Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon Book Review

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Goodreads 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.

My Rating:5/5 Stars

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

As with Solomon’s debut,You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, it’s hard to pick just one standout aspect about the book because there’s  so many to chose from. You have complex friendships, even more complex romantic relationships,  fascinating family dynamics, feelings about religious identity and the list just goes on and on.  If this is what she can do with her second book, I can’t wait to see what type of wonderful things will come out of her third or fourth book.

One thing that I really appreciate about her characters is how incredibly flawed they are. The two main characters, Peter and Sophie, don’t always make the right decisions or say the right things and yet that’s what makes them so real.  They make impulsive decisions, decisions that had me screaming NOOOOO DON’T DO IT and yet it’s these imperfections that made them so relatable and authentic. Solomon is truly skilled because so often authors try to give their characters real flaws but it just results in the readers disliking the characters. With Our Year Of Maybe, despite all their mishaps and mistakes, I felt their pain as if it was my own. To be able to create characters who have clear flaws and yet still have readers rooting for them is something that requires an immense of talent, which is just one of the ways that her skill shows.

Give me a book with complex relationships and you’ve pretty much given me my new favorite book. I absolutely love books that have relationships that evolve, shift and grow throughout the story. There are so many different relationships in this book that were each amazing in their own special way that I don’t even know where to start. Of course the relationship at the forefront of the book was the one between Sophie and Peter which was so interesting. I love books about childhood friends and as much I try to deny it, I’m such a sucker for the trope of  “secret crush on said childhood friend”  The dynamic between Sophie and Peter was incredibly fascinating and I loved learning about their childhood friendship and then seeing how it developed throughout the book. I really like the turn their friendship took and felt it was very true to life.  Another relationship I really loved was the one between Sophie and her sister. It was really nice to see how their perspective of one another changed as the book progressed.  One relationship that I would’ve liked to see a little more expansion on was the one between Peter and his mom. It seemed that there could’ve been some development there but there was this tension that was introduced but never really resolved.

Another thing that I loved was how casually Peter’s bisexuality was talked about. It’s pretty rare to see bisexual male characters and I just loved seeing the relationship between Chase and Peter blossoming. It was really interesting to see how Peter’s feelings towards Chase contrasted with those he felt towards Sophie. I also really appreciate the fact that the book could’ve taken the cheating storyline route and it didn’t which was just really refreshing to see.

The final thing I want to talk about is the element of the story that made this book 100x more amazing than it already was. That element was the way that Peter’s Judaism and his feelings towards the religion was portrayed. Peter is half jewish but since his father is he jewish one, he would not be recognized as Jewish amongst traditional Jews.  This is exactly like my situation and to see Peter’s conflicted feelings about Judaism was so relatable. I swear all the thoughts about being Jewish were ones that I’ve had multiple times. I’ve never felt more seen and I just really appreciate the fact that Solomon portrayed two very different approaches to Jewish identity. I can always trust her to have some quality Jewish content and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Have You Read You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone? Are You Going To Read Our Year Of Maybe? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

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Reading Diverse Books in 2018

So for the past two years I’ve written posts about how diverse my reading was in the past year. As much as it’s great to say that I’m trying to consciously read more diverse books the proof is in the pudding.

So in 2016 22% of the books I read were diverse and in 2017 that number went up to 41%. I’m sad to say that it’s gone down again at 29%. I honestly don’t know what happened and I really want to try to do better in 2019. I think being conscious of the books I read is extremely important. So often when I have a lot of free time on my hand, I’ll read basically whatever I can get my hand on which usually means that I’m reading books about straight, white, neurotypical characters. That’s not to say that those books are bad because I’ve read some true jewels but I just want to be a lot more aware of my reading habits.  Books that feature people of color, LGBTQ people and neurodivergent people are so often my favorite types of books and I know that if I made just a little bit more of an effort I’d be a lot more content with the type of books I read.

So I thought I’d give you my top five favorite diverse books that I’ve read this year because I’ve read so many amazing books this year so the more I get to scream about them the better.

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  1. The Spy With The Red Balloon by Katherine Locke Review

I swear Locke writes the historical fiction of my dreams.   You got queer jewish kids punching nazis combined with this amazing speculative fiction to create this spellbounding book that you never want to put down.  I need a million more books like this because no matter how many books Locke writes I’ll never be satisfied.

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2. Far From The Tree by Robin Benway.

This summer I read both  Far From The Tree and Emmy& Oliver and fell head over heels with her writing. Far From The Tree is a a beautiful book about the family we make and the family we are bound to by blood and it’s just amazing. This book hit with me so many feelings, amazing characters and wonderful relationships and it’s just one of those books that I want to cherish forever.

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3. The Summer of Jodi Perez ( And The Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding. Review

This is the ultimate summer contemporary read but can also be read year round just so you can transport yourself to warmer days. The romance is amazing, the characters are the best. Top it off with mouthwatering descriptions of food and you got yourself a stellar read. I seriously need this to be to be a movie.Someone please make it the new summer romcom.

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4. Leah on The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. Review

I feel like no blog post written by me is complete without mentioning my queen at least. I stan basically everything Albertalli creates and Leah on The Offbeat is no exception. The book was everything I wanted in a sequel and more. I laugh, I cried and I’m completely devastated that she’s done writing in the simonverse. It was a great way to end it though and I can’t wait to see what other amazing characters she comes up with..30340865

5.Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solommon

Solomon does it again with her beautifully flawed characters and exquisite prose. I love catching authors at their beginning of their careers because there’s so many more wonderful books in store with me. As long as she keeps writing beautiful books filled with great Jewish characters, I’m going to very very happy.

How Was Your Reading Year When It Comes To Reading Diversely? What Were Your Favorite Diverse Books? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!!