April 8, 2013

Blog Tour: If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin – Review, Guest Post, and G!veaway

Hey!  Thanks for stopping by for our Tour Stop for

If He Had Been With Me  by Laura Nowlin

presented by Sourcebooks!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


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 2 years. But she’s always wondered what if…

The night she’s about to get the answer is also one of terrible tragedy.

add to goodreadsIf He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin
Publication Date:  April 1, 2013
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo | amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewIf He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin is a heartbreaking, tragic story with a bittersweet ending that left me in tears and crying out “Why!!”.

The story follows the lives of Finn and Autumn.  Best friends for as long as they can remember and who have lived next door to each other forever, and with mothers who have been best friends since they’ve been pregnant with them, their memories always involve each other and their happiness.

If He Had Been With Me is told in the voice Autumn who is recalling the events of her and Finn’s lives leading up to a tragic incident that changes Autumn forever.

But after travelling in different social circles in middle school, their strong band slowly comes apart and the friendship that they once had is but a memory.  But with the weekly dinners and the holidays that their families spend together they still find themselves spending some time together, though not at all what it used to be.

Even though both she and Finn have found a significant other, Autumn still finds herself thinking of what life would have been like with Finn if some things were done differently.  If they had, in fact, ended up being together and exploring their relationship.  If He Had Been With Me shows the reality of high school and the inner workings of social cliques.

And although Autumn is with Jamie, and Finn is with Sylvie, Autumn can’t help but think back on their past time together, and a small flame ignites inside of her where the reality of her feelings for Finn come to the surface, but is it too late for them?

If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin was such a beautiful story to experience.  Yes, there are times where some of the writing was difficult to follow, as you progess through the story, that is long forgotten, and instead you find this heartfelt story that eats away at your very soul.  Just when you think that you can smile and enjoy a moment, something tragic happens and my emotions went on a crazy emotional rollercoaster ride.

I found the fact that Autumn did her own thing and did not conform to “the norm” (whatever that is) in school fantastic.  The fact that she went to school every day wearing a tiara and not giving a crap what others thought was awesome.  And that she doesn’t give in to her boyfriend, Jamie’s pleas do have sex had me thrilled.  But with her strengths came some flaws.  I was annoyed to no end with how much she constantly begs Jamie to never leave her.  That she put so much reliance in him had me huffing and puffing.

And you know that boy next door that you can’t help but fall for?  That would be Finn.  He is sweet, gently, caring, reliant, sexy, funny…I could go on.  In my head, Finn was the ultimate boyfriend that anyone would want to have, and any girl would be lucky to have.

But such is life that these two characters veer off their path to each other, and so this book had me constantly wondering what would have been different had Finn been with Autumn.

I you’re looking for a story that will leave you happy and content, If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin is probably not what you’re looking for.  If you’re looking for a read that will leave you heartbroken and emotional, and wishing that time could go back to make the outcome differently, then you definitely want to pick up a copy and check this one out.


Top Ten Things I Wish I Could Change about my High School Years


  1. I wish smart phones had existed, and that I’d had one.

This seems frivolous, I know, but when I was in high school only the rich kids had cell phones at all, and wi-fi was a rare and wondrous thing. I can only imagine how cool it must be to get into hilarious hijinks with your friends, and be able to post pics of your shananigins in real time. If we did something cool, we had to tell people about it later, and we probably didn’t have photographic proof, because pictures were these paper things you had to pay to have made.


  1. I wish I had broken up with my boyfriend.

Now, my high school sweetheart was not a bad guy by any means, but looking back I see how I only dated him for my entire high school career because I liked the idea of only having one boyfriend ever. If I had really been following my heart, I would have admitted to myself that he wasn’t the one and only guy for me, and I could have possibly had a wider range of romantic experience.


  1. I wish I had broken more rules.

I was a good kid. A really, really good kid. Sometimes as an adult I wish I had some of the when-I-was-a-crazy-teen stories that other people have.


  1. I wish I had learned to drive.

In If He had Been with Me, Autumn manages to graduate high school without learning to drive. I managed to graduate from college and get married without a driver’s license. I let a small anxiety grow into a massive mental block, and I wonder what the ego-boost of conquering my fear would have done for teenage me.

5. I wish I had admitted to others that I needed help.

As an adult I have been diagnosed with clinical depression, but as a teenager I hid my depressive episodes from my loved ones. I can only imagine how different those years would have been if I would have admitted my to struggle  and gotten the help I needed.


