Yes No Maybe So is a dual perspective book following Jamie and Maya who are both volunteering during a political campaign for a local candidate. They are paired together to go door-to-door and hand out flyers and secure votes.
I really liked the dual perspectives, it really gave me a chance to get to know both characters very well and I definitely was able to develop a connection to both of them.
Jamie I thought was a super endearing character. He put himself down a lot and didn’t really believe in himself. However, I thought his family was very supportive and provided some very sound advice when he needed it. His relationship with his sister was very special and I loved their interactions throughout the plot. At times she acted a little older than what she is but I think it was balanced well. They had some truly touching moments together and I liked that we got more of an in depth look into their lives outside of the main plot.
Maya I thought was a really relatable character. Her arc started off with a bang with the separation of her parents right in the middle of Ramadan. We really got to see how it affected her through the way she isolated herself from her friends as a coping mechanism. The hope she kept inside her that they might get back together and the innocuous way that it is shattered when she realizes that it might not happen. I thought at times she was a little selfish but she does evolve and realize that she actually needs to communicate her thoughts and emotions.
I actually like how their forced friendship turned into an actual friendship before their relationship kindled, I just wished it happened over a longer period of time. I think the timeline for the entire book was only a couple of weeks so it felt a little rushed.
The whole political side of the story didn’t really interest me and I kind of knew that going into the book so it didn’t really have any effect on my experience. There was a nice balance though and there wasn’t really any time that I wasn’t engaged which is a bonus.
⭐️3/5 stars Cute, relatable, diverse, entertaining!
Frank Li is a Korean-American senior in high school who falls in love with a white girl in his class. Knowing his parents would never approve of her he concocts a scheme with another Korean-American girl in his class to pretend to date her in order to gain some freedom.
Frank is such an endearing character. He is always just trying to do what is best for everyone, kind of just keeping the status quo. He does question a lot of his parents’ thoughts and their racism towards anyone who isn’t Korean, but he never really challenges them until he is personally affected by it. I thought his plan was quite ingenious and it definitely worked in the long run.
Q just completely threw me off when we finally find out who he had a crush on. For some reason his character being gay just didn’t cross my mind at all but when we found out I was completely in my feels. It was a raw, honest moment and the way Frank handled it was kind and compassionate. Their friendship and banter felt very realistic to me and I am glad it wasn’t compromised when Q finally revealed his secret. His sister though wasn’t really necessary in the plot; I just don’t understand the purpose behind her character.
Even though Frank and Joy had known each other for years I still kind of feel like she moved on a little quickly from Wu. Frank kind of said even though all of the limbos hang out together they weren’t really friends so I thought it was a little strange that they were suddenly so close.
The plot was a little predictable at times but there were definitely some twists and turns thrown in to keep me engaged. I thought the pacing of the book was pretty steady; I finished it in less than a day so it was quite an easy read. The content I thought was super relatable and the cultural aspects added more depth to the storyline for sure!
⭐️4/5 stars frankly lovable!
Loveboat, Taipei is about an 18 year old Chinese American named Ever who just wants to dance. However, her very strict parents won’t hear of it and insist that she goes to school and becomes a doctor. They decided for the summer before college to send her to Taipei to study Mandarin. Little do they know this the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines.
I actually really enjoyed this book. I had a feeling after seeing the cover and reading the synopsis that I would enjoy this book and it was exactly what I had envisioned. It was a quick, entertaining, fun read full of mischief and antics.
Ever was a little too naïve at the start of the book for me. She really lets her parent’s walk all over her and won’t stand up for herself at all. I understand there are cultural differences and the expectations that Ever’s parents have put on her would have weighed her down over the years. I did appreciate transformation she undertakes over the course of the plot, where she finally finds her voice and passion and decides to pursue what she loves.
I found the romances progress a little too quickly. Ever definitely comes across as quite innocent and wholesome, so the fact that after only knowing these boys for a few weeks she makes the decision to sleep with them didn’t quite make sense to me. I think she mentions that she hasn’t even had a boyfriend before so it was just a little strange. Other than that detail I enjoyed the banter between them all. I mean it was a little bit predictable to be honest but the entertainment factor kept me from being too bothered!
I loved all of the culture that is interwoven with the plot. From all the different foods that Ever discovers and the nightlife over in Taipei as well as meeting all the other Chinese Americans and how they all differ. It definitely adds a layer of realism and depth to the story and I really enjoyed seeing these differences from Ever’s point of view.
⭐️4/5 stars Kind of like a YA version of Crazy Rich Asians
This was interesting!
Sadie is a mixed format story revolving around two sisters, one has been murdered and the other is on a mission to extract revenge.
Sadie is a character that you can really put your support behind. She is very straightforward and driven and you can relate to her in a way. If I was in a similar situation I would have probably done the same thing. She will do absolutely anything for her sister and it kind of broke my heart as we learn throughout the course of the plot what she has had to endure. I thought she was brave, focused and devoted to her cause.
I have to say I really enjoyed the different formats and timelines of the story. West following Sadie and trying to extract the truth and dig deep into their history and her motivation behind running away and then having Sadie doing her own digging and finding out where Keith is now, and uncovering all the details about Silas as well. The mystery aspect of the story was very well done and the buildup of anticipation through the pacing and the tone of the book enraptured me.
Every single character in the book served a purpose and made some form of impact upon Sadie and drove her to the next location. I like that we see how West makes these same discoveries for himself and kind of comes the same conclusions as Sadie following all of the clues and picking apart their conversations and trying to find out what her motivations were was highly engaging.
The ending is a point of contention for me. I think I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really like open endings. I need a resolution, I need to know whether or not Sadie is alive and I really wanted to see what happened in those last few minutes.
⭐️4/5 stars This was fast, purposeful and highly impactful
Paper Towns is a YA Contemporary following Quentin Jacobson a high school senior living in Florida and his neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman whom he has had a crush on his entire life. Margo enlists Quentin’s help in a series of late night pranks and when she goes missing the following day Quentin finds clues he thinks Margo has left him to find her whereabouts.
Quentin’s character at times felt a little unrealistic to me. His obsession for Margo and figuring out her clues just seemed a little improbable. He seemed like the kind of student who would not let anything get in the way of his studies and school and a few times over the course of the storyline we see him missing school and even skipping his graduation ceremony in order to find Margo.
I just thought what did Margo really do to deserve this kind of spotlight? I kind of found her to be a little spiteful and vindictive right from the get go and she seemed the kind of person who would manipulate people in order to get what she wants. I think maybe Quentin is seeing her with some rose coloured glasses and is projecting his own feelings onto her personality. Even at the end when they travel all that way because they were so worried she may have killed herself only for her to tell them to wait a sec. It just left a bad taste in my mouth.
I liked the pacing of the book, it did keep me entertained and I was invested in figuring out the clues alongside Quentin. I found the characters to be quite distinct and diverse and they all complimented each other well.
It wasn’t a favourite of mine but there really wasn’t anything inherently wrong with the story either. I just found at times I was thinking what the purpose of this book is, was it about Quentin’s growth over the course of the story or the fact that sometimes his expectations don’t match the outcome?
⭐️3/5 a little unremarkable