Yes No Maybe So
by Becky Albertalli; Aisha Saeed
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Pub Date 04 Feb 2020 | Archive Date 26 Feb 2020
Simon and Schuster UK Children's, Simon & Schuster Children's UK
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.
Praise for Yes No Maybe So:
'Heartwarming, poignant and very, very funny' Waterstones
‘[An] entertaining story of love, politics and idealism’ The I
'A novel bursting with hope, truth and action . . . Yes No Maybe So is about speaking up, showing up and being an effective ally. But at its core it’s a reminder that the Greta Thunbergs, Malala Yousafzais and Autumn Peltiers of today were once Jamies and Mayas: everyday teenagers who saw their house was on fire and worked tirelessly to extinguish the blaze' The New York Times Book Review
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 66 members
This book gave me all the feels! I love Becky Albertalli novels and this might just be my fave yet!
Maya and Jamie spend the summer canvassing for the local election. Jamie is Jewish and currently in Bat Mitzvah planning hell. Maya is Muslim and fasting for Ramadan. When they go out canvassing together, they become close and closer. Could it lead to more?
Thanks NetGalley for an advanced copy.
I loved this. I loved both Jamie and Maya and their families. This is a lovely, hopeful. positive book. I will definitely read something else by Aisha Saeed!
Listen, I hate the current political climate as much as the next guy – but I can’t deny that I love the stories that are being published because of it. Never have authors been more politically active and never have young adult stories made me want to pick up a sign and protest to save the world more than they have in the last few years. Yes, No, Maybe So is a story that gives you back a voice you might feel like you have lost – or never had in the first place. It reinforces the belief that you – sitting there, reading that book – have the power to change the world.
The story follows young Jamie Goldberg and Maya Rehman who come to volunteer for the local state senate candidate in different ways – Jamie is kind of forced into it because nepotism will always be a part of politics and Maya needs a distraction from the troubles at home. For Jamie, the idea of going from door to door to get someone to vote is at best cringeworthy, at worst his biggest nightmare. Jamie would love to be a politician one day – if only he could speak to people without getting anxious and feeling nauseated. Maya can think of a dozen things she’d rather do than canvass for another cis white dude – but when she and Jamie, childhood friends, reunite – everything changes. And suddenly, going from door to door and getting people to engage in the issues the world is facing doesn’t seem so bad anymore. Especially when you find a cause worth fighting for and a politician to stand up for.
So yes, this book features a love story, but that’s not the focus of this book. Instead, this story shows the journey of two individuals who are fighting their own silent war inside of themselves and are just trying to find a way to survive in the world. Jamie is Jewish and Maya is a Muslim and it was so refreshing to see that even though they might not know all about the other’s religion, they are willing to learn. Yes, mistakes are made, Ramadan is misunderstood but it doesn’t end in two sides crossing their arms and walking away – instead they both grow as individuals and together. They became invested in religious freedom and discrimination and while their love story definitely played a part in it, the bigger part of this book – and where it shines – are the moments that show the reader that teenagers are not just sitting in front of their phone all day, doing nothing – but that they are actually worried about the political climate and where the world is going. It put heavy emphasis on the passion children can feel about changing things and the helplessness they experience because they are told that they don’t matter until they’re 18 when they can vote. And the book completely subverted that statement to show that no matter your age, your race, your heritage, you can help make this world a better place. You just have to find your niche.
Naturally, this book isn’t flawless. The secondary characters are one-dimensional and could have done with a bit more fleshing out and the big fight at the end was too quickly resolved for it to have mattered as much as it did. But seeing as this wasn’t the focus of the book, these notes are understandably not as important than the real message.
Without spoiling too much, I just want to say how much I loved the ending. Some will surely say it was pessimistic or devastating but to me, it only drove home the message that sometimes you can do everything you need to do and still not get what you want. But the valor is in getting up the next day and trying all over again.
A wonderful exploration of political activism, multicultural interests and how powerful one voice can be when joined by others. A must read for anyone who feels like fighting the forces that bind us.
Becky Albertelli continues to wow with heartfelt contemporaries that overflow with relatable characters. I loved the humour and the story kept me turning pages until the early hours!
Adorable romance plus political activism=fantastic book I wish I had as a teenager! I have heard great things about both Becky and Aisha's books and have been meaning to read some of their other works so I had high expectations going into this book, and I was not disappointed. I think if I had read this when I was an apathetic teen I would have been very inspired to get involved in politics or maybe just would have paid more attention! I was concerned that the focus on activism and social justice might be way to heavy handed, but I think it was handled very well and made for a very engaging and fun read.
