Sophie would do anything for Peter, who has been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. He’s everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. And 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 life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.
Luscious, poignant, and another stunner from Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone. It’s safe to say that Our Year of Maybe was just as moving and well-written and finely crafted as Solomon’s debut, and I could not be more excited.
Sophie and Peter are such different and dynamic main characters–they change so much in this novel, but not in a rushed way. They’re dynamic and they learn and they find out new things and they grow and it’s really great story-wise seeing this, but it’s also great for teens to see this coming of age happen.
If anything, this whole book felt so natural, which is honestly one of the things that I like the most about Solomon’s novels. Natural in the way that although Solomon writes about specific situations with specific people and specific hobbies, they’re all fitting together and you wouldn’t think twice if these people were real and this actually happened in real life.
Not only is it natural, but it also keeps it real and Solomon talks about so many things not commonly represented in YA–Judaism, masturbation, bisexuality, sex, toxic friendships, and so much more. It’s the little things that counts, and some of the smallest scenes are still things that are so rarely portrayed in YA and it really feels like Solomon knows teenagers and just how big the struggle is.
It’s just so refreshing to read her books, and Our Year of Maybe did not disappoint plot-wise. With books that are very friendship/family focused, it can be scary in case things become slow, but I’m really glad to say that Solomon does an amazing job of keeping things interesting and happening and progressing in the story and letting it flow, even though the plot is very intangible in the way that it’s not a physical force.
And the exploration of toxic friendship was amazing, of course. It wouldn’t be rated this highly if it wasn’t. I really loved how in the beginning, I was kinda shipping Peter and Sophie (I mean they’re childhood best friends and I love that trope), but by the middle, I was definitely just wanting them to be happy as possible, even if it meant separating.
Plus, the ending scene was just wow. I am not ashamed to say that I cried during it and was feeling all the feels as it happened. Whew.
I admit that Our Year of Maybe was slightly less poignant for me than You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone (and when I say slightly, I mean very slightly) just because I resonated more with Tovah and Adina’s story more than Sophie and Peter’s.
This is why I took off a half star (so you know which one is my slightly more favorite), but also understand that this is by no means saying that Our Year of Maybe was written worse–just that I personally didn’t enjoy the subject matter as much as You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone.
If anything, I think Our Year of Maybe is written and developed better than You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, but the topic itself wasn’t something I was as connected to.
Overall, Our Year of Maybe was just as good, if not better, than You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone–and both of them are amazing. I definitely recommend if you want a real contemporary that explores so many themes and lessons teens will need.
Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster and Rachel Lynn Solomon & Netgalley for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!
Plus, check out some more things I’ve written about Rachel Lynn Solomon’s works you might want to see!
- My review of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone.
- My mini post about Our Year of Maybe in the Barnes and Noble teen blog!