A cute romance and political rally cry rolled into one. Cause a lot can happen when you go door to door canvassing.
Good to know
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.
Yes No Maybe So
“Oranges don’t have nipples,” says Sophie.
I park our cart by the display pyramid, pointedly ignoring her. You could say there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to discuss nipples with my twelve-year-old sister in the Target produce section. And that part of me. Is all of me.
“They’re tangelos,” Sophie adds. “Tangelos have—”
“Good for tangelos.” I tear a plastic bag off the roll. “Look. The sooner we get everything, the sooner we can leave.”
Which isn’t a diss on Target. No way. Target’s the best. It’s kind of my personal wonderland. But it’s hard to catch that anything-could-happen, big-box-general-merchandise vibe when I’m here as my cousin’s errand boy. Gabe is the assistant campaign manager for a special election in our district, and he never seems to run out of random jobs for Sophie and me. This morning he texted us a snack list for his volunteers: oranges, grapes, chocolate, pizza bagels, Nutri-Grain bars, water bottles. NO APPLES. NO PRETZELS. All caps, in true Gabe fashion. Apparently, crunchy foods and political phone banking don’t mix.
“Still think they look nipply,” Sophie mutters as I reach for a few tangelos near the top of the pyramid. I like the ones that are so bright, they look photoshopped, as if someone cranked up the color saturation. I grab a few more, because Gabe’s expecting at least ten volunteers tonight.
Why I love it
Arts & Culture Writer
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.
Member ratings (727)
New York, NY
An amazing blend of the 2 things I love the most: politics and romance. Despite their differences, Jamie and Maya managed to end up together. They’re my otp, and make me believe that true love exists.
Rumford , RI
This book really opened my eyes to the connections love and politics have. With lovable characters Jaime and Maya, the book unfolds as Georgia’s election fay rolls around. I was cheering for Rossum!
In this cute, eye-opening book, readers get to experience other cultures while seeing the significance of politics on the community. This book had adorable characters, quirky dialogue, and a fun plot.
Loved both Jaime and Maya's journeys toward political activism and engagement. It was clear this was coming from a deeply personal place for both Albertalli and Saeed, which was a privilege to share.
I loved this book! The duel perspectives were both a total joy, loveable characters and great diversity along with a uniquely political setting. This was a light and quick read I am happy to have!