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If He Had Been With Me

New York Times Bestseller

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 facts. What they do not know―the cause of the argument―is crucial.

So let me tell you…

If he had been with me, he wouldn’t have died. 


Throughout 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 two years. But she’s always wondered what if... The night she’s about to get the answer is also one of terrible tragedy.


Perfect for readers of All the Bright Places; How She Died, How I Lived; and Dear Evan Hansen, If He Had Been with Me is a beautiful, raw portrait of love, regret, and the life-altering impact of the relationships we hold closest to us.



Praise for If He Had Been With Me:


  • A New York Times Bestseller

  • Junior Library Guild (JLG) Selection


"This sweet, authentic love story masks complex characters dealing with complex issues: single parents, divorce, only children yet ersatz siblings; high school, college, the pull of the clique; love, friendship, sex, and teen pregnancy . . . First-time author Nowlin keeps the story real and fast paced, avoiding the melodramatic."  —Booklist


"The finely drawn characters capture readers' attention in this debut . . .Autumn's coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations . . . Readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn's head." —Kirkus Reviews


"[Autumn and Finn's] romance is Shakespeare-worthy in its tragic dimension. Autumn's reflections on love's possibilities and near-misses will surely resonate with the unsettled teen soul, and readers will get exactly what they came for, and then some." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


"The heart of this novel is an examination of an unresolved childhood love that is so pure and sweet that it seems too fragile to survive the turbulent years of adolescence. Using tender prose that makes it hard not to care about the main characters, this title chronicles four years of high school and the confusing post-graduation period. At the end, when Nowlin reveals why Finny should have been with Autumn all along, readers are sure to feel the ache of life's capriciousness." —School Library Journal


"Educators and librarians looking for fast-moving, interesting plots, in-depth characters, and meaningful themes need to add this one to their shelves." —VOYA Magazine


“This is a story of friendship, family, love, and regret. Readers know from the beginning that Autumn and Finny’s story will end in tragedy, but that does not stop the reader from wanting to follow their journey. Recommended.” —Library Media Connection


“Friendship, love, secrets, hope and regret…this book has it all! . . . If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin is a page-turner that you won’t be able to put down.” —The Girl's Life Book Club



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