On November 19, Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera announced the release of the sequel to their co-written book What If It’s Us. The sequel, titled “Here’s To Us“, is set to come out Fall 2021. What If It’s Us is a New York Times Bestseller jointly created by two of the most popular authors of queer literature for young adults. Luckily for Silvera and Albertalli’s fans, the pandemic was unable to interfere with their plans for the sequel since their writing process for What If It’s Us was to write a chapter each and send it to each other before writing the next.
In the novel, Arthur (written by Albertalli) is visiting New York City only for the summer, where he serendipitously meets Ben (written by Silvera) at a post office. What is wonderful about their story is that Arthur becomes quickly infatuated by Ben and believes the universe wanted them to meet, while Ben was in that post office because he wanted to return a box of his ex’s belongings and was going through this heartbreak that makes him more skeptical towards love. Arthur and Ben spend this summer falling in love and trying to navigate their new relationship and at the same time asking themselves “what if it’s us?”, wondering if they were supposed to be in each other’s lives forever.
In 2018, the book was optioned for film by Anonymous Content, the production company of Maniac, Boy Erased, The Wife, Spotlight, 13 Reasons Why, The OA, and Mr. Robot. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Brian Yorkey will be adapting the novel into a screenplay (as he did with 13 Reasons Why). Enthusiastic about the project, the authors said in a joint statement (Variety) that “The universe couldn’t have presented a more perfect dream team than Brian, Joy, and Kat. We immediately fell in love with their vision for this film, and we can’t wait to watch them bring ‘What If It’s Us’ to life.” Moreover, Silvera and Albertalli are also set to produce the film. Likewise, Silvera’s well-known books More Happy Than Not and They Both Die at the End are currently in development for television series by HBO Max and HBO (respectively).
In a recent tweet, Silvera revealed that the titles of both What If It’s Us and Here’s To Us were based on songs. “What If It’s Us” came from a song from the musical Dear Evan Hansen (“Only Us”) and “Here’s To Us” was born from the Ellie Goulding record of the same name and Glee’s cover of Halestorm’s song (“Here’s To Us”); both songs reminisce about a past relationship that was bound to end.
The open ending of What If It’s Us itself, however, hints at the possibility of them getting together in the future [spoiler alert!], as Ben says “What if there’s a do-over down the line for us? What if we end up in the same city again and pick up where we left off? What if we go as far as we once hoped we would and boom, happy ending for us?”. According to Nerd and Beyond, the sequel will indeed follow Ben and Arthur’s “chance reunion in New York City during the summer.”