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Yes No Maybe So

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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.

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.

464 pages, ebook

First published February 4, 2020

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About the author

Becky Albertalli

18 books19k followers
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It's Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.
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(Photography by Decisive Moment Events)

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Profile Image for ♛ may.
801 reviews3,762 followers
February 27, 2020
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa here comes a rant

🚨 SPOILER WARNING 🚨
I’m talking spoilers for the romantic pairing, NOT the election results (but lbr, it’s a ya contemp, we all know how the romance ends)


Identity

its really difficult to put my feelings into words because I absolutely DON’T want to discount anyone’s identity and I’m sure the authors didn’t mean to bring any harm when writing this book.

But I’m just so tired of popular media pushing One Narrative for muslims.

the one where Muslim girls change their identity and beliefs in order to please or be with a white boy

and you know what, maybe it represents SOME people, but for me, it’s the ONLY representation I’m seeing in media for muslims
and it’s so FRUSTRATING!!!

When you’re writing a book about a character who is BOTH POC and a muslim, it’s SOSOSOSOSO important that you give BOTH identities the weight they deserve.

And it SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE SAID but clearly not all brown people are muslims and not all muslims are brown!!

So we have Maya, a Pakistani-American Muslim girl, which means both her Pakistani and her Muslim identity SHOULD be given their due respect and I found that because this book was trying to do TOO MANY things and Represent TOO MANY people, it lacked on both aspects.

And I personally feel like if you can’t manage both, then it’s better to just handle one of those identities and give it the weight it deserves. Not every brown, South Asian girl has to be muslim bc I’d rather have one identity well done than have them both unexplored.

While more than half the story LITERALLY takes place during RAMADAN, Maya’s religious identity seem to be missing. Yes she was fasting (by choice, which is so FANTASTIC to see) but that’s literally the EXTENT of her being a muslim.

She isn’t well connected with her muslim community, she doesn’t have any muslim friends, she doesn't participate in casual islamic practices (or restrictions for that matter). Aside from her parents and imam Jackson (who all play LESS than minor roles in the book) there are NO OTHER MUSLIM CHARACTERS!!

WHYYYYYYYYYY??????? 😩🤡🤡


The Dating

And now we get to the real stuff. The whole pre-marital relationship bothered me SO MUCH in the way it was handled.

Maya and her mother had a talk in which they discussed the sacredness of relationships
”You know, Maya, intimacy is for after marriage…I’m only saying, kissing and all the rest – those are sacred moments between a husband and wife.”

And from what maya tells Jamie later on in the book, she clearly agrees with that sentiment. ……until they fight at least.
”I can’t date you, Jamie.”
“Yeah, okay…No one dates anymore…”
“I’m not talking semantics. I mean we can’t be together like that. It’s not going to happen. Ever.”
“Oh.” Jamie fell silent.

“It’s my parents Jamie. I’m not allowed to date. I should have told you that from the start. I’m sorry.”
“Your parents?” Jamie repeats. “Can’t you at least own it?...If you don’t want to be with me, don’t hide behind your parents.”
“You know I’m Muslim, don’t you?”
“So, is it your parents?” he asks. “Or is it that you’re Muslim? Make up your mind, Maya.”
“It’s both, Jamie! It’s because of my parents, because we’re Muslim. Dating is a little more complicated for me.”

And then once she doesn’t have him in her life for a few days, she decides he is more important to her than air and they proceed to……………make….out….hONEY NO
“This is- is this okay?”
“It’s okay.” She kisses me. “Very okay.”
“I just want you to know, it’s fine if we can’t date. If this has to be a thing that happened once in Target… Seriously. Whatever you need this to be –“
“I want to be your girlfriend.”
“Okay…And your parents? Do you think they’ll be okay with…us?”
“I don’t know.” Maya gazes up at me. “I’ll figure it out. Can we take it slow?”

🤡WHY🤡
🤡WHY🤡
🤡WHY🤡
🤡WHY🤡

My last four brain cells really look the leap and jumped out because they couldn’t handle this anymore.

Literary flaws

Aside from the representation issues, I felt the book was long for a contemporary novel. It is very heavily focused on politics which I found quite interesting as I know nothing about American politics and the voting system.

I saw some readers complain that the book took a very clear political side and while it didn’t bother me personally, that’s definitely something to note if you prefer having a book that remains more neutral in terms of politics

i liked the sentiment of the book, you know, don’t be a racist piece of trash, but I found the delivery came off really cheesy sometimes

Jamie himself is a really sweet, soft, reasonable boy. He has a big heart and wants to help save the world and I really liked to see that but at the same time he also felt kind of one-dimensional because aside from that and blushing 25/7, he doesn’t really have anything else going for him :/

One thing of note that I can say was the best part of the book was the constant “Office” references. I’m such a trash fan of that show (as most people are) and after every reference I just went heart eyes. Ugh so gross I know.

Okay, that’s all I have to offer for this review. I’m really tired of seeing this same story written for muslim characters and idk when im going to learn my lesson and just STOP picking up these kind of books but hey at least we got a proper review out of it


1.5 stars


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

self-sabotage is constantly picking up books that feature "muslim representation" and hoping that it actually delivers an authentic muslim experience EVEN THOUGH you've only read books where the characters are either 'moderate muslims by name' or feature white boys liberating muslim girls from their hijab and beliefs 🤭

wow love that for us
Profile Image for Warda.
1,090 reviews17.4k followers
Shelved as 'lost-interest'
March 5, 2020
EDIT: And now that I hear that there is some kind of falling for a non-Muslim white boy trope/saviour in this, I'm not bothering. I'm BORED and FRUSTRATED with the publishing world constantly choosing to produce one-sided narratives of Muslims.
I'm not even the type that will dismiss a book because of others. But this nonsense has happened one too many times. So now I have become one of those.

-------

There's part of me that is gagging for this book and another part of me that is questioning how the faith aspect is going to be handled. I'm tired of it being inauthentic, wishy-washy and westernised, just so that it suits the audience. Just so that Muslims are perceived as normal.
Keeping my fingers crossed all the same.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,588 reviews153k followers
March 14, 2021
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Ugh. Okay. I know there's normally a better recap of the book but gosh dang I disliked this book so much that I can't be bothered.

Jamie - Jewish, stage fright, canvases neighborhoods cause he LOVES POLITICS.

Maya - Muslim, divorcing parents, canvasing neighborhoods cause she WANTS A CAR.

Jamie & Maya - BFFS but can't date cause of Maya's religion...or can they?

Anyway, turns out thinly veiled romance books centering around politics go just about as well as you'd imagine. There were three main things that took me out of the book: The Personalities, the Politics and the Religion.

