Book Reviews

Book Review: OUR YEAR OF MAYBE by Rachel Lynn Solomon (ARC)

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As with You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, by the end of Our Year of Maybe I was on the brink of tears. But good tears, like ‘oh my gosh, how is this over, I need more,’ tears. Before I dive into my review, here’s a look at the summary:

Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.

But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.

Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one blurry, heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.”

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I was given an arc of Our Year of Maybe in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss+

Our Year of Maybe was everything I expected it to be and more.

Firstly, the characters. Both Sophie and Peter are so well-developed and their character arcs are so defined. It was captivating to follow their growth throughout the course of the novel. Both characters were messy and real, and I loved that about them so much. In addition, I really liked the side characters that readers are introduced to. There’s Chase and the rest of the band, and there’s Tabby, Jason, and Lena. I also really liked the parental relations in this novel, and I adored the relationship between both sets of parents because that’s not seen often in YA.

As with You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, the plot was super original but it was the characters that really drove both stories forward. Also like with You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, the way religion was woven into the story was super awesome and added another layer of depth. Both Sophie and Peter have different relationships with Judaism, and I enjoyed following Peter as he began exploring more of his fate. Also similarly to the debut, Our Year of Maybe is full of sex-positivity, which was really awesome to see.

I can’t say too much about the ending without spoilers, but it was amazing and I was definitely tearing up. I really liked how friendship was at the center of Our Year of Maybe, and the various ways Rachel complicated a very simple, though often overlooked, relationship was really awesome. Our Year of Maybe made me excited for the future of both Sophie and Peter, and though I’m not usually a big fan of open endings, I felt like in this instant it was really well-done and packed an emotional punch. If I had to sum up Our Year of Maybe in a few words, I’d probably use “finding your wings.” And I think that’s something that a lot of different people can relate to in different ways, so I think Our Year of Maybe will connect with a lot of readers.

I can’t wait until Our Year of Maybe is officially out next year! It should be on your radar going into next year, and I’ll definitely blabber more about it when I post my list of most anticipated 2019 releases closer to the end of the year.

As always,

Happy reading, happy writing, and happy blogging!

 

-Breeny

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