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“Maybe some of us want to try to effect change around here. Maybe some of us care about things beyond ourselves. This election is important,” said Maya. –Yes No Maybe So

Yes No Maybe So

by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
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Jamie’s summer is not turning out like he hoped it would. After his fear of public speaking cost him a spot in a highly coveted internship, he settles for volunteering on a campaign for a Georgia State Senate candidate. It’s certainly not the glamorous summer he envisioned, but he’s wanted to be involved in politics and effect change for as long as he could remember, so he’ll take what he can get. Plus, it gives him breaks from bat mitzvah planning with his younger sister, Sophie. 

Maya’s summer doesn’t look promising, either. Between her parents potentially divorcing and her best friend, Sara, focused on work and getting ready to move away to college, it feels like her life is completely falling apart. Nothing feels right anymore, and she wonders if it ever will again. 

But when Jamie and Maya’s moms reconnect, they suggest that Jamie and Maya go door to door trying to get votes for the campaign Jamie is volunteering for. At first, neither is thrilled about the idea– Jamie is a nervous wreck around strangers, and Maya has enough on her plate already. But the more time they spend knocking on doors and promoting their candidate, the more they realize just how much is at stake in this election. And the more time they spend together, the more they realize that they don’t completely hate each other’s company. Are they growing closer as friends, or something more? 

Yes No Maybe So is a fast-paced rom-com that readers will tear through. Because the chapters alternate between Jamie’s and Maya’s perspectives, both characters are well-developed. Seeing the story unfold through both of their eyes adds lots of layers and nuance. Both characters have regrets and make mistakes, but learn from them and apologize; their ability to communicate and willingness to share their feelings is refreshing. The buildup to their eventual romance is satisfying too. Since they start out as friends, their relationship is clearly based on mutual respect and genuine regard for one another.  

This book also deals with complex issues such as antisemitism and Islamophobia, and how those manifests in politics. While these issues are not sugarcoated and are given the gravity that they deserve, there is still a healthy balance between the political and the romantic subplots. The two subplots complement each other well because neither one dominates the other. Yes No Maybe So’s main message is one of love and acceptance. Although we all have differences, it is important to respect people’s choices for how they want to live their lives, provided they are not hurting those around them. 

Overall, Yes No Maybe So is a fun and engaging read, perfect for teenagers who are looking for an optimistic (but not cheesy) view on the world we live in. It is a heartwarming romance full of twists and turns, while still sending a vital message about the importance of speaking out against injustice. Readers will fall in love with Jamie and Maya, and root for them as they try to navigate their friendship, as well as the ever-changing world around them. 

Sexual Content 

  • When thinking about how he often fumbles when giving a speech in public, Jamie nervously envisions himself giving a campaign speech and makes a sexual joke. He says, “Seriously, I wouldn’t just lose my election. I would call it an erection. And then I’d lose.” 
  • Jamie’s eighth-grade sister, Sophie, discusses games that she and her friends are planning to play at a no-adults birthday party. “We’re doing Spin the Bottle, we’re doing Seven Minutes in Heaven, we’re doing Suck and Blow. . . With a playing card.” 
  • Maya’s favorite season of The Office is “season two. All that Jim and Pam sexual tension.” 
  • Maya goes to Jamie’s house. His friends leave, joking that Jamie and Maya probably want “alone time.” Jamie and Maya laugh it off, but Jamie thinks, “Alone time. With Maya. In my house, which contains my room, which contains my–okay, I’m not going to think about beds. That would be absurd. No point in thinking about beds or alone or Maya or alone with Maya in beds or–” 
  • Jamie and Maya watch an episode of The Office together. During a particularly romantic scene, Maya puts her head on Jamie’s shoulder, and Jamie gets an erection. “Her head’s still on my shoulder, even though I’m the king of awkward, with my arm just hanging down stiffly. God. Speaking of stiff– I adjust the blankets, blushing furiously. Think of Asa Newton. Think of Ian Holden, Jennifer Dickers. Fifi. Fifi’s humanoid hands—Crisis averted.” 
  • Jamie and Maya kiss for the first time in Target. Then they move into a dressing room for privacy. Maya “sinks onto the bench, and I follow—kissing her forehead, her cheeks, her lips. But then she hugs me, shifting backward, until I’m almost on top of her. I rest my hand behind her head before it hits the bench. Our legs tangle together, sneakered feet dangling off the edge. This time, when we kiss, it’s more urgent. Her hands fall to the back of my neck, gently threading my hair. My fingers trail down her bare arms, and she smiles against my lips.” 


  • None 

Drugs and Alcohol 

  • None 


  • “Fuck” and “fucking” are sometimes used as an intensifier. 


  • None 

Spiritual Content 

  • Jamie is Jewish and Maya is Muslim. They bring up their faiths, and how it affects their lives, many times throughout the story. For example, this story takes place during Ramadan, so the fact that Maya is fasting often comes up. She says, “‘I don’t do coffee on Ramadan. . .  I don’t even do water. I eat suhoor way before the sun is up and then I eat after the sun sets. That’s it.” 
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“Maybe some of us want to try to effect change around here. Maybe some of us care about things beyond ourselves. This election is important,” said Maya. –Yes No Maybe So

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