(Warning: spoilers ahead)

The Personalities - aka How you doing, fellow kids?>/i>
“I peer around the room—which is so packed with earnest-looking college kids, you’d think this was an Apple Store.”
Nearly all of the book was written from a...hmm...I'm struggling with how to say it...but essentially it felt like the authors were hardcore struggling to remember what it was like to be teenagers.
“There's nothing quite like the futility of being seventeen in an election year.”
The teens enthusiasm for the absolute mundane politics, the high-stakes fake bills, the over-the-top-we-got-to-do-something-to-save-the-world...ugh...the teens had the fever pitch of born agains.

Real teens just don't make their entire personalities based off of the political leanings. Being locked in a room with them would be murder.
And it's so hard to be twelve or thirteen or fifteen or seventeen, when you're old enough to get it, but... you can't vote.
The Politics - aka tHe OtHeR sIdE iS eViL

So. Let me start off this bit by saying I'm a democrat and I'm so freaking sick of the way both sides treat each other.

I'm so freaking tired of watching politicians act like children, fearmongering and reducing their opposites under the blanket of "oh but they're horrible people cause they're on the OTHER side so it's okay for us to treat them like less-thans."

Initially I was intrigued how the book was going to handle the dichotomy between democrat vs republican but boy was I disappointed.

Like we've all seen this in YA Fantasy...when the authors feel like they have to CONSTANTLY remind you who the EVIL group is every other paragraph cause they're worried you'd forget or something.

Yeah, turns out it doesn't work in YA fantasy or YA contemporary.

I feel like if this book at least TRIED to make an argument for the republican side - after all, not every republican is a raging evil racist homophobic - then the book would've been tolerable.

But no, I was just told that any and all republicans are pretty much the scum of the earth and anything they believe in is awful.

To be fair there's a lot of issues where I prefer the democrat side BUT to just blanket half the nation as bad? I just expected better of from this book. (and to be fair there was one "good" republican of the town...who voted democrat...)

The Religion - aka girl's always got to change for the guy.

So, I will say (right off the bat) that I've read a TON of books on the subject but I don't feel like I'm an expert when it comes to the religions mentioned in this book.

So, if you'd like an in-depth analysis, I will defer to the gorgeous rant from may ❀ .

Essentially, I was really excited about the religions showcased in this book - Jamie was Jewish and Maya was Muslim.

And early on, we were told that Maya cannot date because of her religion.

From what I can tell, Maya believes in this and she's fairly religious (she fasts (of her own choice) for Ramadan, and while she doesn't do too much else on-screen, she also doesn't seem to be chafing or upset at her beliefs, nor does it seem like her parents are forcing their beliefs on her).

SO from the get-go: it gave an uniqueness to the story and I was really excited to watch this play out.

And then she just throws it all away cause of a boy cause she tOtAlLy LoVeS hIm.

Sigh.

To boil down why this annoyed me SO much this round...it just feels like every time I read a book from a Muslim girl's perspective SHE has to be the one to change and re-orient to fit a western narrative.

I'm tired of watching authors making their female characters abandon their beliefs and pursue whatever the "American" friends or cute boys tell them to.

Whether it be removing the hijab, breaking halal or throwing away dating restrictions (i.e. according to this book, you should only be dating if you are serious with intent to marry) - the Americans are always shown as the "right" side and the religious beliefs are ones that are made to be broken.

And I don't see what made it necessary to do this. Why can't we have a handful of stories where the girl doesn't have to give it all up for a guy she met less than a year ago?

Now, if Maya had expressed extreme displeasure or a desire to "break free" or if it was shown that her parents are forcing their beliefs on here, then I might have thought of this differently.

But up until the moment where she realized she like-liked the boy and that he like-likes her back, she was showing nearly the same beliefs as her parents.

But then again, everyone knows that deeply held religious beliefs can't stand in the way of of two teens SUPER DUPER TOTALLY IN LOVE.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,471 reviews19.1k followers
January 29, 2020
4.5 stars. Read this entire book during my red-eye to Philly bc I could NOT put it down. This was so, so good and I am so happy to have finally loved a book from Becky Albertalli again! I also especially loved the chapters written by Aisha Saeed and I DEF need to read more books from her immediately. This was honestly just great.
Profile Image for sarah.
377 reviews397 followers
January 27, 2020
I thought going in that this would be a sweet, summery romance with a little bit of political discourse sprinkled in. It was, but it was also relevant, engaging and realistic. The romance took a back seat to the friendship and political aspects, which I loved. It had something for everyone, from relatable characters, to diversity in terms of race and religion to fighting for what you believe in.

I love how this book put our characters into situations that forced them to grow and re-evaluate their beliefs. The book as a whole subverted genre expectations, causing both the characters and us as readers to amend their assumptions. It was from little things like how Jaime’s grandmother was a social media influencer, to Jaime realising his ignorance about Ramadan, and how no, Maya does not eat goldfish, drink coffee or even water during the period. I cannot comment on the representation in this book, but it is ownvoices in terms of the Jewish, Muslim and Pakistani-American rep.

➽ Jaime. Ahh my dear, sweet, awkward, target loving Jaime.
Jaime is helping out over the summer to help his cousin work on a campaign for a special election coming up for his state’s house. He is roped in (see also: forced) by his mother to canvas for the election. I can relate to Jaime in the fact that there are probably a thousand things I would rather do than go door to door to talk to strangers about something that has the aptitude to get people very heated. However, Jaime wants to be a politician one day, and figures this may be a way to learn to speak to people without embarrassing himself. Over the course of his canvassing, he becomes more and more passionate about the cause.

➽ Maya is a Pakistani-American Muslim who is going through some difficult times with her family at the moment. Her parents are taking a separation to try to sort some things out. Her world is subsequently turned upside down and all she wants to do is to have her friend be there to talk to, but Sara is eternally busy with work, getting ready for college and moving in with her new roommate. As a result, Maya feels shunned and replaced- and doesn’t have many plans for summer. When her parents offer her a car for going canvassing for Rossum, she agrees. She is initially a bit trepidatious, after all, isn’t he just another cis white guy going for office? But as she and Jaime talk more, it becomes less and less about the car and more about doing what she believes in.

The stakes are especially high for Maya when a bill is announced that directly targets Muslim people and would essentially make her mother a criminal just because of what she chooses to wear. Maya and Jaime team up to try and fight the racist bill, but nothing they say or do seems to work. Representatives they go to talk to brush off their concerns and twist their words, so it seems like the bill is there for the protection of citizens, rather than targeting them. It made my blood boil, and that was the intention.

"we might give it our all and crash and burn. But we might win. We might actually change things. And that maybe makes it still worth going for, don't you think?"

This book felt realistic, and that was the most terrifying thing of all. I am not from the US, but it is difficult to escape American politics even from on the other side of the world. It was interesting however to see how the political climate manifests itself in forms of tension, black and white attitudes and the division of a country.

This book was not entirely flawless, at times I found it a little reference heavy, dramatic and some issues felt unnecessary. I also feel this book could have been a good opportunity to explore international politics, and thought that since Jaime was so engrossed in the political climate of the US he probably would have been more interested in that of of other countries- but that did not diminish my enjoyment enough to lower the rating. The things I loved far outweighed those I didn’t.