Yes No Maybe So is a YA novel about two seventeen-year-olds who meet when they're both canvassing for their local state special election. Jamie Goldberg is interested in politics and volunteers for his local Democrat candidate, but feels like he is terrible at talking to anyone. Maya Rehman is dealing with her parents separating, her best friend having no time for her, and her mum deciding she should try political canvassing to fill her now empty summer. When Jamie and Maya start going door-to-door to engage with people, it isn't quite what either of them expected.
This political activism tinged teenage romance is split between the two main characters' points of view, and this is used to show their differing perspectives, religions, and cultural contexts, as well as their similarities and shared interests. It works well for the premise, allowing things like Jamie's cluelessness about how Ramadan works to be balanced with Maya's perspective on how her family mark Muslim traditions. The book is heavy on both the awkward teen romance and the teenage political idealism, but that's the point, and it's a fun book that does try and raise a few issues whilst mostly being about the two main characters' growing relationship.
This book!!! 😍😍😍
Okay gimme a second to recollect my memory of ever reading a book as cute and adorable as this one. It is like the authors found an ocean of cuteness and poured it all on this book.
Every damn chapter was so freaking cuteeeeee!!!
And it never felt cloyingly cute at all!!
Gosh, my review will be mostly incoherent fangirling but I don't care. This book should and must be fangirled over and I love it so so much!! I can't wait till February 2020 anymore!!
So first of all, I was so moved by the special note Becky and Aisha left in the beginning. So poignant and beautiful. I was so moved!!
This is not just a teen romcom book. It is both an important and a fluff book. It is full of fluff but also has lots of important portrayals and messages and representations. It shows us how you can balance all of it and still have a stunning book that's not at all serious toned but tackles serious issues and topics perfectly.
So the book is from two POV, 17yo American Jewish boy, Jamie Goldberg and 17yo Pakistani-American Muslim girl, Maya Rehman. The POV is back-to-back, so we get equal number of chapters. Set in a small town in Georgia, the story depicts how two teen of two marginalized background come together to do poilitcal canvassing before a local election, and fight against Islamophobia and antisemitism. Lots of amazing and cute romantic tropes you'll find here and I love the ending! So realistic and hopeful.
Now I'm gonna gush over the characters!
I knew I'd love Jamie when he saw Maya and assumed her background as South Asian. NOT INDIAN. NOT PAKISTANI. Unlike most other non-South Asians. He said South Asian and I was sold on his part.
He. Is. Just. So. Cute!!
I mean it! He's so adorable!! I wanna adopt him as my lil bro OMG. He's sweet and kind and understanding and dorky and a total cinnamon roll. That's right. A cinnamon roll softie boy. I love him so so much!!
And he invented the word Slowmance!! Perfect for how their relationship develops.
And once you get him around Maya, he becomes such a cute and shy lover boy. Gosh, I see them together and I just wanna ship them till eternity!!
And Maya?? OMG the perfect perfect perfect girl for him. While he's a nervous wreck, she's a confident vocal girl. But don't take it that she never gets nervous and scared or he is always a nervous puddle. Nope. As the story progresses, you'll find them standing up for each other or melting for each other. They're the ultimate OTP goal and I just...
And I loved how supportive and kind others are toward their relationship! Sophie, Jamie's lil sis, is just so amazing!! So cute and perky and full of energy. What Jamie lacks in speech, Sophie makes up for it. She's just too fun!!
And OMG!! Jamie's grandma is so adorable!! I hope if this book ever gets a film deal, I get to see InstaGramm in action. Gosh, she's so so cute!! Jamie inherited all those cuteness.
I also love the small sprinkles of so many good rep. Like how even though you can be financially less privileged than others, you can still be privileged when it comes to your skin color. Or even if you're a Muslim woman, that doesn't mean you have to wear hijab or not wear it. This book shows us how white supremacy and white nationalism can be so so dangerous and cruel. The 2016 election and its subsequent effects on USA are aptly shown here and I applaud the authors for this.
CW for the book:
White nationalism, white supremacy, antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, F-word.
Thank you, NetGalley UK and Simon & Schuster UK for providing me with an eARC of this amazing book. I can't wait to get my hands on this adorable book.
