This is one busy summer for Jamie Goldberg! He is volunteering to help with a Special Election for a Georgia State senate seat. He likes politics, but doesn't like public speaking. He's shy and easily tonge-tied. Now comes the double whammy: he has to give a speech at his sister's Bat Mitzvah AND his volunteer task is to canvas neighborhoods and encourage people to vote. Maya Rehman's summer isn't going any better. Her parents are in the middle of a separation, and this is her first Ramadan where they aren't together as a family; her college-bound bestie is MIA; and she is being forced to canvas for a local election with some random boy.
Then this small, local election turns into a battle and there is a lot more at stake than a senate seat. It is a referendum on xenophobia, and Jamie and Maya find themselves working to keep Islamophobia and anti-hijab legislation at bay. The summer has a whole new meaning for Jamie and Maya as they nagivate anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, inter-racial relationships, and a newfound teenage romance.
Teen Student Volunteer (15):
This is a really good book, and I enjoyed every minute. In addition to it being an extremely cute romance (that takes its time to build), Yes No Maybe So also deals with some serious issues in today’s society. It is one of the first YA romance novels I have read that centered around politics while also handling delicate topics such as islamophobia and anti-sematism.
Both Jamie and Maya are relatable characters with distinct personalities and events that are easy for the target audience to relate to, such as Jamie’s fear of public speaking and Maya’s parents’ separation. I like how the story gives insight to each of their cultures (Sophie’s Bat Mitzvah and the celebration and fasting that revolve around Ramadan).
This was refreshing to read. The way in which these heavy topics were written makes thire severity clear. As you are reading you are able to learn and walk away not only with an entertaining story, but more knowledge about issues that plague our society. Finally, the book’s lighthearted tone makes for a fun read before bedtime.
I recommend people buy this book. Not only is it a cute and relatable love story, but it has a much ddeper message. It educates people about the harsh realities of racism that people, children, still encounter, and how to effectively combat it. It inspires people to attempt to make a difference in local politics, regardless of whether or not they are of legal age to vote. And above all, it teaches the important lesson of “you win some, you lose some.” It is an outstanding book to have on your personal shelf.
The perfect balance of teen romance and social activism. There is meat to the story and the romance is the side-dish. Readers who want topical, contemporary fiction that delve into social issues, will want this book on their permanent shelf.
Profanity is used. The plot centers around an election, with support in favor of a Democratic candidate, and the Republican is more stereotyped. The story also deals with Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, and the characters face blatant racism in some scenes. Reviewer note: the way that the authors handled these delicate topics was remarkable.
This is a YA novel whose premise is built on the actual experiences of the authors.
Readers are introduce and/or can learn more about Jewish and Muslim cultures, as well as the struggles Jews and Muslims face. With the elements of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, readers can gain a deeper understanding of xenophobia in general.
13 and Up
13 and Up
Teen student volunteer, reviewer age: 15
Buy. This is SO much more than a cute romance novel for teens.