As someone who is currently too young to vote, I loved how the authors depicted teenagers in today’s political arena. The characters feel so deeply and strongly and want to make a difference- but people don’t take them seriously because of their age and they begin to feel helpless and insignificant.

"The truth is, it's a weird time to be coming of age. The world's really messy right now. And it's so hard to be twelve or thirteen or fifteen or seventeen, where you're old enough to get it, but... you can't vote"

I loved the ending of this book, in terms of the result of the election. I won’t say anything about it, because it is very easily spoiled.

While this book is intended to make you mad and feel the passion that it is so evident these authors feel about the current state of America’s government- it left me with a feeling of hope. Hope that our generation can change things. Hope that even though I am young, I can make a difference, no matter how small. Hope that life can improve for the thousands who are suffering under oppressive and discriminatory governments and sovereignties not just in the US but across the world.

Hope that one day, a teenager can look back on this book and not relate to the issues we are facing today.

_____________________________________________

I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it

review to come!

_____________________________________________
I just got accepted for an arc of this and
WHEN I TELL YOU I SCREAMED

thank you so much Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Australia!
Profile Image for Sumaiyya.
127 reviews814 followers
March 20, 2020
I am sad to report that YES NO MAYBE SO, a collaborative YA romance written by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed, is the latest to join my list of Big Disappointments. I haven’t read any books by either authors, so this book was clearly a terrible place to start. This review will contain very very very minor spoilers that are actually not even spoilers, in my opinion. And of course, based on my rating, I’m not here to recommend the book.

The premise of YNMS is promising; it follows Jamie, a Jewish teen, and Maya, a Muslim American with a South Asian heritage, as the two of them become canvassing volunteers for a local Democratic political campaign. Politics is heavily featured in this book and I’m unfamiliar with American politics so a lot of it was simply uninteresting for me. Through Jamie and Maya’s experiences we see how teens can get involved in making a difference even though they can’t vote. As they visit people door to door, they are faced with all types of people, from allies to downright hateful and xenophobic types. This reveals the frustrations of young people who experience harmful hate that may be completely invisible to others around them. Jamie and Maya’s story is driven by the need to create change, but unfortunately the second half was a steady downward spiral—I had to force myself to keep reading because it got so boring and cliché. Jamie as a character doesn’t have much going on for him except that he’s Jewish, struggling to write a bat mitzvah toast and is an awkward teenager with a major crush on Maya. The first half of the novel takes place during Ramadan so we see Maya as a Muslim character who is keeps fasts. I think this, ultimately, didn’t serve any value because the essence of Ramadan is swallowed up and it comes off as ritualistic rather than a holy, spiritual month. One example of this is how Maya constantly swears and doesn’t really seem to talk about anything except food when Ramadan is mentioned. It is such a stereotype when Ramadan is reduced to days of not eating food until you finally eat something. Not eating is one aspect of Ramadan. The main purpose is to reflect and try to become better people. I’m only mentioning all this because Ramadan is talked about quite a bit in the first half, but it loses its relevance as soon as Eid is done and we never really see how it impacted Maya. So it stings a bit because I feel like aspects of my religion were used to fulfil the label of Muslim but it doesn’t go beyond that in terms of how it affects the characters or the story.

Anyway—Maya doesn’t wear the hijab but her mom does, so when a new islamophobic bill threatens to take that choice away from women, Maya fights back (because she obviously cares about being Muslim and recognizes that the bill is targeting Muslim women). However in the overall narrative, Maya transitions from a girl who fasts in Ramadan and feels strongly about being a Muslim and Muslim women’s right to wear the hijab, to someone who is willing to discard her values for the sake of dating a boy. It was extremely disheartening for me to see such a shallow representation of Muslims where it felt like the boxes were being ticked but the portrayal lacked substance. The conversation Maya and her Mom have over dating and intimacy, and later related events, was cringeworthy because of the way it was treated. I was also surprised that they’re having this conversation so late in life, because if you’re Muslim and from a Muslim family; you already kind of know what is okay and what is not. It is part of the territory, especially when there are some very clear rules in religion and even in South Asian culture (since Maya is a product or both). Anyway, the overall effect looks like Jamie helps Maya “liberate” herself from rules that discourage dating so he can date her. Good for Jamie, but what about Maya?? She talks about how dating and intimacy is not really allowed because her parents said so and it’s also in religion, but then it becomes all about WHAT MAYA WANTS when Jamie encourages this attitude. I’m sure there are American Muslim girls like her out there, but it’s questionable/disturbing when the narrative supports faith values being exchanged for a white saviour romance (which was rather forced and basic). If you’re going to feature a Muslim character, at least treat their religious identity and their self as a unity, rather than creating a discord between what their religion dictates and what they want for themselves. The same goes for the treatment of cultural identity and the self. There are multitudes within every person, but this type of polarization doesn’t feel right. I’m honestly tired on behalf of not just myself but also other Muslim and/or religious readers who want stories that recognize the importance of faith in life, stories that don’t polarize faith and liberation.
I also want to add that I was annoyed by the lack of research done regarding how social media, particularly Instagram, functions re: number of followers a “viral” social media star would have, who can get a verified account, the plausible amount of views a video can get, etc, etc. The way it was portrayed in the book was farfetched, especially in the age of the algorithm. It didn’t make sense. I know it may look like I’m nitpicking but this is something I’ve seen in books before and it irks me. Social media is virtual reality but it is a very real, dynamic space where some rules do apply. Just because it’s fiction doesn’t mean you should create whatever situations you want to favour the plot and characters and move the story forward. It will only have an impact if it’s believable. As someone who’s part of the social media industry as a blogger and Instagrammer, I obviously care about seeing it portrayed correctly.

I’m here for all the books that offer “representation”, but it is a sincere request to publishers/authors to be more mindful about the concerns that readers have been voicing for years. Meaningful representation goes beyond ticking a few boxes.

Thank you Simon and Schuster India for sending me a copy to review the book ♥️
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,440 reviews29.4k followers
February 29, 2020
4.5 stars.

Becky Albertalli's latest collaboration, Yes No Maybe So (this time with Aisha Saeed), is a lighthearted love story which deals with weighty issues, yet it is endearing and sweet.

"Some people are meant to change history. And some people are meant to change out of their vomity interview clothes."

Jamie Goldberg has political aspirations but knows he’ll never achieve them since he doesn’t do well under pressure. That’s not an understatement—he once referred to Jimmy Carter as a “penis farmer” rather than a peanut farmer, and he once threw up on a politician during an interview.

With his entire family focusing attention on a special state congressional election in their district, Jamie is pressed into action as a volunteer.

