A book about the power of love and resistance from New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed.
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone) Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
When it comes to politics or social activism, almost everyone feels helpless sometimes. But Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed’s novel is an inspiring reminder that everyone holds the power to effect change. Pushed by their families into canvassing for a local politician, Maya and Jamie are kind of stuck with each other for the whole summer. Despite Jamie’s social anxiety and Maya’s troubles at home, the duo slowly develop a touching friendship—and more. The teens navigate their cultural differences (he’s Jewish, she’s Muslim) with all the messiness you’d expect in real life and all the sensitivity that comes with real love. But while we’re here for the laughs and romance, it’s their political awakening that makes Yes No Maybe So really resonate. In an age where teen heroes like the Parkland kids and Greta Thunberg offer up rays of light, Jamie and Maya’s journey is a welcome story of standing up for something you truly believe in.
Once childhood friends, deeply shy Jamie Goldberg, who is Jewish and white, and stability-loving Maya Rehman, who is Pakistani-American and Muslim, reconnect when pressured into working on the campaign of a progressive Senate hopeful. At 17, both are reluctant to dedicate their summers to canvassing in the Atlanta heat; this is especially so for Maya, whose best friend is college-bound at summer's end, but her need to escape the constant reminders of her parents' separation compels her to team up with Jamie to inform and persuade local voters. Soon, swept up in the passions and pressures leading to Election Day, the pair starts falling for each other, though Maya doesn't date. They also learn firsthand that the political is personal when a proposed bill calls for "a partial ban on head and facial coverings while participating in certain public activities." Albertalli and Saeed's collaborative authorship is seamlessly achieved via alternating first-person narratives that offer a nuanced lens on the current U.S. political climate and individuals' roles in democracy. With a convincing, relevant message about democratic responsibility, studded with references to activists, the authors offer an honest handling of cultural misunderstandings, microaggressions, and open communication via Jamie and Maya's tight-knit families and developing relationship. Ages 14 up.
I loved this book! It was so clear that the authors lovingly incorporated details of their backgrounds into the story. I’ve never read a Jewish character whose identity wasn’t treated as a joke or was just casually brought up for diversity points. I laughed at the numerous complicated spreadsheets for Sophie’s bat mitzvah and felt it hard when Jamie said he never felt more Jewish than when experiencing hate. And as we approach more elections, it was inspiring to read about canvassing and the hope of changing on mind. This book might have finally convinced me to do some phone banking!