Friday, September 11, 2020

Yes No Maybe So

Title: Yes No Maybe So
Author: Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

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.
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.
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.

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.
Yes No Maybe So was a book I was looking forward to as one of the authors, Becky Albertalli, is the author of one of my favourite contemporaries (Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda). I really enjoyed the novel overall, but did find the romance a little weak.

I found the novel focused quite strongly on the political aspect of the story. The whole story takes place during the campaigning period for the local political figure, Jordan Rossum (whose position I actually can't remember woops, maybe senator?). So, unsurprisingly, there is a huge focus on policies, and canvassing, and petitioning.  The novel comes at an important time in terms of the political climate in the US, and o
ne of the main policies they discuss is a bill that bans the use of any head and face coverings, which is obviously targetting the Muslim population in particular.

The characters bond over their newfound political activism, and develop a relationship which is complicated by their religious differences (Jamie is Jewish and Maya is Muslim). I thought the romance was a bit typical, following a relatively bland trajectory. I felt the resolution of one of the issues in their romance (brought about by another character Gabe) was somewhat poorly executed as well.

Overall, though, I thought it was quite a decent book with great banter between the main characters, and strong, individual points of view. I would recommend the novel if you want some insight into the political process in the US, packaged into lighter read by virtue of the romance.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5