If he had been with me, he wouldn't have died.
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.
If He Had Been With Me is an excellent story of friendship, love, and family. From the beginning of the book, the reader knows how the story will end. But they don't know what Finny and Sylvie were fighting about when the car crashed. They also don't know exactly how he died. The assumption I made about how he died turned out to be wrong.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Autumn is a great main character to be the narrator. In elementary school, she often got picked on for being different, but Finny was always her friend and there to defend her. In middle school, her group of friends is called The Clique. They decide to try out for high school cheerleading, but when Autumn and Sasha decide not to try out, the rest of the group stops being friends with them. She stays friends with Sasha and they make friends with a new group of people at the beginning of high school.
Autumn's group of friends are good characters. They all care about each other and they are a good group. Most of them are dating someone else within the group, though Autumn's friend Angie dates guys from other schools. Autumn dates a guy from the group named Jamie. Jamie is a sweet guy for most of the book. They seem to fall in love very quickly. They are only freshmen when they first say they're in love. By the end, I didn't like him very much because of something he does around graduation.
Finny and Autumn's relationship is explored well in this book. In elementary school, they were best friends, but in middle school, shortly after he kissed her, they stopped being friends. She had thought him kissing her was just an experiment, and she had no idea he could like her as more than a friend. In high school, she dates Jamie, and he dates Sylvie. When Jamie breaks up with Autumn, she begins to grow closer to Finny again, and their relationship continues to develop. It becomes clear that they are falling in love with each other.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book.