Get on this book now!!
I want to thank Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.
I have to say I honestly really couldn’t get enough of this book!
The characters were really interesting and drew me into the story right away!
Jamie and Maya were amazing main characters I was rooting for them from the start.
The writing was amazing it flowed really well I was never bored and just wanted to keep reading to see what happened.
I read it all in one sitting but was a little disappointed with the ending.
This was an extremely entertaining and educational book for me. Growing up I never really paid much attention to politics or who the prime minster was at the time. I couldn’t vote so didn’t see the point in finding out what was happening. Then I was 18 and still had no idea what I was really doing.
Then trump got in in the US and I found myself thinking just what the hell was going on. Here was a man who to me seemed terrible and people had voted him in. This sexist, racist, discriminatory man had somehow become president of the US.
Then Brexit started over here and has been such a huge mess and I realised that maybe I do need to start paying more attention to politics.
Just like this book showed me. Even when you can’t vote you can still spark change. You can try to make the world a better place. You need to fight for the things that matter to you and use your vote wisely.
The characters were extremely well written and relatable and I loved how they opened my eyes to issues I sometimes brush over.
I think this book is incredibly important and one teens everywhere should read. It shows them that it’s never to early to start thinking about the change you want to see in the world and every little action you do can help.
You need to think about these things and consider the type of world you want to live in.
This is another classically adorable contemporary YA novel from Becky Albertalli, this time co-writing with Aisha Saeed. However, Yes No Maybe So worked a lot better for me than Albertalli's last collaboration, What If It's Us, perhaps because I simply prefer Saeed's prose to that of the previous collaborator, Adam Silvera (I don't like his stand-alone novels either). Yes No Maybe So stars Jamie and Maya, two teenagers who aren't old enough to vote but who become passionately involved with a local campaign in their home state of Georgia to get a Democrat candidate, Rossum, elected to the Senate after the Republican incumbent steps down. But will Jamie and Maya get together as well as getting Rossum elected?
The story is told in alternating chapters from Maya and Jamie, and Albertalli and Saeed handle this collaboration well. At first I was worried that this was going to be a bit simplistically lefty, with both characters info-dumping about how bad racism and Republicans are (I think both these things are bad, but I don't think it makes very good fiction when the authors simply tell readers what they want them to know). However, as Maya and Jamie get more involved in the campaign, the issues raised become more complex, and both Albertalli and Saeed are good at writing arguments where neither character is totally in the right - a confrontation between Maya and her former best friend Sara is particularly well done. Both authors share Albertalli's tendency to make sure that characters admit everything wrong they've ever done by the end of the story, so there's no room for ambiguity, but this suits the tone of this sweet novel. Not quite as good as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda or Leah on the Offbeat, but definitely worth reading, and it's inspired me to seek out more by Saeed as well.
I will cross-post this review to Amazon after the publication date.
"This is your narrative, you get to pick the framing."
Becky Albertalli and Aishe Saeed have a way with writing that makes me want to read more. Their characters and storyline are so well put together, their words make you feel like you're truly apart of the narrative and you're back to being a teenager again with dreams and ambitions that you're determined to achieve.
I have felt every emotion while reading this arc, from happy and extremely giddy to sad and worried, my emotions had fluctuated constantly, all the while, my mind was egging me on to read more!
I was thrilled when I got the email giving me the possibility to read this arc, and I greatly thank the publishers and Netgalley for this opportunity. Albertalli and Saeed deal with thoughts and issues that not everyone may consider but are out there and important in the world, they respectively represent communities and their livelihoods and marks tales of teenage lives of love and loss, of family and friendships, of new beginnings and unknown futures.
A well-written novel that I will be recommending to all.
This is a book about politics. Not about sexy themes such as Presidental Elections or protests but about local level elections. This being aimed at the YA crowd makes it even better because as we all know, our generation is very bad at hitting the poles and stories like these show us that politics matter on a small scale first and sometimes that is all you need to affect change.
In true Albertalli style (sorry I haven’t read any other Saeed yet!) LGBTQ rep, racism, sexism, diversity, mental health, and so many other themes are featured and discussed throughout it, in an honest and accessible way but of all of those, I have two favorites. With Jamie being Jewish and Maya Muslim, the authors were able to tell us a lot about both religions and show us an intersectional relationship in which people sometimes made mistakes but instead of reacting badly when chastised for it, it was seen as an opportunity to learn.