After serving as a de-facto errand boy for some time, as well as providing tech support to his social-media savvy grandmother (aka InstaGramm), his newest responsibility is to knock on doors and encourage people up vote. Much to his pleasure he is joined on this task by Maya, a childhood family friend whom he hasn’t seen in a while, but who seems to turn his insides to jelly. For her part, Maya thinks Jamie is cute and funny, but she’s far too preoccupied with the crises in her own life to think about anything else. Plus, her parents don't want her to date anyone she's not serious about, especially someone who isn't a Muslim.

The canvassing teaches them about political action, how the smallest action can have a ripple effect. It also teaches them about each other—how the anti-Semitic actions of the opponent’s supporters affect Jamie, who is Jewish, and how a bill forbidding people from wearing head coverings affects Maya and her family. They throw their all into campaigning for their candidate as they find themselves increasingly drawn to each other. But Maya has already told Jamie she's not allowed to date, and Jamie is nervous of screwing up their friendship, so what should they do?

Is this book fairly predictable? Sure, but it’s tremendously enjoyable, charming, and romantic. Albertalli's books tend to balance the emotional angst with an equal dose of positivity, and I really like that.

What I also enjoyed about Yes No Maybe So is how it made me feel seen. Growing up Jewish I rarely saw (and still don’t often see) characters like me, and books where actual Jewish holidays are celebrated rather than mentioned, and dealt with authentically. To see a character say an actual Hebrew prayer in this book was a wonderful thing.

I devoured this book in just a few hours. So now I wait for Albertalli's next one...

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html.

Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,709 reviews31.6k followers
February 9, 2020
3.5 stars

I was so looking forward to this one and when I saw it was listed as the YA BOTM pick, I ordered it right away and read it immediately. I liked it. It was a fast paced, addicting read, and I loved both of the main characters. The romance aspect, though not the forefront, was great and I enjoyed the writing. I did struggle to connect with a lot of the story and it was soooooo heavy on the politics, which while I agree is an important topic, I didn't want to read 400+ pages about it. I think it was just my mood that made me not able to get into it, but I still would recommend it as it was a solid YA contemporary.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,849 reviews34.9k followers
April 27, 2020
Sooooooo....
This is what politics looks like in the eyes of our - ‘not-quite-old-enough-to-vote’, teens!
Who knew volunteering & canvassing could be so romantic?

Personally- I don’t see anything romantic
about our elections - come November in the states....
But...
in “Yes No Maybe So”, Jamie and Maya do!

Two adorable teens - (a Jew and Muslim) - awkward, shy, perky cute, and naïve....come together during election year.

The satiric dialogue adds lightness and humor.

“I hate that word. Mingle. I mean, the word itself is fine; I just hate the concept. When has anyone in the history of earth ever made a meaningful connection while mingling?”

“I will never understand why adults find the passing of time to be so unexpected. Time is literally what life is made of. But it’s like a ritual; each time my mom chats with a friend or family member she hasn’t seen in a while, they spend half the time talking about how fast time goes, and the other half promising to see each other soon, which they almost never do”.

“This election feels like a family affair, Lauren tells my mother. But I’ve been so busy planning Sophie‘s bat mitzvah, I haven’t been able to help out as much as I’d like. Jamie’s really stepped up—text banking and monitoring our social media analytics. He’s a lifesaver. People are retweeting about the campaign, but volunteers are scarce”.

“How do you go nine years without seeing someone, and then run into them twice in the span of two days? It’s like when you learn any word, and suddenly it’s everywhere”.
“I guess seeing her kind of threw me— not in a bad way. Really, it was the opposite of a bad way. I don’t believe in signs, but it’s so weird. There I was, kicking myself for not talking to her at target— and then there she was ‘again’. An unmissable second chance. For a split second, I actually thought ‘mingling’ might not be such a terrible concept after all”.

Goldfish crackers, anyone?
Don’t even try to understand why I mentioned fish crackers...
The quirkiness will become more clear if you choose to read this young adult book

Issues include antisemitism- Islamophobia -cultural differences- family - friendships - swooning relationships- and politics.

Given the adults in our country aren’t getting things right with our current state of political affairs — maybe our underage teens will!
Ha....
cute book with charming characters and a touch of social activism!

Moral of the story? Never stop fighting for what you believe in!!!

Vote no on Trump!
Never forget he is “not a docTor”.


3.5 rating .... enjoyable YA book.
Profile Image for Sara.
144 reviews167 followers
May 22, 2022
One-dimensional portrayals are just so tiring. As if Muslim = brown/poc and brown/poc = Muslim. They are not mutually exclusive. Both are important identities. Both are important and should be treated as such, or not brought up at all.

So what's this book about? Two teens who are helping out for a Democratic campaign. They become canvassing buddies and start spending more time together outside of campaign work. As time passes, they start to care more for each other. Drama ensues (that's never resolved by the way, just ignored).

That's basically it. Now here's the thing. The book tried to cram too much for absolutely no reason. If that was all this book was about, it would have been a 2-3 star read (nothing crazy but enjoyable). Instead, I was left feeling hollow and sort of cheated. See, the two teens aren't just any two teens, they're a Muslim girl and a Jewish boy. Sounds promising, right? It should have been but it wasn't. Their faiths, their cultures, their backgrounds mean absolutely nothing. Change the girl for any girl who's never dated and honestly? Sort of the same story. Except better because it wouldn't have been as insulting. Neither identities are addressed although I think Maya's got the worst of it in this, but I'm obviously a little biased. It's just tiring to see book after book, show after show (I'm looking at you Elite), portrayal after portrayal making it seem like the only way for a Muslim girl to be happy is to casually step on her beliefs but for a good cause! It's for looooove! Why does it have to be one or the other? It's problematic to say the least. And we had a moment, a brief moment, where everything could have changed for the better, but nope, of course that's not what happened.



I appreciated the above for the 0.2 seconds it lasted. I appreciate how he emphasizes the importance of her religion and faith (because this book sure didn't). I appreciate that he doesn't assume she does or doesn't share her parents' views but is willing to respect her wishes regardless. And then that happened. Instead of exploring those ideas, trying to navigate their differences, it all just gets pushed aside. Thrown out the window really.

Now I'm not saying Muslims can or can't date. I'm not saying interfaith relationships aren't or shouldn't be a thing. That's not my place to say because each person has the right to make their own decisions, but if you're going to write people of certain races, backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, identities, etc. either do it right or don't do it at all.
Profile Image for Blaine.
711 reviews569 followers
June 29, 2020
“What’s wrong with slowmance? That should be a word. It’s like a slow romance. A way to let the romantic moments linger.”

There’s a lot going on in this story. Jamie Goldberg is an introvert with a low opinion of himself. Maya Rehman is lonely because her parents are going through a trial separation and her best friend is leaving for college. They meet as canvassers on a Georgia State Senate campaign and together they work through issues as serious and varied as religious discrimination, voting rights, the tragedy of local politics needing to go viral in order to get attention, and the pain at risk in the idealism of youth.

