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Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed - Review

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Where did I get it? Netgalley, so many thanks to Simon & Schuster Children's Books for granting me access to this book. 

What's it about? Jamie, awkward nerdy boy aged seventeen, and Maya, start canvassing on behalf of a Democratic local candidate for the state senate near their houses in Georgia. 

Jamie is Jewish and lives with his mum, his little sister Sophie, and his grandma. His grandma has some local notoriety on Instagram. Jamie's cousin Gabe is heading up the campaign for local Democrat Jordan Rossum, and has roped Grandma and Jamie into helping too. Jamie is awkward - he once puked on someone's shoes - and utterly convinced that he can't do knocking on people's doors to talk to them about politics. His little sister's bat mitzvah is coming up and Jamie's mum is kind of going crazy over it. It's the summer and school is out, and Jamie is kind of sick of being wingman for his friend Drew. 

One day at Target he sees Maya, a girl he used to know when they were little kids because their mothers were friends. She's with her friend Sara, and she's really cute, but Jamie manages to make a fool of himself and then wants to hide forever. 

Maya is with her best - and somewhat only - friend Sara. Sara has just graduated high school and is high on the idea of going to college. She might even be going early, meaning her summer with Maya will be cut short, but she's seems to be barely even noticing Maya anyway thanks to her jobs and her new college roommate. It's Ramadan so Maya is fasting, but she's also trying to deal with the fact that her parents are having a trial separation. Her dad is moving out of the family home and Maya doesn't know what to do about it. She wants to talk to Sara, but Sara is barely ever around. 

Jamie and Maya get pushed together when Maya joins the local campaign and the two go canvassing together. They run into a racist, and then later, Jamie's car is targeted with a white supremacist sticker. They're both really upset and suddenly, for Jamie at least, the political is personal. He starts to understand how people like him can make a difference, even if they can't vote.

He is still freaking out over having to do a toast at Sophie's bat mitzvah though.

The two become close and everyone thinks they're dating. They're adamant they're not - Maya mostly because she's not sure she wants to date in high school, or without thinking about the boy very seriously - but they do have feelings for each other. Will it be a happy ever after?

This is a really really gorgeous romance novel. Not a lot of plot actually happens, but there's tons of gorgeous moments like watching The Office together on the phone. It is just really lovely, fun, cute. I loved both main characters a LOT but I also loved their families too. Really gorgeous book. 

What age range is it for? I'm going to say that if your thirteen year old likes romance YA and wouldn't mind the political stuff, then they'll be fine with it. 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? They're not main characters but Jamie has gay friends who are pretty cute too. There's also a coming out which I'm not going to ruin but it was PERFECTLY written and I loved it and I have hearteyes. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes! Jamie is white, but Jewish, so is obviously subject to anti-Semitism, and Maya is Muslim and has brown skin so obviously encounters a lot of racism. I don't think it is said where Maya's family is from originally, which I don't think matters as you just know she is Muslim and that her mum wears hijab, but it means I can't say where her origins are!

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No I don't think so. 

Is there any sex stuff? No, hence my age rating 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? Very little, there's mentions of Jamie's grandpa dying but that's it. 

Are there swear words? Not many, but a few. They're used to great effect actually. 

What criticisms do I have? I saw some continuity errors. These may have been ironed out in the final edit, but I did notice them. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I was really looking forward to reading something else by Becky so I rushed to it. I've never read anything by Aisha Saeed, but I definitely would now. Sometimes in books with dual authors it's obvious who wrote what, but honestly, in this, I couldn't tell. That really worked for me. Both points of view are equally lovely. 

What do I think of the cover? I've seen a couple around. This one, the blue, and a yellow one. I think they're both nice. This is cute though, with the doors. 

What other books is it like? It reminded me of The Upside of Unrequited, a bit. 

How many stars? Four out of five. 

Yes No Maybe So will be published on the 4th of February 2020. I was given a free electronic copy of the novel but was not compensated in any other way for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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