Tag: Becky Albertalli

Review: Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli, Aisha Saeed

Posted February 20, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli, Aisha SaeedReviewer: Rowena
Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli, Aisha Saeed
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 448
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2020 New to Me Challenge
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New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed have crafted a resonant, funny, and memorable story about the power of love and resistance.


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.

I’ve never read anything by either of these authors but I have been looking forward to doing so. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book so I was looking forward to digging into my review copy. That’s saying something too because I’m not a political person and I don’t normally gravitate toward stories that deal with politics but I’m glad that I read this one. I thought the beginning was a little slow but there was a charm to the way that this story was told that I liked and am glad that I stuck with because both Albertalli and Saeed did a great job of telling Maya and Jamie’s story.

So the story follows Jamie and Maya as they canvas their neighborhood for the local state senator candidate. They’re both going through things in their lives and I really connected with the both of them even though I’m hella older than they are. Maya’s dealing with her parents separating and her best friend not being around to talk things out with and Jamie is shy and he’d rather stay behind the scenes than speak in front of anyone. Seeing the two of these guys really come into their own over the course of this book and finding in each other, the friend that they both need in their lives was great. Seeing them talk about mature things was another plus for me. I thought the authors handled their backgrounds in a good way. Maya is a Muslim and Jamie is Jewish and I thought their conversations about their lives was real and it was authentic and I dug it.

It took me a little bit to warm up to both Maya and to Jamie but once I got a feel for who they were and what they were bringing to the story, I began to really enjoy the two of them and what was going on. I’m glad that I read this one and will definitely be reading more by these two authors. Their writing style is easy to follow along with and I will definitely be looking out for more of their books. If you’re looking for something cute with a side of politics, check this one out. I think it’s gonna be a hit.

Final Grade

Grade: 3.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Posted September 3, 2015 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

2Whitley’s review of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

So, two things as I go into this review:

  • I am so not the target audience for this book.
  • I was grinning uncontrollably through the last 50 pages or so.

But everything before that point, I was just kind of shrugging along with an “okay.”

This book is a light, frothy, cutie-pie little slice-of-life romance about gay teenagers. Which, you know, great! Except every now and then the text would try to “say something” about bullying or coming out and it created this sort of weird dissonance for me. Because it was just too frothy for the heavy stuff it was brushing against, and I really wanted it to commit one way or the other.

Maybe if I had more emotional investment in the subject matter, it would be different. If I were approaching this with a lot of feelz, then the random profound lines would resonate and I’d be oohing and aahing. They were pretty good random lines. However, there were huge chunks of this novel where Simon continually and emphatically insisted that he had no feelings about a thing. He was forcibly outed to his whole school and he went out of his way to tell the reader that the bullying wasn’t so bad and he felt nothing about, right before he ripped into someone. Even before that, with the blackmailing plot, it was pretty lackluster. I just didn’t feel anything when the main character doesn’t care and there’s no tension.

But that’s all pertaining to the blackmailing “plot;” the rest of the book is Simon emailing his not-boyfriend and having teenaged-boy-thoughts, and you know what? It was just plain old cute. Honestly, I could read a whole book that’s just Simon and Blue’s emails. (A short one, but still.) There’s not a lot of tension, it’s just teens being teens and having interpersonal drama, but I really liked Simon’s relationship with his parents and a lot of the things said between them, and…how many ways are there to say “cute”?

In the end, I wouldn’t call this just astounding or say it lives up to the utter hype, but eh, I’m a girl that likes higher stakes in my books, so that’s just me. If you just want some low-key teens who over-use the word adorable, then it’s well worth the ticket price.

Rating: 3 out of 5

This title is available from Balzer + Bray.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

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