Today I bring to you my delayed review for Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed for its Australian blog tour!
As a result of my presentation next week, I have been super behind with my reading and reviews! I can’t wait until I am back into my blogging groove which will happen hopefully after next saturday!
Anyway, I am so excited to write this review so before I start, here is the synopsis of Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed that is available on Goodreads:
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 maybeit’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.
overall thoughts of the book
At its core, Yes No Maybe So is about family, friendship, religion and understanding your place, your voice, in the world. I don’t know what I was expecting out of this book exactly, but it definitely surpassed those expectations. I honestly assumed that this book would be extremely fluffy with little ‘conflict’, so to speak. Wow, was it more than that.
This book does have those aspects, but it really explores religious discrimination and racism, especially that of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Though the setting of this book is in the United States of America, I still think it will still remain truthful to the experience of many individuals in religious minorites across the world. I think this book comes at a pretty important time, discussing the importance of finding your voice on a personal note but also in terms of political voice and communal change.
The two main characters, Jamie and Maya were quite well-developed and I enjoyed reading about each of their journeys. Jamie is adorable and I really connected to his personality. I would consider Jamie as a socially awkward person who struggles with anxiety in social situations. His relationships with his mum and grandmother was really pure and as well as his relationship with his sister, Sophie. Jamie is Jewish and although I myself am not Jewish and cannot comment on the representation, it was written quite well. Jamie’s character showcased the everyday forms of anti-Semitism.
Maya is also quite an interesting character and her family life is on the opposite end in comparison to Jamie’s. My one point of contention with Maya was that I found her to be a complainer. She would constantly make everything about herself and was quite whiny. I connected more to Jamie’s character than to Maya’s as I felt that she was immature and childish at times. Though the micro aggressions and all-out in-your-face type of Islamopbia was incredibly confronting and how she was portrayed to deal with that was amazing – she was badass in that respect. She was also incredibly proud of her culture and her religion as a young women who was Muslim which I freaking loved.
I also found her conflict with her best friend to be annoying and frustrating which slilghtly disconnected me with the overall story. I couldn’t really be bothered reading about it, it reminded me so much of the conflict between the two best friends in Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy.
I did enjoy the natural progression of Maya and Jamie’s relationship and I thought they were cute. I adore friends-to-lovers trope so that aspect was pretty cute, not going to lie.
Overall, quite a solid book and one that I would recommend to any and all lovers of contemporary YA. The themes and messages of this book were powerful and so freaking important, especially in the current political, social and cultural climate so it is definitely a book to read.
That’s it for today, friends!
Until next time, happy reading!
All the love,
NOTE: I want to extend my gratitude to Rachael Versace and Penguin Australia for the copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.