no end. One thing that really pissed me off was that she kept saying she wasn't ready to be kissed when Finny kissed her at 13. Gimme a break ok. Get the fuck over it. She threw away their friendship over that? Because she wasn't ready? There would be no way I'd give up my best friend over something like that. What she should of done was talk to him about it and they could have been together the entire time they were in high school because even at that age they were in love with each other. But no, she had to start ignoring him and whatever. And she cried herself to sleep when he kissed her. WTF is that about? Grow a backbone please! She thought that Finny was experimenting on her and didn't like her that way. Like I said she should of talked to him about it instead of doing what she did. God, sometimes kids frustrate me to no end.

I absolutely love Finny. He was hot and sexy and sweet and loyal and all good things anyone wants in a boyfriend or friend. He absolutely loved Autumn even while he was dating another girl. He began dating Sylvie when he found out Autumn began dating Jamie. He wanted to find someone to love since he couldn't have Autumn. However he still loved Autumn with all his heart. He was so sweet and kind and caring. I loved when he and Autumn talked to each other even though they each had their own friends and significant others. It didn't happen a lot but when it did I was ecstatic. Anyone could see that they were perfect together. He was there for Autumn when Jamie broke up with her. There are just no words to describe a wonderful person like that. He was my favorite character by far.

OMG the love scene was so perfect! Autumn was waiting for the perfect time to have sex. She didn't do it with Jamie even though he asked for it. Autumn knew she wasn't ready (I applaud her for that) and she wanted it to be perfect, in the perfect moment. She couldn't imagine having sex when she was with Jamie and it further proves my point that they didn't belong together. He wasn't the one. Finny was. When they finally admit their feelings for each other it was beyond sweet. She had found her perfect moment and they made love. She didn't regret a single moment of it because Finny was the ONE!!!!!! The sex scene wasn't raunchy or nasty or anything. It was simply two people in love being together and it was tastefully done. They told each other they loved each other and Autumn actually wanted it to happen badly. I was smiling when I read this scene. It is my favorite of the whole book and not because they have sex. It's all the underlining things that make it my favorite.

I was so not happy with the ending. I wanted to throw the book even though I knew the ending. I though that when he died, Autumn and Finny would be together for awhile and then it happened. But no. It happened the next day that they finally got together and admitted they loved each other. The next day after they made love he died. WTF is that about? I hate when authors do that shit. Why can't there be a happy ending? And further more why do I do this to myself? Why do I read these books that end crappily and I know will piss me off? I was so pissed off when he died. I hate it. They had finally just admitted they love each other and were together and this shit happens. I can't f***en believe it. Autumn kinda knew also that something was going to happen because she kept asking Finny not to go (he was breaking up with Sylvie who had just gotten back from Europe...He had decided a month before things happened with Autumn that he was going to break up with her when he and Autumn still didn't admit their feelings for each other). He tells Autumn as he's leaving "After this, things are going to be the way they were always supposed to be." Apparently fucken not.

His dead made me heartbroken. I could actually fell my hear and chest area ache. That's when you know when a book is awesome even though sucky things happen.

After Finny dies, Autumn tries to commit suicide and fails. She wakes up in the hospital. I guess the author tries to make the ending a little better by insinuating that Autumn is pregnant (yup she and Finny didn't use a condom). When the nurse asks Autumn about her last period she realizes that she doesn't know when the last one was. Finny died in the beginning of August and she tried to commit suicide in late September. Its not said outright that she is pregnant but you know she is. I guess that is supposed to be a sort of happy ending because she gets to have his baby and always keep a part of him with her. This did not make me feel any better because I kept thinking, well now the baby won't ever meet his father who was such a great person. And the baby can't replace the loss and love that she had for Finny. And Finny won't be there to raise the baby with her. I know I'm a pessimist but I'm thinking about the reality of what will happen.

I loved and hated this book. I recommend anyone and everyone to read it. That is all.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews