Wednesday, June 17, 2020

YA Review: Yes No Maybe So by Albertalli and Saeed

Title: Yes No Maybe So
Author: Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
Year Published: 2020

Genre: YA fiction (romance)
Pages: 448
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map): USA (GA)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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 crush of the century is another thing entirely.

Review: I was so ready for a YA romance and so was looking forward to this one and it didn't disappoint.

I was drawn in to both Jamie and Maya's alternating storylines immediately; they are likable characters that each bring something to the whole picture. When I read the author's note at the end of the novel, I realized how much of the book is based on actual events. The authors, one Jewish and one Muslim, live in Georgia and got spurred on by hate legislation to canvas and work for a political election. I like that their experience ended up in a YA novel. 

I liked the role of Instagram in this story as well. Everyone from the main characters to the grandmas to the politicians is using social media effectively (and badly) to further their personal and professional causes.

I hope that this novel shows teens that they can participate directly in elections, that their votes matter, and that they can fun in the process. We need to invigorate youth to believe in the electoral system and make their voices heard.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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