Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed (448 pages)
“Yes No Maybe So” Mixes Romance And Resistance
In Yes No Maybe So, Jamie’s happy to volunteer for his local state senate candidate as long as it doesn’t go further than making copies and snack runs to Target. The idea of calling people, or—even worse—knocking on doors to ask people for their vote, completely freaks him out. But then he meets Maya—or re-meets Maya, since they were friends when they were kids. Maya’s mom ropes her into canvassing with Jamie, and to get her to keep it up, makes her a deal. If Maya volunteers for the campaign throughout the summer, then Maya’s parents will talk about getting her a car before the start of senior year. As the summer election gets closer, Jamie and Maya grow closer as well, and more adamant about the important issues at stake in their local election.
Well-Developed Characters Take The Lead
As soon as I started reading, it was clear that Jamie and Maya were well-developed characters. They’re bright and bold on the page (though Jamie’s not actually bold when it comes to speaking to strangers and in front of crowds). The characters kept me reading through a slow start, but I was captured by their romance and passion for the cause well before the climax. (So much so that I stayed up late to finish!) This story highlights how transitional the last year or two of high school can be—where teens take steps toward who they’ll be as adults, solidifying their beliefs and values. While political themes in YA have been on the rise, this is the first I’ve read about local activism—though, I doubt it’ll be the last. I enjoyed the focused nature of Jamie and Maya’s activism, and that, as 17-year-olds, they aren’t old enough to vote, but are still emphatically doing what they can for the causes they believe in
The Bottom Line: 4.5/5 Brookie Stars
Yes No Maybe So is a powerful reminder to keep up the fight. Jamie and Maya—and their parents—remind us that it’s not always about short-term wins, but about long-term goals. Read this one for its bold characters well-versed in pop culture, for the budding romance between them, and for the local activism they become passionate about over the course of a summer.
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Jamie Mitchell is a writer, library assistant, former bookseller, and all-around lover of the written word. She’s currently working on her fifth novel, and if you’re wondering where the other four are, they’re safe on her laptop and in need of rewriting. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, and enjoys traveling, bookstagramming and experimenting with gluten-free flours.
Favourite book: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Favourite brunch spot: 1823 Bakehouse