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“If He Had Been With Me” Review

An impactful novel that dives into love and grief. 

What’s the meaning of life? This age-old question has been pondered for centuries. Is it happiness? Money? Or maybe success? Laura Nowlin’s “If He Had Been With Me” beautifully explores this historic perplexion, leaving us with a simple answer: love. 

“If He Had Been With Me” dives deep into the plethora of emotions that come with growing up and finding love. Nowlin effectively captures the joys and simultaneous hardships that young love can bring. Gliding between themes of love and happiness to heartbreak and loss, “If He Had Been With Me” is a beautiful novel that was captivating from the very beginning.  

The story follows Autumn and her childhood best friend, Finn. Autumn and Finn have always been utterly inseparable. It’s always been the same: there’s no Autumn without Finn and no Finn without Autumn. That is until the duo takes on middle school and starts to find new paths that lead away from each other.

Now, in high school, the pair have found themselves in completely opposite social circles. Finn starts to associate with the sporty popular crowd while Autumn finds comfort with other art lovers. Finn wants to attend parties, but Autumn would rather stay at home and read.

Like ships passing through the night, the pair always needed different things at different times. All they could do was watch as their friendship slipped through the cracks. Now a shell of what it once was, it seems as if Finn and Autumn’s friendship has been lost forever. Is it too late to return to what it once was?

“If He Had Been With Me” holds true the famous phrase: It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Although we grieve and we lose, we would never swap the pain for not having loved. I highly recommend Laura Nowlin’s “If He Had Been With Me” to anyone looking for a beautiful novel that will give you a good cry and send you off with the lesson to not let life pass you by.

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About the Contributor
Kate Groves
Kate Groves, Journalist
Kate is a Junior at CHS and is so excited to be joining the Communicator for her first semester on staff! In her free time, she loves playing soccer, participating in musical theater, reading, listening to music and being outdoors. She is an avid Taylor Swift fan and can be found re-creating her performances.

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