Review: If He Had Been with Me by: Laura Nowlin

(Pic: Amazon. Description: Goodreads)

Source: Paperback for review from publisher. I was not paid or even encouraged to write a good review. It just happened. *winks*

If he had been with me, he wouldn’t have died.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…

The night she’s about to get the answer is also one of terrible tragedy.

Paperback, 336 pages

Published April 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire

Buy it on Amazon. Find it on Goodreads.



I loved this book. Like, so much.

I was expecting tragedy of course, and all the way through this novel I was trying to keep myself from loving and understanding these characters. But, it didn’t work. The author is just too good.

It was very well written, but to be honest.. those last few chapters felt rushed. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the gaping hole that was left for an ending.

The characters were so real and even though I knew it would have a sad ending and I read it anyway, that ending was just too sad for me. Let’s just say this, Ms. Nowlin and I will have very different versions of how this book ended a year from now. Yes, I did indeed make my own ending. And no tragic deaths are involved, mind you. But the thing is: I will remember this book a year from now. I’ll remember it years after that. It was epic. It was beautiful. It is unforgettable.

Throughout the story Autumn talks about how beautiful death can be, and I think the author wanted us to see Finny’s death as a tragic yet beautiful ending. And I loved that. But I still had to re-write that ending. I just had to. 😉

There were some real issues that were talked about here: depression, suicide, peer-pressure, etc. They were all exploited and we were shown how those things effect everyone, not just the person going through it.

There were times when the main character, Autumn, really ticked me off, some where I was seriously proud of her for standing up for herself, and others when I was both.

In the end I cried, tried to make myself find comfort in the hope the author left us with, but then I decided I shouldn’t make myself suffer and re-wrote the ending.

Thing(s) I wish were different: well, the ending of course! Not only was it sad, it was rushed (as stated before).

Do I recommend it? I’d recommend this book to anyone. BUT, if you already have depression issues or just don’t want to feel depressed after reading this book: grab a bunch of sticky notes and flip to page 323. Look where it says Chapter 84. Cover that chapter and all of the others with a sticky note. Read the book until you reach the sticky notes. Then, email me and I’ll tell you what hope the author leaves us with. Tell yourself he isn’t dead, he’s just crippled or he broke a leg and won’t be able to play soccer for a year. Be happy, you didn’t have to feel like I did. You’ll get the best of both worlds. Also, if you do happen to read a little part of Chapter 84 that’s fine. BUT DON’T EVER LOOK AT Chapter 85. Not. One. Word. Take these instructions seriously. Or get your heart cut in tiny little pieces, have those pieces glued back together again, and then shredded into an unrecognizable pile of something unrecognizable. You’ve been warned.


Great book(s) similar to this one:

If I stay by: Gayle Forman. Find If I Stay on Goodreads.



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