Review: Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

yes no maybe so

Yes No Maybe So

by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

YA Contemporary, Romance

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


YES
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.

NO
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.

MAYBE SO
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.


Rating

Top Three Thursday #5: Diverse Books

Hey everyone! I’m back with another Top Three Thursday and this week I’m going to be putting the spotlight on my three favourite diverse books!


RS

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.
But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.
Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets. It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness. Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

Diversity includes: 3 of the 5 main characters are POC and none of the main characters are straight! Demisexual, bisexual, asexual and gay representation!


THUGSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
 

Diversity includes: 95% of characters in this are POC!


 

TUOU

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back. 

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Diversity includes: fabulous representation of a fat MC, various ethnicities and riddled with great rep for the LGBTQ community!

 

What are some of your favourite diverse books?

Review: The Upside of Unrequited, by Becky Albertalli

TUOU

Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 11th April 2017
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 336

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love-she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness-except for the part where she is.
Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny, flirtatious, and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Side note: Coincidentally, I’m listening to Walking on Sunshine while writing this and oh my, it suits the book so much in my opinion ahaha.

So. Upside. Lots of feels, tbh.

I read Simon Vs. a good while ago and loved it. It was just fantastic. And I had high hopes for Upside and omg I was not disappointed. I love Molly Peskin-Suso with everything in me. And Reid. And Cassie. And Mina. And their moms. And their grandma. Even Will!
The characters were just so amazing and riddled with diversity which is something I heavily encourage. Jewish people rep, LGBTQ rep, bodyweight rep, ethnicity rep… everything!! Talk about a groundbreaking novel.

And not only was it amazingly diverse, it was amazingly written. Molly as the narrator has such a strong voice that roots itself into you and you just can’t forget it. She’s such a loveable, funny and relatable character. She really made this book ten times better.


“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. It’s almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.”


But the plot – so fabulous!! I felt for Molly so much with having her sister getting a girlfriend and starting to drift off. My poor baby Molly was worried it would stay like that forever. But the ending was just incredible. I would re-read this book one HUNDRED times because it’s sooooo good.

And it’s totally made me appreciate Mini Eggs a lot more. 5 out of 5 stars because it’s glorious!! I urge you to read it right now ❤. Becky Albertalli will definitely be a featured author in the upcoming #LGBTQMonth !!