Yes No Maybe So
by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
YA Contemporary, Romance
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.
Ever since this book was announced I was so excited, but after reading it, I can’t help but feel slightly let down by it!
Don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy this book. But there were some issues about it that didn’t make it a 5 star read for me.
The premise sounds really cute and completely up YA’s street. It follows Maya Rehman, a Muslim girl who got a lot going on in her life with her parents separation and her best friend’s neglection, and Jamie Goldberg, a Jewish boy who’s terrified of public speaking despite having to make a speech at his sister’s bat mitzvah. Together their lives are intertwined when over the course of a summer they decide to canvass house to house for the election going on in their local constituency.
The book started off really slow before it got good. I think I was about 100 pages and was even considering DNFing it at one point… which is crazy because I’ve read and loved all of Albertalli’s novels. However I’m so glad I stuck with it because it began moving smoothly after a while and I loved getting the chance to familiarise myself with cultures I don’t know much about.
I thought it was very politics heavy and I obviously expected that going into the book, but there were some scenes that just felt really stiff compared to the rest of the book. Also, it did just not need to be as long as it was. It was a nice story with a great ending—sort of disappointing but hopeful at the same time, which I think are the best endings!
Definitely a good read with a diverse set of characters if you’re looking, but if I’m honest it wouldn’t be the first Albertalli book I would recommend.