But the story still works because you’re rooting for Jamie and Maya. They’re charming and passionate and wildly insecure about their first serious high school romance. There’s some heaviness here, but it’s still a satisfying high school love story.
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,574 followers
Shelved as 'not-released-tbr'
May 24, 2020
OoOoOoOooOoOoOooOo. What a pretty cover

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y
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yes no m
yes no ma
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yes no maybe
yes no maybe s
yes no maybe so
yes no maybe s
yes no maybe
yes no mayb
yes no may
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this is the most beautiful title i have ever witnessed in my entire existence

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Profile Image for Valliya Rennell.
339 reviews231 followers
April 23, 2020
3.5 stars

Yes No Maybe So is a politically driven cutesy romance novel. I must admit I hated the first few chapters of the book (I'll get into why later), but now I'm all "heart eyes" thinking about Maya and Jamie.

description

In this book, we follow Jamie and Maya, two estranged childhood friends, as they start canvassing for a political campaign in their area. With an Islamophobic bill threatening to be passed and anti-Semitic images being glued to cars the two main characters find themselves fired up to go out there and make a change. Jamie is a white Jew who has anxiety and public-speaking issues and Maya is a South Asian Muslim who is going through a lot of familial drama. Read this story to see how they go about helping each other and their community... it is very wholesome.

“We might give it our all and crash and burn. But we might win. We might actually change things. And that maybe makes it still worth going for, don't you think?”


I thought that this book deals very well with the hopelessness that begins to manifest itself in the young person's mind when they are in their late teen year (just before 18) and when they see changes happening and being powerless to do anything about them. Throughout the story Jamie and Maya keep saying how hopeless and useless they feel because they themselves cannot do and change anything except for the canvassing. Yet under this a deeper theme is pushed that you are never too young to start making a change. I also liked how ignorance was brought to the table and portrayed. Many characters immediately write off Maya and Jamie's work as an excuse to "get together". Even more of these characters don't care and say that they won't participate because [enter lame excuse here]. I think that a lot of people have feelings like this and the authors definitely showed this in a way that made you think twice before taking the middling stance.

Another theme that shows up, and I think was done okay-ish, was general representation. I think that for the most part Jamie's side was realistic (except for an error during the bat mitzvah scene). I didn't like the Muslim representation, though. I do not think that the authors treated this with as much detail as they should have. Sure, the first half of the book happens during Ramadan, but other than that and a few smaller issues that arise towards the ending, this could have been totally irrelevant! I wish we could see the Muslim community more. I wish Maya had Muslim friends that we could have met with. Unfortunately, this didn't happen.

On a more positive note, I thought the slow-burn romance was really cute. I wasn't sold on it first, but all in all I found the ending to be for the most part satisfactory. I also found it interesting how the authors also used Maya and Jamie as an excuse to make a few statements about relationships and identity online. I wasn't expecting it, but was pleasantly surprised.

My major issue with this book was the writing. It was terrible. I seriously thought about DNF-ing after the first few chapters because I just couldn't get through the cheesy writing, the constant random references to pop-culture which were only there to make the characters appear "quirky". The dialogue was sometimes reminiscent of the melodramatic conversations in City of Bones and the descriptions were often what you'd expect a fifth grader to write when they were determined to write a book. You get used to it soon, and it does somewhat improve, but MAN THOSE FIRST CHAPTERS WERE HARD!

Yes No Maybe So is definitely a novel that many people will really enjoy. Despite its cheesy writing and moments where I thought the authors were trying to take on too many subject matters, I thought it was a solid cute romance novel with deeper underlying themes.
Profile Image for ☾.
211 reviews1 follower
March 1, 2020
Before I die I would like to read ONE BOOK that accurately portrays Muslims. ONE BOOK.

Yes, this book has done better than others in the past, but it’s still not a good portrayal. I’ll die on the spot if I have to read another book that molds Muslim characters into a more “American” way of life. Like damn. And on Ramadan? Really? I’m giving it 2.5 stars simply for the writing. Maya is a Pakistani-American and yet I couldn’t tell you if that was mentioned more than once in the book. Just that she seemed “south asian”. And it’s literally Ramadan. Where is her religious identity. WHERE. Minus fasting and literally going to the masjid once, there is zero. There aren’t even any Muslim characters besides her parents and the Imam (who all have 2D roles and 5 minutes of screen time shared). Where is the representation we were pretending to have??? I get there are some people that live Maya’s life, but I’ve heard her story at least a million times and expected more.

-

SPOILER SECTION: stop reading rn if you plan on reading this. If you don’t or already have, welcome.

So a few things that made me want to die:
A.) The fact that EVERY time Jamie would accidentally forget she was fasting or not understand the rules, Maya would lose her mind. Girl, shut up! You’re lucky he’s trying, and on another side he’s being kind by offering you food. Get a grip on yourself. Especially since it makes him feel so horrible. She pulls the point that “people force food on you because they think you’re starving”, but that’s clearly not the case at all and she’s reacted negatively multiple times instead of just reminding him. It’s also an overreaction considering that at this point in her life, she should have gotten over the fact that people will offer her food during Ramadan. It’s not a big deal, and you’re an awful person for making it one.

B.) There were some things that were messy when portraying Muslims. Firstly, THE HIJAB NEEDS A DEFINITE/INDEFINITE ARTICLE IN FRONT OF IT. It’s not hijab, it’s A hijab. I lost a piece of my soul every single time I encountered the mistake. This alone made me question wtf they’re working with and how qualified they are to make this portrayal. Secondly, for a family that doesn’t want their daughter to date in high school, they seem pretty okay with them hanging out at each other‘s houses with no one else home. Make it make sense!

There’s also the outdated slang that made me want to throw up, but that’s it’s own piece of fabric.

All in all: Maya was annoying and a poor excuse of cultural and religious representation. The book could have been cut down since I literally felt like I was reading the same chapters at times. 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for beth ✨.
197 reviews125 followers
Want to read
April 22, 2019
we have a title and description about this book and i’m even more excited now!!

———

there’s literally no title, description or cover but it’s already one of my favourite books.
Profile Image for Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨.
1,055 reviews596 followers
February 26, 2020
SLOW BURN ROMANCE NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD! 💙

Actual rating: 3.5⭐


Three things attracted me to this book - Becky Albertalli, the diversity and the reviews. I loved the main character Jaime, I loved the diversity, I loved the push-back and the activism and I loved the slowmance. However, I was not a big fan of the Americanism... Of course, that's just me - a Scandinavian.

"It's so fun to make Jaime blush, it's almost a full-time hobby at this point."
- Maya


👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍

Jaime: I fell head over heels in love with Jaime's clumsiness, his self-consciousness and his considerate side. He was just straight up adorable!

Push-back: This book showed such a great push-back against racism, misogyny and the Trump-administration!

Mario brothers: I absolutely loved how Jaime likened Trump to Bowser from Mario brothers and all his minions to the Koopas! So much fun! 😂

Slowmance: My biggest pet peeve in YA is insta-love, so of course I loved the slow burn romance of this book! Friends to lovers is classic and it works!

