What turns a book good to great? I would love reading a predictable story if it has awesome, well developed characters. Is that what happened with Yes no maybe so? I am not hinting anything! Read on to find out more.
About the book
Book Name: Yes no maybe so
Author: Becky Albertalli, Aisha Saeed
Genre: Fiction – Romance
Characters: Jamie and Sophie Goldberg, Maya Rehman, Sara, Gabe.
Jamie is a shy, awkward teen who wants to do everything in his might to help his favorite congressman win. He has aspirations to be a politician himself one day, if he can survive his toast at his sister’s bat mitzvah. To make things worse, his mom is pushing him to try out door to door canvassing.
Maya is a Pakistani-American Muslim who is not having the best summer. Her parents are splitting up and her best friend is moving away and has been too busy to hang out lately. When her parents offer to buy her a car in return for canvassing for Rossum, she is not thrilled.
By luck and their mothers’ will, Jamie and Maya begin their canvassing with different goals in their mind. But a bill that was passed recently targeting Muslims and anti Semitic against Rossum’s supporters get them both rallied up.
Will the slow burn chemistry between them derail them from their political campaigns? Or is it the opposite? You might have to read Yes no maybe so to know more.
My initial thoughts
Yes no maybe so is a cute YA contemporary romance with a liberal dose of politics. It takes a strong stand on their political leaning towards a particular side. So if you had strong opinions about it or that will stop you from enjoying this YA romance, you might have to watch out.
Even as someone who is not from the USA, I am not totally devoid of any opinions about it and such a law against covering the head would be against personal freedom, something that the USA boasts of quite often.
The one thing that did not sit right with me Maya’s sudden change of opinion towards kissing Jamie, given that she was not allowed to date non Muslim guys or to be physically intimate with a buy before marriage. Sure she was missing him and in love with him, but kissing (or any kinda physical intimacy) was explicitly forbidden. What made her make that leap?
This might sound too weird for others, but “no physical intimacy before marriage” is a real thing with desi families, and I am sure it would have been more strict in a Muslim household. #RepresentationMatters.
I loved Jamie’s cool grandmother and Sophie was a diva. I would love to read a spin off or fan fiction with them as main characters. It has been a while since I loved the sub plots so much.
Things that worked for me
- I loved the fact that the romance takes a back seat (for a tiny bit) for family and politics.
- Jamie was perfect. His awkwardness and mishaps kept me laughing!
- The side characters were extremely well developed and I loved Sophie, especially.
- And Yes no maybe so is based on a true story!
Things that didn’t work for me
- We could have seen a bit more of Maya’s faith and her community.
- Maya changing her belief and value for a white guy, may come off as a “white savior” thing to some.
- And yes, the book takes a political stand. If you don’t like politics mixing with pleasure reading, that might be turn off for you.
Yes no maybe so is cute and perfect for a summer read, or you know, for just staying in due to the lock down. It has well developed and likeable characters and takes a political stand.
Let us chat
Have you read Yes No Maybe So? What makes a good book great for you? What do you think about contemporary books that take a stand on social issues? Let us talk.