‘Here’s To Us’ is the sequel to the bestselling novel ‘What If It’s Us’, written by Adam Silver and Becky Albertalli. Arthur and Ben split up two years ago, so bumping into each other when Arthur comes back to New York for his dream internship shouldn’t be a problem.
Both characters are now in what they think are happy relationships. However, it does seem like the universe keeps bringing them together which causes confusion for both guys as they know that things haven’t worked out the way they hoped in the past.
Besides love and romance, the book focuses on both characters trying to find their way in the world, as Ben is at university and Arthur is doing an internship on Broadway.
Fans welcome the sequel with open arms and it quickly became a New York Times number-one bestseller. The number of positive online reviews demonstrates how many people have fallen in love with Ben and Arthur’s story.
If you can’t keep yourself away from witty rom-coms like Here’s To Us, then you’ll want to get your hands on equally thrilling LGBT romances such as If This Gets Out and Ace Of Spades.
The characters have all the romantic chemistry you’d expect to see from young love, including plenty of ups and downs.
Although the first book is more about that passion you have with your first love, the sequel delves deeper into that bond and how even after time apart, it doesn’t feel like it can be ignored.
Although the characters have been apart for two years, they still find themselves drawn to each other. Here they experience the challenges of being caught between their heads and their hearts, as both are in new relationships when they reunite.
By the end of the book, the reader sees how the characters mature with their thoughts and feelings toward relationships in general. Feelings of platonic love are also brought to light by the authors which is a nice touch.
As the characters of the book are gay, there is obviously great representation in terms of homosexual relationships. The book covers everything from heartbreak, to trust, and future relationships between two different gay couples.
This book is an important part of the growing amount of literature that is representing the LGBT community.
Representation is so important in the young adult community and books with this level of representation, not just in terms of gender orientation, but also in race and religion can offer comfort to many young readers (see also “3 Books Like Shatter Me (By Tahereh Mafi)“).
Arthur and Ben are two years on from where the previous book left off, which means they are more mature and looking forward to starting their careers.
This is an important theme to include in young adult books as many of them are probably thinking about their futures too (If you liked this, also check out Books Like Marked here). From navigating city life to making it in the creative industry, each of the characters comes across new challenges.
Touching on issues such as money, college life, and working out what they want from life are all highly relatable areas that the book explores.
Books Like “Here’s To Us”
If This Gets Out
Ruben and Zach, the main characters of ‘If This Gets Out’, are teen heartthrobs and part of a wildly successful boy band in America. Although the four bandmates are best friends, fame and pressures from their management start to reveal some cracks.
As a result, Reuben and Zach become closer as they confide in one another, especially as their management is making Ruben stay in the closet.
When they embark on their European tour, the pair’s friendship goes from strength to strength and ultimately ends in romance. They want to tell the world and live freely, but their management has other ideas.
- LGBT representation
- It addresses many common issues that are faced by teens which may offer comfort to readers to know they are not alone
- Underage drinking references
- References to eating disorders and racism may be triggering to some readers
Themes: LGBT, young adult, romance, fiction, music.
Ace Of Spades
‘Ace of Spades’ is a contemporary thriller that follows two students, Devon and Chiamaka, who are both surprised to find anonymous text messages from an online bully called ‘Aces’. The mysterious troll aims to destroy any prospects either of the high-achievers has in the future.
When the stakes keep increasing, the pair are quickly enthralled in a dangerous game and Aces has no signs of stopping. Follow the character’s journey in a race against time to stop this anonymous bully.
- LGBTQ representation as the main characters identifies as gay and queer
- Creates important conversations around institutionalized racism in America
- Not very tactile in the way it handles certain sensitive situations
- Various readers have found plot holes in the storyline
- Some readers may be triggered by the inclusion of racism, homophobia, and suicide references
Themes: Young adult, thriller, mystery, LGBT, fiction, race.
The Charm Offensive
This LGBTQ rom-com is heartwarming and witty, depicting the love story between Charlie and Dev who meet on the set of a reality dating show.
Charlie has purely signed up to try and save his image but quickly finds that he has much more in common with producer Dev than any of the female contestants.
‘The Charm Offensive’ creates an undeniable tension between the pair, leaving readers desperate to find out which narrative Charlie is going to pursue. Will Dev risk losing his job to pursue a romance that he isn’t sure will work out?
- LGBTQ representation and topics such as gender identity discussed
- Funny and heartwarming narrative
- Representation of an Indian-American character in Dev
- Exposure and conversations around mental health issues such as OCD
- Triggers of alcohol dependency
- References to homophobia, ableism, and rejection based on mental illnesses that some readers may find upsetting
Themes: Romance, LGBT, fiction, adult, contemporary.
She Gets The Girl
The main character of ‘She Gets The Girl’, Alex doesn’t doubt her chances when it comes to romance and passion. However, keeping the relationship going is where she struggles.
When Alex meets Molly on their university campus, they don’t instantly get along but quickly realize they have similar interests.
The pair embark on a plan to try and get their respective love interests to fall for them using Alex’s master flirting skills and Molly’s calm presence.
What they don’t anticipate is the unexpected and confusing feelings they have toward each other. After all, they couldn’t be more different.
- LGBTQ representation and relationships featured in plot, along with the difficulties coming to terms with one’s identity
- Witty banter and a heartwarming storyline
- Great character development
- Some intimate content may not be suitable for very young readers
- Profanity and crude language are used infrequently
- Mentions of alcohol usage which some may find triggering
Themes: Romance, LGBT, young adult, fiction, new adult.
I Kissed Shara Wheeler
Shara Wheeler is the prom queen and all-around perfect student, the only threat to Chloe Green becoming valedictorian.
‘I Kissed Shara Wheeler’ follows the journey of the high school students’ rivalry and the sudden disappearance of Shara, right after she kisses Chloe. Whilst trying to find out answers, Chloe discovers that she isn’t the only one Shara kissed before she went missing.
Joining forces with the others, they follow the number of cryptic notes Shara left behind to try and find the missing teen. Their journey starts to reveal some secrets about their small town the trio was not prepared for. But will they find Shara?
- LGBT representation in both family and romantic relationships
- Authentic and loveable characters
- Fun and lighthearted mystery and romance novel that is a great quick read
- Descriptions of bullying, homophobia, religious trauma, and racism in the book that some may find triggering
- Plot twists seem quite predictable
Themes: Young adult, romance, LGBT, fiction, mystery.
If you’re looking for young adult romance novels with LGBT representation, similar to that seen in ‘Here’s To Us’ then any of these books will peak your excitement. Some are part of a series, so prior reading may be required to understand the plotlines and characters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There A Sequel To Here’s To Us?
As Here’s To Us is already a sequel to What If It’s Us, it is unclear if there will be a third book in the series. The authors have hinted that it could be a possibility but not for a while as the latest book was only released in 2021.
Do Ben And Arthur End Up Together In Here’s To Us?
If you don’t want any spoilers then look away quickly! But chances are if you are on this page it’s because you’ve already read Here’s To Us. Ben and Arthur do end up together and they even get married, which most readers were probably hoping for anyway.
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