Perfect for fans of John Green's Turtles All the Way Down and Nina LaCour's We Are Okay, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.
Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.
Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?
An ALA Rainbow Book List selection
A Bank Street Best Book of the Year
"With Maeve, Mac delivers a character who's heartwarmingly real and sympathetic, and her story provides a much needed mirror for anxious queer girls everywhere."—Kirkus, Starred review
"This is a good companion book for other anxiety-riddled stories, such as The Shattering by Karen Healey, and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella."—Booklist
"This hopeful offering will resonate with young people for their own lives, even if the journey is hard and takes time and patience...[a] compelling portrait of a teen’s experiences with anxiety and challenging family dynamics."--SLJ
"Mac carefully makes clear that Maeve is plenty able to find joy other places than the perfect girl and that she’s working at dealing with her own problems; the romance is therefore lovely and cozy and free from overtones of dependency. The descriptions of anxiety are true and powerful, and romance buffs will likely revel in a book celebrating deep connection."—The Bulletin
"Mac is good at showing how a dread-filled mind works... [An] affecting story.''—Publishers Weekly
Everyone tells Maeve that things will be fine, but they don't know what it's like to have an anxiety disorder, to visualize possible disasters constantly. Spending six months in Vancouver with her father and stepfamily is terrifying for nearly 17-year-old Maeve she could die on the way, for one thing. Even after arriving safely, she finds cause for worry. Her father may be drinking again, the home birth her pregnant stepmother is planning is risky, and being around Salix the girl she likes is nerve-racking. But to Maeve's surprise, Salix likes her. Even more surprising: when some of Maeve's fears come to pass, she's upset, but not helpless. Mac (The Way Back) is good at showing how a dread-filled mind works and how Salix, whom Maeve sees as wholly confident, also has to fight nerves. Mac's not interested in villains: there is no evil stepmother, no homophobia. Instead, the struggles are internal, like Maeve's anxiety and her father's relapse, and relational, as people try to forgive and be honest with each other. The result is a low-key but affecting story. Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Sweet and Subtle
Wonderful and subtle story, with just the right amount of angst and fluff.