Our Year of Maybe is a fantastically written contemporary novel with complex characters, diversity rep, and an exploration of toxic friendships.
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.
I really enjoyed this book! Here’s why:
🌼 Complicated Friendship Dynamics
The main focus of Our Year of Maybe is the friendship between the two narrators, Peter and Sophie. They’ve been best friends their entire lives, and Sophie is donating her kidney to Peter, which makes for a really interesting dynamic.
I really loved the way in which Rachel Lynn Solomon explored this relationship, both the good parts and the toxic parts.
🌼 Family Relationships
I am such a sucker for stories that include family! Parent relationships were explored, but my favorite familial relationship is the one between Sophie and her younger sister, Tabby.
Tabby is a teen mom (another thing that I found super interesting to read about!) and she and Sophie aren’t super close, partly because Sophie feels weird that her little sister seems so much older than her. It was so heartwarming how these sisters connected over the course of the book. 💗
🌼 Main Characters with Passions
Peter is a pianist (and also really into reading!!) and Sophie is a dancer, and I loved reading about kids who are so passionate about these things.
I’m not a religious person at all, but I thought the religious bits of this book were really interesting. One of the things that made this interesting to read is that, while both protagonists are Jewish, they each thought about and experienced religion in different ways, which was a nice contrast. It was cool that religion, which isn’t frequently included in YA books, was talked about in the book.
🌼 A Messy, Realistic Feel
This book is messy. The friendships are messy, and the romantic relationships are messy. The characters mess up, and it made the book feel real.
Diversity Rep: main character who is bisexual, Jewish, and has chronic kidney disease; Jewish and dyslexic main character; gay and half-Argentinian major character; Korean side character; multiple LGBTQ+ side characters
Warnings: illness; sexual content (some younger readers may not feel comfortable reading)
All in all, I thought Our Year of Maybe was a well-written book with really great character dynamics, and I look forward to reading Rachel Lynn Solomon’s debut from last year!
You can enter for the chance to win a signed copy of Our Year of Maybe HERE! (Make sure to enter before the giveaway closes on January 20th, 2019.)
I’m very sorry to all my wonderful readers from other countries, but unfortunately, this giveaway is US only.
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Are you going to read Our Year of Maybe? Chat with me in the comments!
Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me on the blog tour and for providing me with a review copy of this book! This in no way affected my review.