👎 WHAT I DISLIKED 👎

Americanism: I am not an American - I don't get the American elective system. I have American friends who try to teach me - shout out to my favourite girl, Olivia! - but this was just a bit too American for my taste...
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,088 reviews6,590 followers
February 13, 2020
“We might give it our all and crash and burn. But we might win. We might actually change things. And that maybe makes it still worth going for, don't you think?”

representation: Pakistani-American Muslim MC (I believe this is own voices?), Jewish MC (own voices), m/m side relationship, queer side characters.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


✧・゚: *✧・゚:* 3 . 5 s t a r s *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

I so desperately wanted to love this because I love Becky Albertalli and I've heard great things about Aisha Saeed, but it just didn't blow me away. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this book is mainly for American readers and as an Australian who doesn't know the ins and outs of American politics, I felt a little bit disconnected from it. Of course we have similar things happening over here with racist political parties and stuff, but I just felt kind of out of the loop?

MINOR SPOILER - I think I'm also growing out of YA (especially contemporary), because the petty miscommunication towards the end really pissed me off. It really grinds my gears when miscommunication is used as the main climax towards the end of a book, but maybe that's my old age speaking XD

While I liked both Jamie and Maya as characters, I honestly didn't really feel the chemistry between them. They just felt like best friends to me?

But I massively appreciate and applaud Becky and Aisha for addressing the things that they did in this novel. It's so timely and relevant for American readers and can perhaps give some hope in what is a dark time for a lot of people.

trigger warnings: broken families, divorce, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, racist political policies.

Thank you so much to NetGalley & Simon & Shuster Australia for the review copy!
Profile Image for Hayden.
116 reviews44 followers
April 13, 2021
Basic YA contemporary romance. A girl sees a boy and decides she only wants to be friends. Then, oh no, they fall in love against their better judgement. That's not the problem here. In fact, I live and breathe Becky Albertalli. She is amazing. The problem is that the boy is Jewish and the girl is Muslim.
I'm going to be completely honest here and if I'm wrong, someone please correct me. I know for a fact that the Jews are allowed to marry outside of their faith and I know that Muslims aren't either. Someone didn't do their research. It annoys me so much. If a Muslim has been raised a Muslim their whole life, they wouldn't deviate from that, right? According to Becky, that is incorrect.
Now here are some other problems we face in this book: the fact that Jamie is Jewish and the problems with learning about each faith. I don't mind him being Jewish, but it's so rarely mentioned and when it is, it's not used in a great context. I was honestly shocked. If you have rep, make sure people know it's in there. The only thing that pointed to Jamie being Jewish was his little sister's bat mitzvah. If I read this book, I would learn nothing about the Jewish or Islamic faith. I hoped this problem would fix itself as the book went on, but it never did. I was hoping to learn more about the Islamic faith, but when I finished the book, I gained nothing. Another problem: Ramadan. I don't know what Ramadan actually looks like, but if it is truly a time of reflection, why the hell is Maya out canvassing? That bothers the heck out of me. Maya and her mother go on and on about how it's a time of reflection, but when does Maya actually reflect on her life and her actions?
There were some good parts. Just a few. The ending was realistic, which was nice. I know what you might be thinking: Well, they end up together because this is a YA contemporary. If you hate their romance so much, why did you think the ending was good?
Let me talk about characters for a second. Other than the religion issues, I thought that the characters were really well written. They all had personalities, which I really liked. The problem with the characters was that they all either talked about a) the election or b) Maya and Jamie's relationship. It's annoying.
The plot was standard and as I have mentioned, that wasn't the problem. I enjoyed the plot, in fact. Especially the ending when I liked reading about Jamie and Maya, but it was just hard to see them without seeing the big issues that surrounded them involving religion.
And because this is a Becky book, the writing was brilliant. That was about the only thing good in this book. I liked the way the POVs would change.
Here is a note to all aspiring authors or just authors in general: When you are writing a book with any sort of religion or sexuality rep, please go do the research. Talk to someone who knows what it's like. Or if you are too lazy to the research, don't put any rep in there at all. No rep is better than problematic rep.
Overall, I was disappointed. I usually love Becky's books, but the rep in this book was too problematic. It affected such a large part of this book that I had to rate it so low. I loved everything else about this book, but the rep was too big of an issue to miss.

*just a note* I wrote this review based on what I know of the Jewish and Islamic faith. There might have been some bigger issues I might have missed, and I'm sorry if I have. Please correct me if anything in this review is incorrect.


I'm very conflicted. I still need time to think about the issues and the ending. I think the ending was the best part
RTC
Profile Image for Tan Markovic.
333 reviews135 followers
April 16, 2020
Barely 2 stars?
Felt like a tick in the diversity box without really delving too deep into Jewish / Muslim culture...
Just another cutesy story without substance and girl falling for boy blah blah...

Not for me..
Profile Image for Orla.
147 reviews50 followers
June 22, 2021
“The truth is, it's a weird time to be coming of age. The world is really messy right now. And it's so hard to be twelve or thirteen or fifteen or seventeen, when you're old enough to get it, but... you can't vote.”

Shoutout to my team, The Good Vibes!

This book was… disappointing.

description

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this. Two teens fall in love canvassing with each other for a democratic candidate in a red state and combating the racist bigots in the area? Something about romanticizing the trauma and political discourse from the last four years doesn’t sit right with me…

description

On their own, Jamie and Maya actually had pretty great chemistry, but I just couldn’t get into it because they would bond over bigotry and racism, or Jamie’s white savior complex would be way too present. And, as other reviews for this book have mentioned, claiming this book is Muslim rep is a questionable claim, but I’ll talk more in depth about that later in the review.

The Characters
- Jamie is pretty great. Super funny, awkward, and relatable. (His attitude towards Maya’s identity as a Muslim is questionable but we’ll get into that later)
“I mean, of course she’s freaked out. How could she not be? I basically just proposed marriage and offered to father her children.”
Jamie is volunteering for the democratic special election campaign because his cousin is heavily involved and his grandma is a popular political Instagram influencer (yes, this is a thing). Jamie wants to be involved in politics, but he’s, as the synopsis says, a “choke artist”. Throughout the book, Jaime predictably finds his voice and becomes a confident young man.

description

HOWEVER, I was not a fan of his purpose in the book. On his own, I think I would have appreciated his awkwardness and glow-up more. But he serves the purpose of being the white dude who “understands” racism because his girlfriend is a POC.

As someone who’s been super active in political landscapes the past few years, I thought I would vibe with this book and how these two teens meet through their passion for activism, but no - this disappointed me and felt like a failed attempt to be relevant. I just don’t find the racism/islamophobia/anti-semitism that Maya and Jamie faced head-on to be romantic whatsoever. Nor did I vibe with how Maya changes her religious beliefs in order to be with Jamie.

