SO much more than a cute YA romance!

Summary:

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.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

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.

Content Awareness Factors:

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.


Type of Book:
This is a YA novel whose premise is built on the actual experiences of the authors.
Educational Themes:

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.

Reading Level:
4.0
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
13 and Up
Age of child:
Teen student volunteer, reviewer age: 15
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. This is SO much more than a cute romance novel for teens.

Title Yes No Maybe So
Author Aisha Saeed, Becky Albertalli
Publisher Balzer + Bray, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2020
ISBN 9780062937049
Material Hard Cover
Cost $19.99
Genres Contemporary Fiction, Social Issues, Romance
Reminder: Cover images, amazon.com and indiebound.org links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.

You May Also Like...

Check out these books you may also like

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Aisha Saeed
Publisher
Speak, Imprint Penguin Books for Young Readers © 2016 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN
9780147513939
be the star you are

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera
Publisher
HarperTeen, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2018
ISBN
9780062795250

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Sandhya Menon
Publisher
Simon Pulse, Imprint Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing © 2020
ISBN
9781534416819

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Krista Van Dolzer
ISBN
9781492609414

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Katie Cotugno
Publisher
Balzer + Bray, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2020
ISBN
9780062674128
be the star you are