Yes no maybe so – A book review

Yes no maybe so – A book review

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

YES NO MAYBE so cover

Book Name: Yes no maybe so

Author: Becky Albertalli, Aisha Saeed

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Jamie and Sophie Goldberg, Maya Rehman, Sara, Gabe.

Setting: Atlanta, GeorgiaThe United States of America

The plot

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. 

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Yes no maybe so – A book review

Book review: The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited tells a tale that the readers of YA have read several times. It definitely talks about first love and teenage angst. But what makes this novel by Becky Albertalli such a hit both among young and new adults? Read my review to know more.

About The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited book review

Book Name: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Fiction – Young Adult Romance

Characters: Molly and Cassie Peskin-Suso, Reid, Will, Mina

Setting: Washington DC, The USA

Plot Summary of The Upside of Unrequited

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso has never had a kiss and has about 26 crushes that she has never made the move upon. She is shy, awkward and conscious about her body. Her fraternal twin Cassie, her best friend, is just the opposite.

Things change when Cassie falls in love with Mina. Molly is forced to get out of her aloofness and make new friends. Mina’s best friend Will takes a liking to her and he is about to become Molly’s 27th love interest when she meets Reid, her nerdy co-worker.

With Cassie moving further apart from her, Molly is forced to handle having the attention of two guys alone. To top it, her parents are finally tying their knots with the legalization of gay marriages in the USA and she has more on her plate than ever.

Will Molly and her awkward self, be able to pull this off? Will Will become her 27th unrequited love (did you see what I did there?) or is it someone else? You will have to read the book to know more.

Book review of The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited deals with several themes that are relevant in today’s world – peer pressure, body image, teenage love, and rejection.

I loved the writing. The style of the author is definitely quirky and cheerful that kept me hooked until the end.

One thing that The Upside of Unrequited has been continually praised for is the diverse representation of minorities, interracial and LGBTQ couples and families. The characters are diverse, of course, well thought out but still are too perfect to be relatable, except maybe for Molly.

Molly’s flawed, funny, socially inept characterization would be relatable to everyone who has had that phase. I like how family and sisterhood was important to her.

I would have loved Molly except that for the fact she had one goal in her life – finding and kissing her boyfriend. And all of a sudden she gains her self-worth when she finds herself a guy. Erm.. definitely something we don’t want books to reinforce of the kids today.

Bottom line

Despite the predictability in the plot, as one might find in most of YA romances, Becky Albertalli’s writing wins the book for me, I could not put the book down even for a minute before I could finish it.

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Have you read The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli? Did you enjoy the diverse characters or you had the problems that I did? Which is your favorite Becky Albertalli book? Let us talk.