If He Had Been with Me
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If He Had Been with Me

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  2,823 ratings  ·  621 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire
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If He Had Been With Me was a poignant story which I devoured in one sitting. It’s a story which deals with issues of friendship, first loves and family in the most raw and intense way I have come across in a long time. It was a story which I knew how would end, but I was utterly mesmerised into reading because of the beautiful heart rendering prose.

The story opens with the most heart breaking chapter, it gives you an insight into how things end. Despite knowing this I continually tried to bury t...more
Laura Nowlin
Apr 10, 2013 Laura Nowlin added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Yes. I'm rating my own book five stars. All mothers think their babies are perfect. Also, Jessica Verdi rated "My Life After Now" five stars and we have the same editor. So yeah.
Zemira Warner
Wow. I did not expected it to be this good. Damn you Laura Nowlin! I will stalk you till you give me a new book!

If He Had Been With Me was on my 'can't wait' list for months and I couldn't resist and read it the moment I got my hands on it. I started reading in the morning and didn't put it down until I was done crying because I had a feeling someone stabbed me in the heart even though the book started with the most unpleasant thing than can happen. I chose to ignore it. There was just no way t...more
It has been a long time since I have fallen so hard for a contemporary YA novel. I have barely heard of any buzz surrounding Laura Nowlin's debut. I ordered it on a whim, not really sure what to expect. I liked the cover, the premise sounded like my kind of thing and I always like the chase of finding a YA book free of preconceived hopes and praise.

I was unprepared for just how good this book is, easily my favourite YA book of the year so far and it now sits on my favourites shelf.

Nowlin is a...more

Jennifer Kyle
This book could have been epic...


The beautiful cover and the description of this book lured me in and I couldn’t wait to read this story. I knew from the description, that a tragedy would occur. I was more than prepared to take the journey and meet Autumn and Finny. The part that I wasn’t prepared for was the abrupt anticlimactic ending.

The story brings a reader through four years of high school with the back ground of Finn and Autumn’s neighbor/best friend/family relationship that has now bec...more
❋ Sylvia ❋
I don't know where to start....

I knew this book would bring me to tears and that it has, but only the last couple of chapters.
I enjoyed this book, getting to know the characters inside and out,but with a book like this you know the end isn't going to end well, mainly cause the first chapter tells you so...

I was..... am heartbroken as I write this, still swiping tears away.

If you are a fan of the "love me with lies" series then you will love this book, it has the same edge to it and flow, it wi...more
Dear Book,

you broke my heart. I hate you and adore you at the same time and I definitely won't forget you for a long time...
Review to come...
Actual Rating: 2.5/5 stars

I was actually enjoying this book despite it's not very unique storyline. I cared about the characters. The romance was SO good that this book could've been a new favorite of mine but..

The ending just ruined everything, really. For me, anyway. I wished I didn't read that part.

The plot:

Autumn and Finny are best friends since birth, literally. "The Mothers", as they call them, are also best friends so they were with each other before they're even born. As they grew up, th...more
Reading this book was like listening most hauntingly beautiful and sad song. You know it will make you sad and leave you heartbroken, but you can´t stop even if it hurts.
We, masochistic readers, we know it, we understand it... and still, we do it. All we can do is suffer the pain, and tell ourselves it was well worth it. Sad things can be beautiful. That´s exactly what Autumn said and noone understood her.
Well, Autumn and Ms Nowlin, we understand you and we appreciate the pain.
It was well wor...more
It’s a pattern.

Every time around this time of the year, I find myself drifting away from my reading and reviewing obsession. It’s not because I want to. It’s because circumstances around me eventually make me. It’s the start of summer here. And there are SO MANY things to do! There are those annual fests and functions to be part of. Lots of camping to do. Lots of catching up to do with my family and there is lots of travelling. Amidst it all, my reading just falls behind and then I don’t even f...more
Pre-read: I'm so happy I was approved for the galley of this, looking forward to reading it. Also, look at the cover! o_O It's beautiful.