- Maya is a girl who’s going through a rough patch in her life. Her parents are splitting up, and her friend, Sara, is being particularly distant. Her parents promise they’ll give her a car if she starts volunteering for the campaign, which is how she meets Jamie. Through canvassing, she becomes incredibly passionate about the local politics.
“We might give it our all and crash and burn.” I take a step closer to him. “But we might win. We might actually change things. And maybe that makes it still worth going for, don’t you think?”
Like Jamie, I really like her as a character. She’s resilient, determined, and loves The Office. (And all of you know that’s my favorite show if you can’t tell by how many Office gifs I use 😌).

description

But like I said with Jamie, the overall themes with Maya don't sit right with me. She’ll stand up for her beliefs and advocate for her mother’s right to wear hijab when it suits the plot or trajectory of the romance (in order to bring Jamie and Maya together through some bonding moment or draw some sort of riff between them), but her identity as a Muslim is totally forgotten otherwise.

I won’t reiterate what some other reviews have said about this book, but it’s true that so many books that claim to have Muslim representation are about non-practicing Muslims, women who don’t wear hijab, or are solely “girl ignores her beliefs to be with charming white boy” trope. .
“It’s my parents Jamie. I’m not allowed to date. I should have told you that from the start. I’m sorry.”
“Your parents?” Jamie repeats. “Can’t you at least own it?...If you don’t want to be with me, don’t hide behind your parents.”
“You know I’m Muslim, don’t you?”
“So, is it your parents?” he asks. “Or is it that you’re Muslim? Make up your mind, Maya.”
“It’s both, Jamie! It’s because of my parents, because we’re Muslim. Dating is a little more complicated for me.”
And then this happens afterwards:
“I just want you to know, it’s fine if we can’t date. If this has to be a thing that happened once in Target… Seriously. Whatever you need this to be -”
“I want to be your girlfriend.”
“Okay… And your parents? Do you think they’ll be okay with… us?”
“I don’t know.” Maya gazes up at me. “I’ll figure it out. Can we take it slow?”
description

For a book that was claiming to have Muslim representation, I was asking myself: WHERE IS THE REP!?!?

Why does the girl always have to change herself for the guy? It’s not fair. Maya totally drops her perspective on dating to be with him. It’s not like Maya expresses earlier in the book that she has a different perspective from her parents or that her parents are forcing this perspective on her. It is apparent throughout the entire book that these are Maya’s beliefs. She is the one who does not want to date. And then she does a full 180 at the end of the book to be with Jamie.

I’d highly recommend reading this review that goes into depth as to why this trope is so problematic: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

- I also just want to say that Sara is the worst friend ever. She was so horrible. It’s her fault that Maya didn’t feel like she could open up to her. And that’s all I have to say on that.

The Writing
The writing was not anything legendary. It was alright. Super typical writing for a YA romance. It’s told from Jamie and Maya’s point of view, alternating every other chapter. I think this format works well for YA romance books, but I’ve read a lot of romance books told in this format.

Also, this book was waaaaaaaay too long. In my opinion, a solid 100 pages could have been cut out. There were so many monologues that droned on and on.

description

The Narration
- Jamie’s chapters were narrated by Michael Crouch. I really love Crouch’s narration! I’ve read a couple of books that use his narration, and I love the different variations and the emotional depth he brings to the books he narrates.

description

- Maya’s chapters were narrated by Tiya Sircar. I was… not a fan of the narration for these chapters. First of all, Sircar did not sound like a teenage girl at all? The narration was kind of gravelly and smokey like an older woman. Second of all, the slow, gravelly tone made the already long monologues from Maya feel even slower. I just did not like it at all. It didn’t fit the teenage romance being portrayed in the book. I don’t think Sircar is a bad voice actor. I actually really liked her intonations and her voice on its own, but her voice did not fit this book AT ALL.

description

In conclusion, this was a pretty bad book. I was disappointed by the representation this book claimed to have and how this book portrayed the current political landscape in a romantic way. To me, there’s nothing romantic about anti-semitism, islamophobia, or hurtful assumptions about different communities in America.

I can’t bring myself to give it anything higher than a 2/5.
Profile Image for Cassie.
326 reviews63 followers
December 27, 2019
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

This book was very good and I enjoyed it immensely. I thought it was just going to be this cute rom com type of story, and sure, it was. But, it was so much more than that. It honestly took me by surprise with how relevant it was, with religion, politics, even what people will do to go viral on the internet.

I’m a white cis woman, so perhaps take this review with a grain of salt, but I felt like the religion was handled in a respectful way and I appreciated that a lot. The topics that were controversial in here, I thought were handled in the correct ways. It made me so angry with what Maya and her family have to go through, because it’s what Muslim people go through daily, and it makes my blood boil because they’re just people trying to live their lives and this world is so corrupt and ehdiwosnwksjxh. I hate it. And this book focuses a lot on that and the whole point was to get me mad, so kudos to Becky and Aisha because that’s what they were going for and it worked.

I loved the family relationships and also the friendships. The family drama was both precious and sad. I also really liked Maya and Jamie together. They always supported one another, and they were just all-around adorable.

The only reason why I’m not giving this five stars is because of the ending. I thought it ended abruptly and when I clicked to go to the next page and saw that it was over, I was like, “really? That’s it?” Like, it was cute, sure, but it also wasn’t a happy ending and I thought there would at least be an epilogue or something. But, maybe it was ended this way because there could be a sequel or at least a companion novel? I don’t know, but it took me by surprise and I didn’t really care for it. I thought there could have been a little more to it, you know? I can’t say why because of spoilers, but I felt like the story would have been better with some sort of epilogue or like a “X amount of months/years later” sort of thing.

Overall, I highly recommend reading this when it comes out! It’s very well written, and has just enough cuteness to it while also being completely relevant to our world today.

Thank you so much to Edelweiss for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Yes No Maybe So is set to be released February 2020.
Profile Image for The Nerd Daily.
720 reviews342 followers
January 12, 2020
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler

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 puts 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 valour 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.
Profile Image for mckenna ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ.
328 reviews2 followers
April 1, 2020
Somebody please tell me to stop reading Becky Albertalli books.

I don’t know what it is with me, because after reading Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda each and every one of Albertalli’s new books has been a greater disappointment than the last and yet every time she announces her newest disaster I find myself immediately logging onto my local library and getting on the wait list...

If anybody takes a look at my reviews for Leah on the Offbeat or Written in the Stars it’s pretty clear that neither of these authors are my cup of tea but when I saw that they were releasing a book together I thought perhaps two negatives would equal a positive and that was a big fat My Bad because no....just no.

Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t quite read the description of this book fully before picking it up (because honestly when I see Muslim and Jewish mcs in a contemporary ya novel I can’t not pick it up, even though it has been proven time and time again that ya authors completely drop the ball with religious diversity representations) but I was so BORED this entire novel. There’s nothing my brain responds to less than politics and that’s literally all this book is about - which, duh McKenna, read the description next time...but still, they could at least try to make it more interesting. Theres no reason this book should be nearly as long as it is and maybe if large unimportant chunks had been left out I could have pushed through and finished this but when I saw I had over 100 pages left I had to abandon this novel.

