Published by Simon & Schuster Children's UK on February 4, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Diversity, Own Voices, Romance, Young Adult
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Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state candidate - as long as he’s behind the scenes. 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 cancelled, her parents are separating and now her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing - with some awkward guy she hardly knows ...
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.
I love both Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed so much and I was so excited to hear that they had collabed on a book. I was equally excited to be part of the blog tour for this wonderful book and I’m happy to announce that there are 3 copies up for grabs at the end of my review, thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia.
Yes No Maybe So is a story of two people coming together to fight for change and what they believe to be right. We follow Jamie Goldberg, who has been volunteering behind the scenes for a local state candidate who’s running in a special election. His whole family is involved in the success of the election campaign, with his cousin being the assistant campaign manager. Jamie has aspirations to become a politician himself but he’s a little bit shy and awkward. After all, he can’t even bring himself to fathom giving a speech at his younger sister’s bat mitzvah. Then we have Maya Rehman, who is just trying to survive her summer break. It’s Ramadan but her parents are having a trial separation and she hardly gets to see her best and only friend, Sara, who is busy working multiple jobs and getting ready to move away for college. Now that her summer trip to Italy has been cancelled due to her parents separating, Maya’s restlessness has her mother pushing her to do political canvassing with a guy she sort of knew from her childhood. But as Jamie and Maya spend more time together, they realise that they make each other stronger and braver.
I have to admit that, as an Australian, I only have moderate knowledge of US politics and even less knowledge about political campaigning so I think some aspects of the book flew over my head a little bit. Having said that, I still connected strongly with the story and felt a really deep connection with the characters and message of the novel. Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed managed to pack so much character development into Yes No Maybe So and I found myself really loving every single character in this book by the end. I really enjoyed the foreword and reading about how the authors’ lives and their own experience with local activism inspired the writing of this story. There’s really nothing better than an #ownvoices story. I got a really strong sense of the Antisemitism and Islamophobia that they described feeling and experiencing themselves after the 2016 election. And while it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that this is a reality in the US and so many other places, they’ve written such a beautiful story about fighting for change, even if you’re not old enough to vote, and starting the change, even if your actions don’t have immediate results.
Jamie and Maya were both incredible characters and their friendship was so wonderful to see. Their romance was quite a slow burn, so slow in fact that it was less of a slow burn (or slowmance as Jamie once said accidentally) and more… just slow. The first half of the book dragged for me and I didn’t really get invested in the characters or in the plot until over halfway through. But having now finished the book, I do appreciate the attention that the authors put into building the characters and setting the scene. There are so many little moments that added to the story and made me love each individual character more and more. And I definitely felt inspired and challenged to think about the contribution that I can make as an individual.
Yes No Maybe So was a beautifully crafted story about identity and doing your best to make a difference. You’ll absolutely fall in love with Jamie and Maya, along with all of their family and friends.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing a review copy of the book.
Yes No Maybe So is available at all Australian retailers for $17.99 RRP.
Thanks to Simon and Schuster, we are giving away 3 copies of Yes No Maybe So so that you can enjoy Jamie and Maya’s story too. Please follow the rules below and the winners will be chosen through Rafflecopter when the giveaway ends on 20th February 2020.
1. This giveaway is only open to Australian residents.
2. Simon and Schuster will send out the copies to the three winners and will need a postal address. Please make sure that you have parental permission if you are under 18 years of age.
3. No fake entries – we check!
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