Publication Date: February 4th 2020
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state candidate – as long as he’s behind the scenes.
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever and now her mother thinks the solution to her problem is political canvassing – with some awkward guy she hardly knows ..
Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer – and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural crush of the century is another thing entirely. Read More.
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐.5
Yes No Maybe So follows Jamie Goldberg, an awkward (but adorable) boy who’s been roped into canvassing for an upcoming election, and Maya Raheem whose Ramadan isn’t going as she expected what with her parents separating and her best friend growing more distant. When these two childhood friends meet again they’re victims to their mothers meddling and end up canvassing together and ultimately become invested in more then just their local politics.
I’ve really been enjoying this current trend of politics in YA so I was looking forward to that aspect of the book but overall didn’t know what to expect. I’ve only ever read Simon Vs. by Becky Albertalli (which I loved, of course), this was my first time reading anything by Aisha Saeed and I hadn’t head much about the book before reading but I ended up enjoying this.
My favourite part of this book was the characters. First we have Jamie who I related to more or less from page one. I am Jamie. Jamie is me. He’s awkward and introverted and blushes a whole lot but is a total sweetie at heart and it was nice to see him and his confidence grow.
“Maybe some people are just destined to always say the wrong thing. Or no thing, because half the time, I just stammer and blush and can barely form words.”
Maya was a really interesting character who’s going through a lot as well with her parents separating and growing more distant from her best friend which was all also Relatable Content™.
The budding romance between Maya and Jamie wasn’t one that I shipped instantly which I actually kind of liked. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop from awkwardly chatting because their mums made them hangout to becoming good friends to ultimately realising they had feelings for each other. The characters themselves having these realisation is what made me think “actually these two are cute together”.
Besides from the main characters the clear standouts of this fictional cast are Sophie, Jamie’s strong willed and outspoken little sister who cracked me up every time and who I think would make a great protagonist of her own book in the future, and also InstaGram, Jamie’s Instagram famous grandmother who I want to meet and follow in real life.
ALSO!! There’s a Simon Spier Easter egg. It’s definitely a blink and you miss it cameo and you have to have read the book to understand the reference but it made me smile.
I really enjoyed the diversity of this book, namely the religious diversity. I’m not religious in any sense of the word so I really enjoyed this book with a Jewish and Muslim main character. I know next to nothing about these religions besides the basics I learned in primary school so I enjoyed seeing the Goldberg family preparing for Sophie’s bat mitzvah and Maya celebrating Ramadan and Eid.
There’s also a really cute coming out scene in this book too which was heart-warming and sweet.
One thing I have to say is that there was a lot of pop culture references in this which believe me I don’t mind in books, it makes characters feel more relatable at times. I laughed out loud when Jamie’s gran said: “Travis Scott. Isn’t he that Stormi’s dad?”. But then there were other scenes entirely built around a TV show that I haven’t watched and it took me out of the story and made me skim read over those.
Overall I did like this book but it’s by no means a new favourite or anything like that. I enjoyed the political aspects and reading about the important issues touched upon from Jamie and Maya’s perspectives and I would reccomend this book for anyone looking for an easy to read contemporary.
I would 100% not complain if Albertalli decided to write a whole book about Sophie Goldberg. She deserves it.