The other thing I really liked (and that also happened in Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda) was that unlike so many YA books in which the teenagers seem to live in a bubble, both Jamie and Maya’s families appear frequently and have both positive and negative impacts in their lives. More than that though, both of them have loving, caring families that actively try to get involved in their lives while having jobs and their own lives and I think there are not enough parents in YA being portrayed in such a (positive) way.
There is only one thing I wish it had been discussed: both Maya and Jamie sneer at people that don’t mind their kid’s gay friends or smile at a woman wearing a hijab but vote for people that would make their lives harder by discriminating against them or even outlaw their existence. What they didn’t do was consider that they do the same: they are both allies of the LGBTQ community while being people of faith and the way each one of their religions treats people such as their friends is never acknowledged.
I really enjoyed this book and I found that it had many beautiful messages such as people genuinely caring for their neighbors, checking our own privilege, voting with their conscience after being shown what their candidate would do to others and the importance of the fight for itself not just as a means to win. I’m so here for more books like this.
Thank you to Balzer + Bray, NetGalley and Edelweiss+ for this DRC.
Thoroughly enjoyable story. Really enjoyed the modern feeling on a classic love story, and it was for once enjoyable to read about political aspects. The characters of Jamie and Maya were well developed and thought out. I felt as though the two distinct writing styles worked well together, Overall, an excellent book with well representation, and a modern day relatable story.
This book is co-written between Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. They brought Jamie and Maya to life as a young socially inept Jewish boy and a lonely Pakistani-American Muslim girl. It’s nice to see such an interesting pair of protagonists.
This is a book about two teens who are voluntold to help out with a local political campaign. They’re drawn into caring due to right-wing policies and friendly and not so friendly constituents. They also have other things going on in their lives, Jamie is preparing for his sister’s bat mitzvah and Maya’s parents are starting a trial separation.
While both of them learn and grow they also make their own mistakes. Maya is thoughtless to her best friend Sara; Jamie is continually ignorant about Maya and his religion while expecting her to know his without explanation. They also both have good supportive families which is quite rare for many YA novels. That said I wish their friends had bigger roles.
I hope this novel encourages young readers to find out more about politics and find causes to care about.
Jamie and Maya are teenagers from different backgrounds that have been reluctantly been brought together to canvas for a local election candidate. They are both preoccupied with evolving family matters but their passion to overcome the challenges of the racist elements in their community overtakes their reservations of being forced together.
It's a story about friendship, romance, multiculturalism and big dollop of politics chucked in the mix. It’s fantastic, feel-good tale that overpowers the negativity in the wider world. I’m a big fan of Abertalli’s works and I look forward to discovering other books by Saeed as this was a delightful collaboration.
Yes No Maybe So tells the story of teens Jamie and Maya who are volunteering to help out with a local Democrat's campaign. They door knock to try to get people's commitment to go out and vote.
The story is inspired by Becky and Aisha's own experiences dooknocking for local campaigns as well as their fears and the microagressions they both experience om a post-Trump election world, as Jewish and Muslim women.
I think this book did a great job of showing that it does still matter what you think even if you personally can't vote. And there are other ways you can make change in your community.
The love story was believable and rather sweet. There were some misunderstandings and things they kept from eachother, but it didn't become unbearable angst. And I felt that the conclusion was satisfying.
When I saw this on NetGalley I just had to read it! I went into it completely blind and was so surprised at the contents of this book! I never thought I'd be that into a book based around politics but it was so refreshing seeing Maya and Jamie, who can't yet vote yet, do all they can for their political party! It was fun reading about what they are doing politics wise but also see their personal lives and getting invested in them. I defintely reccomend this book!!
Written in response to the 2016 US Presidential Election and the current political climate in the States, Yes No Maybe So, a collaboration between Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed bravely walks the line between political commentary and cute contemporary romance. This is difficult act to pull off, but this duo manage to accomplish it in style.
The book follows two teens who become involved in a political campaign for a local representative. Maya is a young Muslim woman who is roped into the campaign by her mother while Jamie, a young Jewish man who is also being coerced into campaigning by his family. The two knew each other as young children but had long since drifted apart, so being sent door to door on the campaign trail is more than a little awkward.
