Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee
First of all I should say I liked this book a lot. I cared about the characters and wanted to see them through to the end. The main character, named Maybe (short for Maybelline), is on the run to California looking for her biological father and trying to get away from her beauty-pageant-crazed mother. She's with two good friends—Ted, a flamboyant character and true friend who gets himself a job as the personal assistant to a former Hollywood starlet, and Hollywood, an aspiring film student and secret admirer of Maybe. I loved these three teens' friendship and how they all had a distinct path they were on in finding who they are. I also liked the way the story came together with Hollywood's award-winning documentary film. I don't think this book is too mature for middle school, but it is definitely a notch up from Lisa Yee's other books. The scene where Maybe's future stepfather tries to rape her was surprising and a little jarring for me, but it served as the catalyst to send her on her journey to California. While not a comedy, the book is infused with humor throughout and not a heavy problem novel like many YA books. It is populated with memorable secondary characters that stay vividly in your mind. I would recommend this for teens from 7th grade up through high school.