Yes No Maybe So is an adorable teen romance paired with social activism and political awareness. It follows the two estranged childhood friends Jamie Goldberg and Maya Rehman as they are forced together to canvas for a political campaign and as they face personal problems and family drama.
Jamie is the very definition of adorkable; awkward, shy, clumsy and cute and with political ambitions that seem somewhat unachievable as he is a choke artist when it comes to speaking in public. Once he even got so nervous that he threw up on a politician during an interview…
“Let’s face it. Some people are meant to change history. And some people are meant to change out of their vomity interview clothes.”
(This quote reminded me a lot of another of my favorite books, Red, White & Royal Blue, but compared to that book this one has a heavier focus on the political parts, especially the practical aspects of passing bills and canvassing voters etc.)
I immediately fell in love with Jamie. He’s so goodhearted, so self-conscious, so perky cute and considerate. I could definitely relate to his social anxiety and how the thought of making a toast at his sister’s bat mitzvah clouded the whole Summer. Speaking of his sister, she was just wonderful. So sparky and outspoken and always making fun of Jamie in a loving way. I absolutely adored their affectionate relationship.
Maya is a Muslim girl who is having the worst Summer dealing with her parents’ break-up and her best friend abandoning her for a new university roommate, and who agrees to do the political campaigning solely to get her parents to give her a car. At first, she’s too preoccupied with the crises in her life to think about anything else. Especially as her parents don’t want her to date anyone she’s not serious about and certainly not someone who isn’t a Muslim. But when an Islamophobic bill is threatening to be passed and antisemitic images are being glued to cars, she and Jamie find each other in their political awakening and the desire to make a change.
I really loved Jaime’s and Maya’s cute banter and how they built their friendship from the ground up. To paraphrase Jamie, I loved their “slowmance” and the very, very, slow friends-to-lovers trope and how they got to know more about each other’s cultures and being receptive at the same time.
Both the characters and the story felt very realistic, especially when it came to the political climate, the tension and hatred beneath the surface and the simple black-and-white attitudes to complex problems. Which frankly is very scary and makes you fear for the future of our world. But luckily, the passion and how much the characters wanted to make a difference made up for that.
All in all, Yes No Maybe So is a cute and charming love story which deals with some heavy issues such as antisemitism, Islamophobia, cultural differences and family difficulties, but that is also light and fun with a lot of bantering and satiric dialogues. And the best of all is that it leaves you feeling hopeful and believing that anyone can make a change.
“There is hope. Hold it tight, and keep fighting.”
Find out more about the book and the authors here: Yes No Maybe So