Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed is a romcom with a deeper purpose. As it follows two childhood friends tasked with political canvassing over the summer, this one contains realistic main characters and the awkwardness of first love. I especially enjoyed the book’s hopeful message, encouraging young people to get involved in politics. This is a great read for those looking for the sweetness of contemporary with a thought-provoking, activist angle.Title: Yes No Maybe So
Author: Becky Albertalli, Aisha Saeed
Also by this author: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood #1)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
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.
Review: Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli, Aisha Saeed
As an election for their state representative is coming up, Jamie and Maya are both pressured by their parents to volunteer for the campaign. Going door to door to urge people to vote Democratic isn’t the most glamorous of tasks, especially when Jamie and Maya are now distant childhood friends. However, when a racist bill is about to be passed, they realize just how important their work for election is, and even find a passion for speaking out. As voting day nears, they must fight as hard as they can for the Democratic campaign while navigating their changing relationship with each other.
❀ Spot On Characters
As expected, the characters in this book are spot on. Jamie hopes to work in politics someday, but he struggles with public speaking, which has resulted in some embarrassing moments. Maya has her own struggles this summer, both with her friends and her parents’ divorce, and volunteering for the campaign serves as a distraction. I loved the way their relationship is portrayed realistically–the authors capture the awkwardness of Jamie and Maya getting to know each other again and the mistakes they make along the way. Both of them are pushed out of their comfort zones throughout the book, and I enjoyed the satisfaction of watching them grow along the way.
❀ Inspiring Message
What makes this book stand out is its inspiring message to young people to get involved in politics. While Jamie and Maya are not yet old enough to vote, the authors emphasize the ways that they can still get involved and create actual change in their communities. Both characters gain the courage to speak out, and even though their efforts do not always go as planned, the book shares a message of hope as their voices are heard by someone.
❀ Politics and First Love
Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed is an empowering story about politics and first love. I enjoyed the realistic main characters and the way the story serves as encouragement for young people to get involved in politics. While this book is definitely America-centric, I still enjoyed it as a Canadian and found the message relevant for many audiences.