Yes No Maybe So was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, so I was hyped when I was approved for the eARC. Only to not pick it up until the release date…
I was sent an eARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed have crafted a resonant, funny, and memorable story about the power of love and resistance.
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.
Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely.
CWs: racism, islamophobia, antisemitism
This was one of my favourite releases of the year, and it’s safe to say I really enjoyed it. But at the same time, it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I really think Becky Albertalli is at her best when she writes a character closer to her own experience. Sure, Simon Vs made a huge impact, but to me, The Upside of Unrequited is a lot better, not in the least because it feels a lot more authentic. I felt the same way about Yes No Maybe So. Jamie was a really soft, really loveable main character who I couldn’t help but root for. So this was a big plus for the book.
I also really enjoyed Aisha Saeed’s chapters, from Maya’s perspective, and I really want to read her other books as well.
I did feel a bit of a disconnect between the alternating chapters though. There was a clear difference in writing style, but those differences didn’t enhance each other like they could have. It made the book feel a little disconnected instead.
Overall, my main problem with this book is that it moved much too slowly. Then towards the end, a lot of drama is inserted, and it just felt fabricated to me. I think the book sometimes missed direction and it could have been a lot shorter.
But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth reading. This is a great book to introduce teens to politics and learning to care about their communities. It’s a great book to teach teens that no, you can’t change the world on your own, but if a lot of people make small changes, the world is slowly going to change. It was a very hopeful and uplifting book because of that, but also very realistic.
Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR?
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I actually just got this book in the mail for my book of the month! I’m glad that you mostly enjoyed the story, but sorry that it didn’t quite reach your expectations. Thanks for warning me about the writing style and such, I think it will help me enjoy it more when I get around to reading the book!