Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Published by Simon Pulse on January 15, 2019
my rating: ★★★.5
Goodreads avg: 4.02 (as of 2019-08-16)
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 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.
I had honestly expected this to be a more emotionally piercing book than it ended up being. The themes here are so deep, and complicated. This book follows Sophie and Peter over the course of a year, starting just before Sophie donates her kidney to Peter, who was born with failing organs. The relationship between the two is complicated to begin with, so this exchange only serves to muddy the waters further.
There is a lot to love about this book, and plenty of rep: more than a handful of lgbtq characters, two Jewish protagonists, and a biracial love interest. Sophie’s sister is a teen mom, and Sophie herself is dyslexic. The story is an important one and encompasses a plethora of issues; there’s really something for everyone. At its base, it’s a story about the relationships between people and how they change, which I think anyone can relate to.
Unfortunately, I just didn’t vibe super well with it. It was well-written, the premise was interesting, and I appreciated a lot of the things it discussed. It just didn’t reach to a deeper level. I didn’t get that spark I feel with other books. As I said to begin with, I was expecting much more of an emotional connection that I just didn’t get. I felt sort of distanced from the characters, through no fault of the author. This book just wasn’t for me, for whatever reason.
Regardless, I highly recommend it if it’s of interest to you! I think this is yet another book that’s important for young adults and I’m glad it was written. I’m certain there are readers who will just adore this, I just wasn’t one of them.