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In Yes No Maybe So, the new YA novel from authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed, the Georgia state senate race between newcomer Jordan Rossum and GOP incumbent Senator Newton is heating up and—wait, come back! Look, I get it. We’re only a month into 2020, but IRL election stress is at an all-time high. You want to read a book that’s hopeful, swoon-worthy, a reminder of the best parts of humanity. And if that’s the case… I recommend picking up Yes No Maybe So immediately.
Jamie Goldberg and Maya Rehman are childhood friends who unexpectedly reconnect over the Rossum campaign; Jamie’s cousin, Gabe, is Rossum’s assistant campaign manager and his whole family is involved in the grassroots effort. Maya only agrees to canvass for Rossum in the hopes that her parents will buy her a new car. But when Newton introduces a bill that would make wearing hijab illegal, and trolls start vandalizing cars with an alt-right meme, the campaign becomes personal for Maya (who is Muslim) and Jamie (who is Jewish). And as the teens get to know each other, they contend not only with tense politics and personal upheaval, but with a cross-cultural romance they never saw coming.
Albertalli and Saeed have crafted a sweet, funny, meaningful tale that will inspire activists of all ages with its simply profound message: We all have the power to make a difference, even when the odds are stacked against us.
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 romance of the century is another thing entirely.
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