Do you know what’s really ironic to read when in isolation? A book that revolves around the two characters canvassing and knocking on doors in preparation for a local election, which just so happens to be the premise of ‘Yes, No, Maybe So’.
In all seriousness though I was going to read this book anyway, but the fact that it was 99p on iBooks was definitely a nudge in the right direction.
Ever since reading ‘What if it’s us’ by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, I have fallen in love with Becky Albertalli’s writing, so when I saw this book at Waterstones I knew I had to get it. (Unfortunately I never actually got round to buying it, so I had to resort to the eBook instead).
TL:DR I did find it harder to get into this book compared with her other books. However this was largely due to the storyline being focused around elections and American politics, which I don’t really understand.
The story revolves around two teenagers, both of whom have been roped into canvassing. However, after learning what’s at stake, they quickly realise that this is the perfect opportunity to try and make a difference and unbeknownst to the other develop feelings for each other.
This book had such a terrific ensemble of characters, and I feel like it would translate perfectly into a TV series.
- Jamie. I fell in love with Jamie after the incident with the Tangelos. Forget the ‘bad boy’ trope, I’m here for the ‘awkward, clumsy and slightly nerdy boy’.
- Maya. I really liked Maya, like Jamie I love her passion and determination.
- InstaGramm. If you read this book I dare you to not fall in love with InstaGramm. I loved the scenes with Jamie’s grandma, and it was honestly really cool having a grandma who’s not a technophobe!
- Sophie. Sophie is Jamie’s twelve year old sister, and I don’t know what it is about YA novels but there always seems to be a sassy, smart younger sister.
As I mentioned previously the premise of this book is that the two main characters are canvassing for a local election. I did originally find it hard to get into , I can barely keep up with British politics let alone American politics!
However, I soon found myself gripped with the storyline, and whilst it is a work of fiction, the sad truth is that it’s based on reality which you can read in the author’s note.
I think the most important take-away, and the message that is highlighted throughout the book is that no-one is too young to make a difference. Even if you (like the main characters) are too young to vote, you can still make a difference.
Like politics, religion is one of the major themes of this book and it is something that I think doesn’t get explored a lot in the YA genre. Jamie is Jewish and Maya is Muslim. However, both their respective faiths are intertwined with the story and neither get pushed to the side or feel like they’ve been shoehorned in. Jamie and his family are celebrating Sophie’s Bat Mitzvah and Maya and her family are celebrating Ramadan.
Pop culture references.
One of the reasons why I loved ‘What if it’s us’ was due to the pop culture references, and this book doesn’t disappoint on that front! There are references from things like Super Mario Odyssey to The Office which lead to some pretty hilarious moments.
I loved Maya and Jamie’s relationship; it was adorable, and it felt so real. It was during the last portion of the book, where I think the dual perspective really shone. I loved reading from both Maya and Jamie’s perspectives. I also loved seeing their relationship evolving, without them knowing.
Well anyway that’s probably enough of me rambling, and I think talking (well writing) about it has made me reconsider my original rating of four stars, and increase it to 4.5/5 stars. I definitely want to read more books by both of these authors in the future!