Both Maya and Jamie were great well rounded characters, and their early interactions were a perfect blend of sweet and awkward. As the campaign continues and some of the issues become more personal and start to hit a little closer to home, the two become closer and the sweetness of their romance is the perfect balance to the serious political issues of racism, islamophobia and anti- semitism that rear their ugly heads. This difficult blend of cute and serious is deftly handled, and incredibly well balanced . Neither protagonist is without flaws, making them all the more easy for the reader to relate to. There is a wonderful panoply of secondary characters, most notably Jamie's InstaGramm and his little sister who are both wonderful in their own ways, and honestly I'd love to read more about their exploits.
I read and reviewed an ARC courstesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for this local state senate candidate, as long as he is behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers, Jamie just can't. There is no way that he would ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes. That is until he meets Maya.
Maya Rehman's having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friends is too busy to hang out, her summer trip has been cancelled and now her parents are separating. She also has no idea why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing with an awkward guy she hardly knows.
I went into this book honestly having next to no idea what it was going to be about. I was expecting your typical contemporary but it is so much more than that. It is sweet and summery, yes, but it is also relevant, engaging and realistic. This book has something for everyone, from highly relatable characters, to diversity in terms of race and religion as well as fighting for what you believe in.
This book does an incredible job of putting the characters into situations that forced them to grow and re-evaluate their beliefs. This book completely goes against your expectations of the genre and causes both the characters and readers to change they assumptions. Little things like Jamie's grandma being a social media influencer and Jamie realising his ignorance about Ramadan really add so much to the story. Personally, I cannot comment on the representation in the book, but it is own voices in terms of Jewish, Muslim and Pakistani-American.
Jamie and Maya are both excellent main characters and have incredibly developed and realistic personalities that I feel so many people will be able to relate to. I loved reading the story from both of their POV's and seeing how they all feel in different situations that arise within that narrative. There are so many wonderful side characters in this book and I feel Jamie's grandma deserves a mention and I wish she was real!
This book feels incredible realistic and to be honest this is quite terrifying. Although I am not from the US, it is difficult to escape American politics and the bills they are passing. I could also relate to this happening in the UK too and it made me want to take a stand here.
This book is definitely meant to make you feel mad about the state of politics across the world today. It is also shows the passion both authors have about the current state of America's government. Overall it left me with a feeling of hope. Hoping that our generation can change things and hope that even though I am only one person, I can still make a difference no matter how small. Also, hope that life can be improved for the thousands who are currently suffering under oppressive and discriminatory governments, not just in the US bu across the world. Aisha and Becky have both done amazing jobs of writing such a hard-hitting and important story and I cannot wait to read more from them both in the future.
Overall, I throughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a sweet story that is also incredibly hard-hitting and realistic. I hope that one day, teenagers can read this book and not have to relate to the issues we are facing today.
The premise of this book is something I really haven’t seen before in YA. Yes, there are books about making changes and protesting. Moxie Girl is a great example, since it’s about girls protesting the sexist school uniform regulations at their school. But the political changes stuff is something I’ve honestly never come across before. It sounds weird to say that, especially since I know a lot of authors and readers were furious when Donald Trump was elected in the U.S. but I’ve never seen it come across in this way in a book before.
Yes, I know this sounds weirdly vague, but I was thrilled about the theme of Yes No Maybe So. And a little hesitant too. I’ll admit that, as much as I wanted a book like this, I was concerned that the narrative of people campaigning and going door to door to canvass, might in some ways be a bit too optimistic. I know, I know, but hear me out. My problem is that while I’m not one of those people that refuses to vote because ‘my vote doesn’t matter’ [It does, it absolutely does] I’m also not massively keen on the idea of suggesting that by working really hard and being incredibly enthusiastic, you can change the course of an election. So I guess what I’m trying to say in a super roundabout way, is that I didn’t want the book to sugar coat the reality of voting, especially since many YA readers aren’t yet old enough to vote, or are just turning eighteen, and I don’t like the idea that some people might read something like this and then get upset or discouraged with themselves and their own efforts when things don’t go their way. Thankfully, I think this book did an incredible job of handling this potential issue and there are definitely moments when reality hits quite hard. There’s people shutting doors on the main characters, refusing to change their minds, and a whole load of other stuff that I won’t get into because this review is spoiler free. I will say that I was also pleasantly surprised by the way the election process is handled too. There’s a lot of useful information woven into this book, and I think anyone who is interested in seeing a behind the scenes type thing of politics will be pleasantly surprised by how well it’s done.
