FICTION

Our Year of Maybe

384p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Jan. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481497763.
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RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—Peter and Sophie have been friends as long as they can remember. Peter's kidney disease left him largely isolated. Sophie was happy to share that bubble, convinced that he was not only her best friend but also the love of her life. Sophie discovers she is a match, and a transplant allows Peter to fully participate in the world for the first time. Peter embraces his new life, joining a band and dating while figuring out if he can or should return Sophie's feelings. Meanwhile, Sophie is heartbroken to find that his life no longer revolves around her, even as she explores her own talents. Both teens must decide what life looks like without Peter's illness at the center, and what Sophie's donation means to their relationship. Solomon excels at authentically capturing the complicated lives and identities of today's teens. Sophie and Peter are not defined by a sole trait but rather their disabilities, interests, sexuality, and faith come together to create realistic human beings. Notably, this also applies to secondary characters, including Peter's boyfriend, Chase, and Sophie's sister, a teenage parent. The story is one of the heart rather than action and the joys and frustrations of discovering oneself are skillfully communicated to readers. Older teens will relate to there being no single right choice when relationships change.
VERDICT An emotionally resonant and deeply characterized story of love, friendship, and identity in the broadest sense. Recommended for all libraries.

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