  1. I wish I had worked harder in Spanish class, and gone to Spain on the class trip.

I ended up minoring in Spanish, but I never did get the experience of full immersion, and now my skills are so rusty that I’ll probably never be fluent.


  1. I wish our exchange student had lived with us all four years

Swantje lived with my family for ten months. She challenged and inspired me, and ultimately changed me forever. To this day I keep a picture of her by my writing desk.


  1. I wish I had cared less about what other people thought.

I think everyone feels this way about their high school years. At the time, I claimed that I didn’t care what others thought, but when I compare that to how much I really don’t care now…


  1. I wish I’d been less critical of my body

When I look at pictures of my teenage self, I just want to grab that girl by the shoulders and scream, “Your stomach IS  flat! It is! It really is! And you are not appcreiating how high your breast are! Your stomach is flat and your breats are perky! Go put on a string bikini and feel fabulous! Right Now!”


  1. I wish I had written more.

To be fair, I think this is something I will always say about any time in my life. I guess it’s nice to know that some things will never change.

About the Author:



Laura Nowlin holds a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Missouri State University. Her short stories have appeared in The Moon City Review and STEM. In addition to being ambitious writer Laura is also an avid reader who believes that books allow her to live many lives in one lifetime. When she isn’t at home agonizing over her own novels Laura works at the public library where the patrons give her plenty of inspiration for her writing. She lives in St. Louis with her musician husband, neurotic dog, and psychotic cat.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Goodreads


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  1. CJ Listro

    I’d kind of written off this book before, but your review convinced me to give it another chance. I always get a little nervous about tragic romances, but I’ll give it a try!

    Sarcasm & Lemons

  2. I’ve been getting more and more into reads like this. I find that I am attracted to the emotional depth of them. Amazing review!!

  3. Tina

    I want to read this because it sounds like it would be an interesting read and I would like to read more from this author. Thank you for the giveaway!

  4. Wow, this sounds like it will have me bawling. Definite;y good though, I can’t wait to read it. Awesome review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  5. Erika

    Curious about what happened! Thanks for the chance to win! This looks great!

  6. OMG this book sounds fascinating. I’m always the type that goes through my mind going “I wonder if…” when the event is finished, I go through my mind thinking what may have been if I had done something else instead of what I did. I think this book would really hit home with me :D

  7. Anastasia

    It was on my to-read list for a whole now. It sounds like it would be a great read! I really like the plot, and the cover! (:

  8. CJ Listro

    I like high school books and the more reviews I read, the more and more I think I’d like this book. I’ve only seen glowing praise, which is rare for any book. I’m still afraid the tragic element will be too much for me, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

  9. Alicia Batista

    I haven’t read this book yet, but it sounds GREAT! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  10. Shannon B

    I would love to read this book because it signifies so many relationships we have in life where we chose a path and wonder what might have happened if we had made a different choice. And the cover on this book is super amazing!!

  11. I love contemporaries like this one. They are simple but complex at the same time, and the characters being the same age as me, really gives me a new perspective on my life. I love getting that out of books like this. I can’t wait to read it! :D

  12. Lisa Vazquezanzua

    WOW! I can’t believe how much this book relates to me and what happened in my life. My first boyfriend died in a car accident. We were together for about 6 months and I moved about 2 hours away from him. We still stayed together but after awhile it was just to hard to have a long distance relationship but we always stayed friends and called each other. I think it was about 2 years later and a few years older and were able to drive we had got back together. After a few months I broke it off with him. He went out that night with his friends and they crashed head on into a tree. He was on life support and the family decided to take him off after a few days. But I always thought what if I didn’t break it off with him. Would he still be here? I blamed myself and sometimes when I think about it I still feel somewhat responsible for his death.
    I would love to read this book and I’m definitely adding it to my wish list. I just HAVE to read this one. Thank you for another awesome giveaway!!

  13. Trish Hannon

    Emotional and heartbreaking, sounds interesting! First time I’ve come across this book and it has grabbed my attention.

  14. Atalia

    I would love to read this because I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book and this tragic story is one that many can relate to because of all the “what ifs” in our lives.

    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  15. Cassi

    I love books with intense emotions. Thanks!

  16. Abria

    I’ve heard mixed reviews for this one, so I want to try it myself and see.

  17. Tia

    I love to read a book with a strong female character. The fact that Autumn refuses to conform makes her strong.

  18. Tiffany Falick

    this book sounds very emotional, and I love me some emotions in a book! thank you! i can’t wait to read this book! the cover is stunning!

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