Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
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.
This book was so good! While it was a love story, it was so much more. And so relevant to people living in the US right now.
Jamie reminded me a bit of me at times. He’s awkward when speaking to people. He overthinks things and gets embarrassed easily. He also love Target. I mean, really loves Target. Jamie is helping his cousin over the summer working for a campaign. There is a special election coming up for the state’s house. If they can get the democrat to win, they flip the house. Their district has been read for a very long time. He’s also helping his mom plan his sister’s bat mitzvah. Jamie needs to give a speech in front of over a hundred people and he’s freaking out.
Maya is a Pakistani-American Muslim living in red Georgia. It’s Ramadan which she normally likes. This year is different. Her parents cancelled their summer trip to Italy and were taking a separation to think about things. Maya’s dad moved out. Maya’s best friend, Sara, is a year older and getting ready for college. Sara works a lot and is so busy preparing for college that she and Maya barely speak. Maya wants a car, but her parents have been saying no. Her mom makes her a deal. Go campaign for Rossum and they’ll talk about it after election. Maya goes all in.
Jamie and Maya actually knew each other when they were kids, but they haven’t seen each other in 10 years. They partner up to canvass for the campaign. Since they spend so much time together, they become best friends. A proposed bill comes up that will pass if the republican wins. This bill calls for a partial ban on head and facial covering while participating in certain public activities. That even means while driving. This is when Maya fully understands why voting matters. They need Rossum to win.
The book deals with current topics such as antisemitism and Islamophobia. There are talks about how things are right now. How those people were always there, but they were hiding it better. Now they aren’t afraid to be that way in public. There is some romance with Jamie and Maya’s growing feelings, but their cultures are very different. It causes problems to arise. I loved hearing things about two cultures I’m not super familiar with. This is just one of those books that make you think. I got angry when reading it. Not angry with Maya and Jamie. But mad at the current state of our politics and country (I live in the US). I also have to quickly mention Jamie’s family. His grandma is amazing and I loved her so much. I think I would read a book focused on her. And then Jamie’s relationship with Sophie was so sweet. I loved how outgoing she was. She could tease her brother, they could fight, but it was still so obvious how much they loved each other.
I gave this book 5 stars. Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for my review copy. I hope everyone reads this one.
Warnings for the topics mentioned in my review.
Have you read Yes No Maybe So? Is it on your TBR? Do you get angry when reading books that cover current topics?