Post-read: Solid read, if a bit fragmented in places. I liked Autumn's journey, even if I had an idea of how most things would happen.

Full review:

"If He Had Been With Me" is a journey that's immersed around a tragedy, and that's something you get from point one in this book by Laura Nowlin. It surprised me how it drew me into the narrative even when I knew how...more

♥ Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings

- - -

If He Had Been With Me opens up to Autumn, our protagonist, thinking back to the fateful August night when her best friend Finny was involved in a tragic accident.
“They were arguing. No one ever says what they were arguing about. It is, in other people's opinions, not important to the story. What they do not know is that there is another story. The story lurking underneath and in between the facts of the one they can see. What they do not know,
Joy (joyous reads)
Apr 08, 2013 Joy (joyous reads) rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Joy (joyous reads) by: Jasprit
Whenever I pick up a novel, I dive head first hopeful that the characters will have their happily ever afters. I picture their romance in my head like an endless reel of a silent movie: their first meeting will be perfectly awkward and the relationship to happen in a slow but realistic build-up that would have me anticipating and salivating for their fruition. But when the two characters wasn't really working so good for me, I'd also find myself wishing that they don't get together at all. This...more
It's almost 3AM and I am reeling from my reading experience. How to even begin?

Last I left the book I was more than halfway through. I thought I could definitely finish this "tomorrow", but I meant like tomorrow afternoon. Well it literally is "tomorrow" since it's the 13th of April. 3AM.

So since it's apparently hard to put down (it's really easy to read), why do I only want to rate this 2 stars? Well, 2.5 stars. 2 stars means it was okay. I had such good hopes for this. I actually felt like I...more

Finny, the all star soccer player, and Autumn, the artistic sensitive soul, have always been connected. To outsiders, this couple seem as mismatched as a Capulet and a Montague. As many in their world judge them by appearances, Nowlin subtly introduces her audience to two souls growing together with intertwined lives that defy traditional stereotypes. Raised by "The Mothers" with absentee fathers in neighboring houses, Finny and Autumn resist natural boundaries that normally separate friends fro...more
Aly (My Heart Hearts Books)
I had such a visceral and emotionally charged reaction to this book. I wish my vocabulary was enough to sufficient describe how amazing this book was, I wish I had the power of persuasion that could convince the most reluctant readers to give If He Had Been With Me a chance...and I guess this review will have to suffice.

"Sometimes sad things are beautiful"

This sentence not only perfectly describes this novel, but also my experience reading it. By the end, I was in tears, a huge emotionally wrec...more
I love coming across little gems like this. If He Had Been With Me was a story that just moved me. It was another late night for me as I stayed up until 4 am finishing it - it was too good to put down and continue the next day. That's what I look for in a book; something that captivates me and makes me feel. This delivered that and so much more.

At first, I didn't have high hopes for the book, and I was reluctant to read it. But I came across a fantastic review that changed my mind. And I have no...more
Oh man this writing *bangs head on desk*

I can't do it.

Ouff! I'm still recovering from this story! Sometime, you'll get the chance (just like me) to read a book that will mark you for the rest of the day, year, life. If He Had Been With Me, is one of those books I will never forget for many good and unexpected reasons, but still, this story hold a special place on my shelve: the Keeper shelve.

There's a lot a good and great books out there, but this one is stand out. The cover is beautiful and intriguing, but the blurb is the thing that had catch...more
Kim Person
Most of you are used to my reviews by now that you expect or maybe even anticipate "gifs" interjected drawing out how I felt while I was reading. Well this review is going to be different because I will be telling you how I felt as I explain the basis for this beautiful tragic love story filled with me wanting more "time" if only there was more time; although I knew before the book started heck even if I didn't the first chapter alone showed me what would end up happening. I have to let "loose"...more
OH DEAR GOD!!! ....

when I first got this book, I got the information that will break my heart ... just to be clear- IT DEFINITELY IS!
We all remember our first love and we know that they will always remain in our memories ...
What makes this book special is just the first love between a strangest girl, Autnum, and handsome football player Finn! What makes this book special is the development of their love since childhood, primary and secondary schools to a adolescence ...
What makes this book s...more
I finished If He Had Been With Me a few hours ago, and I still sit here not quite knowing what to say. This book, it did quite a number on my emotions. That's a good thing. I think I'm still in shock over the conclusion of the story.