The main characters are, as always with Becky’s books, very likeable and relatable. I don’t know how the work was divided between Becky and Aisha. I don’t know if they both wrote a character, or alternated in some way or something, but it’s very seamlessly done and both characters are nuanced. Maya’s chapters were possibly my favourite, just because she’s a complex character and she’s really intelligent and just feels very real. Jamie’s sweet and funny, and I liked his determination and his slight naivety about the world. Again, it felt very natural and he came across as a well developed character.
I do think there were moments when the pacing dragged just a touch. The middle went on for quite a while and I struggled with some of the romantic storyline. There was a lot of back and forth uncertainty and it felt a bit pointless. I mean, again, no spoilers but it was a YA book so it was quite obvious how the romance would develop as the story progressed. I will say I liked that there was some discussion about why it was difficult in places, rather than it just being two very uncertain teenagers wondering if their crush liked them back, but since most of the story is that back and forth stuff, it wasn’t amazing for me because it was predictable. Saying that, I still made the appropriate tea kettle noises when the two of them finally admitted their feelings.
Overall, I’d give Yes No Maybe So a 9/10 stars. I thought the election campaigning theme was something I’ve never come across in YA before, and it was handled very well and left me feeling educated about how voting works in the US. The romance was a touch predictable, but I’ll give it a pass since it’s a YA novel and it’s usually pretty easy to figure out how these things go in them. The characters were really well developed and I enjoyed their interactions and reading more about them as the story progressed.
This is the perfect summer read. I thought that the premise and writing style were magical, and the representation in the story was fantastic. The book follows Maya and Jamie who are teamed up for some door to door political canvasing, preparing for a local election in 2020. I think this book very cleverly explores politics from the perspective of someone not yet allowed to vote. It manages to walk the line between hope and disappointment, and does so very well. The romance was adorable, the story was very clever. I do very much recommend it.
Content warnings: anxiety, islamophobia, antisemitism,
Yes No Maybe So was one of my most anticipated books for 2020. I was super excited when I managed to get an ARC. I wished I’d read it earlier because it was SO GOOD.
When Maya’s plans fall through for the summer because her parents are having marital issues she ends up striking a deal with her mm to get a car. That deal is going canvassing for the local democrat candidate for an upcoming special election. Her canvassing partner is Jamie. Jamie is interested in getting into politics but his anxiety is stopping him from really getting involved. Maya and Jamie spend a lot of time together over the summer and start becoming really passionate about politics and each other.
The premise of kids getting involved in local politics was what really called out to me when I heard about this book (apart from Albertalli being my fave). And I really enjoyed that part of the novel. I think this could be good for teens who are more into politics but don’t know how to make a difference because they can’t vote yet. It shone a light on ways of helping that aren’t just voting etc. I think in that respect it’ll resonate with a few teens and hopefully encourage them in their aspirations.
I’m a really big fan of what Albertalli is doing right now. I don’t know if she’s doing it purposefully or she’s just working with friends, but I love that she’s using her big presence in the YA contemporary genre to uplift diverse voices. First, she worked with Adam Silvera and now Aisha Saeed.
Jamie is a soft boy. He just wants to do good in the world and make a difference. He makes some mistakes with Maya and you can see he makes a note of his mistake and endeavours to learn from it. I loved him a lot. I also loved Maya. She changes and becomes so much more aware of her position in society throughout the novel, but doesn’t back down on her beliefs when challenged. Her relationship with Islam is a huge part of her identity and she stands by it.
One of my favourite things in this book is Maya’s relationship with her best friend Sara. Maya and Sara are 1 year apart in age, and Sara is about to leave to go to university. What thrilled me about seeing this in the novel is that it shows just how much a difference a year makes in your teens. These 2 girls who have been inseparable their whole lives are changing into different people and the things that are important to them are different. I remember my later teens were such a strange time because everything was shifting and nothing really stayed the same. I found this very true to that experience.
That being said, my one issue with the novel is that the friends of our 2 MCs aren’t really fleshed out. And even the secondary characters who do have more time, like their families and Gabe, don’t have a huge amount of attention paid to their own stories. But this wasn’t a huge downer for me as I still really enjoyed the central story. I just wished we could’ve seen a little more interaction with different characters.
This is a solid addition to both authors catalogues and I now will definitely be looking to pick up Saeed’s Amal Unbound as this has shown me that I will vibe with her writing style. I’m very glad this one didn’t let me down.
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