Jamie and Maya are the most two dimensional characters I’ve possibly ever seen from Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed and I could not care less if they won the damn election or not. This was an awkwardly set up romance that tried too hard to make a political statement when it should have stayed in one category because both plots were watered down and brutal to sit through.

There was literally one quote in this book that made an impact and felt real. ”It’s ridiculous. Women are problematic if they show too much skin and problematic if they don’t show enough.” It’s clear that these authors were trying to make diverse and knowledgable political statements but they bit off more than they could chew and this turned into a very juvenile attempt at being woke all while tossing in a half baked and awkward romance that feels aimed towards a much younger audience.

Becky Albertalli either has the mentality of a middle schooler or doesn’t remember how teenagers act because her characters are consistently juvenile and ignorant - I mean if Jamie forgot Ramadan one more time or narrated how he didn’t have a crush on Maya I was about to scream. But you know my ass will pick up the next book she publishes because at this point my ocd will win out if I’ve already made it this far and read (or at least started) all her other novels I may as well continue. Andioop.

DNF @ 300 pages 🥵
Profile Image for Sahil Javed.
258 reviews237 followers
July 29, 2020
Yes No Maybe So is a contemporary that follows Jamie and Maya who meet as they are canvassing for the election. As the polls get closer, so do Maya and Jamie, and soon a romance develops between the two.
“Hey,” I say slowly, trying to keep my voice from jumping. “Um. If you ever want to do this again—”

Maya’s smile fades. Crap. Okay.

“Or not,” I say frantically. “Or, you know. You could canvass on your own, or with someone else. No worries. Or you could go with me again. If you want. No pressure. I just mean Gabe is always looking for volunteers. So I would go again . . . if you wanted to. Either way.” I attempt a smile. “Yes, no, maybe so, right? Ha ha.”

I really, really, really enjoyed this book. One of my favourite parts about it was that although it was a cute contemporary, it still dealt with a lot of important themes, such as politics and racism and islamophobia. But the cuteness of the characters and their romance didn’t take away from the seriousness of those topics and how they need to be discussed. I applaud Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed because although they created a cute contemporary which made me swoon, they also discussed really important topics and did so in a really good way that held my interest and made me want to change the world alongside the characters.
“I hate change, Jamie. I fucking hate it. But if everything’s going to change, let’s just get it over with, so I can start getting used to the new normal.”

The romance was done really well. Jamie and Maya are such awkward characters, well, Jamie definitely was. And seeing them grow closer and seeing their romance develop really made me swoon and feel butterflies in my stomach. I was rooting for these two so hard and I really enjoyed the way their romance developed and the way it was concluded. The only thing that I had an issue with was their fight that happened towards the end of the book, mainly because it didn’t feel authentic and felt like more of a plot device to create conflict in their relationship only to have them come together in the end. But apart from that, I ship them.
“It’s ridiculous. Women are problematic if they show too much skin and problematic if they don’t show enough?”

“What people wear is their own business,” Jamie says. “If I want to wear a tiara every single day of the year, who is anyone to tell me I can’t? I mean . . .” He pauses. “Not that I plan to wear one, but . . .”

“I would legit love if you wore a tiara every single day of the year. I’d pay to see that actually.”

Overall, Yes No Maybe So was cute, important and just really enjoyable. Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli are amazing authors and also really amazing people who I had the pleasure of meeting at an event. I hope this isn’t the last book these two geniuses write together.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,670 reviews853 followers
June 29, 2022
Trigger warnings for .

Representation: Maya (mc) is Muslim; Jamie (mc) is Jewish; queer scs.

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Profile Image for dina.
392 reviews39 followers
April 27, 2020
a note for every author who wants to include Muslim reps in their books: we are tired of them abandoning their faith just to be with someone, to make it even worse: a WHITE man who didn't understand our faith.

starting this book, I was already sceptical due to the bad reviews given by fellow Muslim readers but I thought I should just give it a shot to actually read it and form an opinion for this book. At first, I was like "oh this isn't toooooo bad" but everything starts to go downhill from past 50% into the book.

[MINOR SPOILER (???) FROM HERE ON]

As a Muslim reader, it is just so disappointing to see another storyline where a white man becomes our saviour when that rarely happens but western media loves using that storyline to gain some woke points and say "hey look! u can belong here! aha....date a white man!". It just does not makes sense for Maya to at first say "Look I'm a Muslim. We don't date." (which is stereotypical...Muslims date but we just do it differently than other people.) but then ends up throwing that a few pages later????? Why the need for that shift? Why must it always be the Muslim one to throw away her faith? just to get her 'happy ending'?

anyways, one star for the effort of trying to tackle the issue of racism, anti-Semitics and Islamophobia.
Profile Image for Avani ✨.
1,470 reviews287 followers
August 7, 2021
2.5 stars

I was bored after a point. Couldn't connect with the characters and their POV.
Profile Image for Zain ✨.
84 reviews1 follower
August 29, 2021
2.5 ⭐️

Is it just me or do y’all not know how to start a review too? lol


First, we have Jamie, who I found to be such a lovable and relatable character.
His awkwardness was just too cute, I couldn’t help but smile through most of his chapters 🤩

And then we have Maya, Maya is a Pakistani- American Muslim girl. She is having a very bad Ramadan, her parents are getting separated and her best friend is moving to college, so she’s clearly not having it. It was so nice to see a Muslim POC character, she was such a strong character, fighting for the rights of Muslim women and all but.. it was kinda frustrating to see her stand up for her beliefs and the rights of Muslims women and then her just forgetting about her beliefs to be with a boy.

Ngl, I was shipping Maya and Jamie very hard and their chemistry is undeniable but once again I was just a lil disappointed to see her forget about her beliefs and especially after what her mother said about how relationships are sacred. I felt like the book was going in the right way.
”You know, Maya, intimacy is for after marriage…I’m only saying, kissing and all the rest – those are sacred moments between a husband and wife.”

I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy their relationship’s dynamic, I still wanted them to get to get together but maybe it could’ve happened differently.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. It was very cute and fluffy but in the same time it dealt with some important topics. This book could’ve easily been a 5 star read if it weren’t for the one way narrative that was going on.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kate Olson.
2,085 reviews727 followers
January 29, 2020
(free review copy) as a very liberal, almost-40 school librarian I adored this book! It is a hard-core political message book (with sweet romance thrown in) and it’s a message I very much appreciated ~ just a heads up that it’s definitely a rally cry for liberal ideals......if those aren’t your personal ideals going into it, please keep an open mind ❤️ political activism + love and peace and human decency and religious and gender/romantic freedoms for all are perfectly awesome messages to be preaching.
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