I don't know why I found the ending so shocking, I was clearly warned in the opening that If He Had Been With Me would not have a happy ending. Maybe it's because I am a hopeless optimist who always believes that every story has a happy ending. I would also say my h...more
Shannon Grieshaber
Actual rating: 4.5

It takes a special author to tell the reader on page one how the book is going to end and yet the reader is still shocked and squinting through rivers of mascara trying to write a book review 10 minutes after reading the end of the book. Oh, my goodness. Such heartbreaking yet heartwarming goodness. It's been since The Sky is Everywhere that I've read a book like this one - excellent writing, beloved characters, intriguing story line. When I read my first Sarah Dessen book, I k...more
Wendy Darling
Man, there are a lot of reasons why I wouldn't normally like this book--I mean, the whole thing is set up for drama, being that it's bookended by a major death. The writing style is also somewhat distant, which also doesn't normally work for me, but for some reason I didn't mind it here.

Reminded me a lot of Winter Longing. What can I say, it's angst done very well.
Aestas Book Blog
Apr 04, 2013 Aestas Book Blog marked it as to-read
Shelves: top-tbr
I don't think this has a happy ending but I'm still really intrigued by it.... Hmmmm

If you're planning on reading this book buy yourself some tissues.
Sofia Lazaridou
And I know, I know, I know, I know. If he had been with me, eveything would have been different.

A warning to everyone who is going to read this book or is considering about it first. If he had been with me doesn't have a HEA. In the last 60 pages I was crying and I couldn't stop. Because I knew the end, the author made that pretty obvious and yet I was still hoping for a better end, not the one I got. The weird part of all this is that the author revealed the end of the book in the first chapte...more
Farah Jay
I've been dreading writing the review for this book. As soon as I finished it, my biggest fear was HOW am I going to write my review for this? It's definitely difficult, but here I go. The main protagonist of this book, Autumn, is the awkward child. Autumn lives with her mom, and her dad visits for holiday's and weekly dinners from time to time. Autumn's mother is best friends with their neighbor, and the two are mentioned as "The Mothers" throughout the book. Being neighbors all their lives, Au...more
Autumn and Finny were neighbors, grew up together, had mothers who were best friends, and were as close as close could be until freshman year of high school. That's when they went their separate ways, when Autumn chose to no longer hang out with her cool friends and she and Finny just stopped talking.

Finny begins to date Sylvie and Autumn dates Jamie. Both have strong relationships with other people, but Autumn can't let go of what she and Finn once were.

Nowlin's novel takes place over the four...more
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Laura Nowlin holds a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Missouri State University. . In addition to being ambitious writer Laura is also an avid reader who believes that books allow her to live many lives in one lifetime. When she isn’t at home agonizing over her own novels Laura works at the public library where the patrons give her plenty of inspiration for her writing. Sh...more
More about Laura Nowlin...
Will/Novia This Song Is (Not) For You

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“This book is a treasure; I did not suspect it would be so good when I picked it up, but now I can feel the printed words seeping through my skin and into my veins, rushing to my heart and marking it forever.

I want to savor this wonder, this happening of loving a book and reading it for the first time, because the first time is always the best, and I will never read this book for the first time ever again.”
“I've loved him my whole life, and somewhere along the way, that love didn't change but grew. It grew to fill the parts of me that I did not have when I was a child. It grew with every new longing of my body and desire until there was not a piece of me that did not love him. And when I look at him, there is no other feeling in me.” 63 likes
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