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There’s two firsts with this book, Young Adult and Romance fiction neither of which are my usual genres.
I decided to break out of my comfort zone when this came up on Audiobook via my library on the Borrowbox app.
It may surprise you to know that libraries are embracing digitial mediums and there are a lot of titles available.
Do check out your library to see what is available in your area during these scary times.
What is it about?
Yes No Maybe So by Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli is a sweet YA or Young Adult fiction about 2 teenagers, Maya Rahman and Jamie Goldberg who are roped into spending the summer canvassing for Democratic candidate Jordan Rossum.
The two teenagers could not be more different.
Maya is a Muslim who alongside fasting in Ramadan is also dealing with her high powered parents trial seperation.
Jamie is Jewish and extremely awkward, has dreams of running for office one day but his crippling shyness stops him from achieving his dreams.
A chance encounter brings the two teenagers together and they realise their connection goes back farther than they think.
I’ve written spoiler-filled thoughts, which I’ve hidden so if you don’t want to read this, feel free to skip to the next section.
Maya Constantly Being Called Exotic
This reference to Maya being constantly called Exotic or being referred to as brown or like a princess really got on my nerves.
It really took me out of the narrative and made me angry she wasn’t described like any other teenager in the story.
Maya’s Parents Separating in the Middle of Ramadan
Plausible but i don’t buy it because most muslims would not make such a major life change in the middle of the holy month.
It almost seemed like they just wanted to tie in Ramadan, Eid and Sophie’s Bat Mitzvah in one so they could try and look diverse.
Jamie spying on Maya with his Grandmother’s Instagram account
This was probably pretty realistic but I’m so glad Maya called him out for invading her privacy for doing that.
The White Saviour Complex
The ending did confuse me because it was sort of left as, we can make it if you have me.
Maya being Muslim and Jamie being Jewish is not really explained in the context of relationships properly.
Muslim Women cannot have relationships or marry non-muslim men but muslim men can marry women of the book, devout Christian or Jewish people.
I found it hard to believe that Maya’s parents, despite being as liberal as they are, would be OK with her having a relationship with a white jewish boy, especially an intimate one without any protests.
I know that Islam is different in the USA so I don’t feel I have the right to comment on this aspect, but here in the UK it would cause outcry in such tight knit communities and a couple would be outcast for getting together like this without one of them converting.
Even then, the question would always hang on whether they practice or did they do it for the other person.
It’s a very complex issue and I feel that the authors did not address this properly, it was sort of slid into the last few pages of the book.
The Election Ending
I thought that was probably the most true life thing to happen in the entire book!
It would have been incredibly unrealistic if a first time congressman won the special election, but I liked that they said the story was not over yet and lawyers were working on the Hijab banning bill.
Would I recommend it?
This is an incredibly sweet romance about two teenagers from different backgrounds coming together to find something in common.
I’ve highlighted my problems with the narrative and while I sort of guessed what it would be about, I did think it was unrealistic.
For those of you who enjoy YA and teenagers finding their romantic feet, this will be an enjoyable read.