Title: More than Maybe
Author: Erin Hahn
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Date of Publication: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
“Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.
Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?”
More than Maybe is like a music-nerd’s heaven. It’s chock full of references to great bands and artists, and as I was reading, I kept wanting to listen to the songs they were talking about. (In case you were wondering, lounging on the couch listening to The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” while reading a good book is the perfect way to spend a Monday night!)
While More than Maybe is well written, and I truly connected with the characters, it was missing that X-Factor. Parts of the book felt a lot stronger than others. In particular, the prologue had me itching to read the novel, but it did start off very slow. It gradually becomes clear that Vada and Luke already know who each other is (which isn’t entirely obvious from the description of the book), and they’ve been casual acquaintances for the last 3 – 4 years. We don’t get a meet cute, and the very beginning is so vague that it’s hard to tell how long they’ve known each other or how well they know each other until a little too far into the book.
I loved both Vada and Luke and their dynamic, but I felt like the plot was lacking… something. There weren’t many obstacles for them to overcome in their love, unless of course both of them suffering from varying degrees of shyness is truly an obstacle. Also–Luke is shy, and he’s had a crush on Vada since they met, BUT he’s had a bunch of girlfriends in the past? That part I don’t get. If he liked Vada, why didn’t he ask her out? There needed to be an explanation for this, and it could have been something simple and cliche like “He didn’t really like the other girls as much as he liked Vada, and he was afraid of rejection”. It would be cheesy, but still a solution to this little plothole.
Both Vada and Luke have issues in their lives that keeps the plot fresh. Vada wants to go to college, and she’s dealing with navigating her relationship with her deadbeat dad and trying to find the courage to ask him for the money she needs. Luke’s father is a former rock star, and Luke is dealing with the problem that his family doesn’t respect that he doesn’t want to perform music, and he’s writing his music in secret for himself. There is a very subtle and well-executed character arc that Luke goes through as he discovers who he is. (Super vague, I know, but I don’t really want to spoil anything).
While the plot isn’t quite what I was expecting, this romance is very cute, and the novel has a nice, fulfilling conclusion.
I recommend this book to those looking for a music-themed young adult romance.
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc to review*
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