Luke and Vada are two eighteen – year olds, with modest internet fame and unrequited crushes on each other. Vada is a popular music blogger, works at a dive bar and lot of her short-term and long-term goals revolve around writing about and organizing music concerts. Her dream? To study music journalism at Berkeley. Unlike Vada, who has been raised by a single mom and must contend with a deadbeat dad, Luke is more privileged, with a loving family and a famous ex-punk rocker dad. He runs a podcast with his twin brother, at the same bar that Vada works in, where he later ends up taking up a part-time job. Luke and Vada also go to the same school and are teamed up by their teacher for a showcase performance as part of their senior composition course.
More than Maybe has a dreamy, joyous vibe to it. I think the best way to describe it would be – celebratory. It celebrates artistry and freedom of losing yourself in something you love, before the cynicism of life takes over – one that revolves around paying your EMIs and other loans. For Luke, this means giving a language to music – creating lyrics and humming tunes without the pressure of having to monetize it, sharing it with the world and carry on his father’s legacy. For Vada, it is to dance to the tunes that make her heart sing. To tour around the country and write about musical talent.
There is music, dance, writing, performing, love and three adorable love stories in this book. There are friends who can probably have their own spinoff novels in the future (I think there is one in the pipeline next year). There are so many things Erin Hahn does really well. This isn’t the first YA contemporary about talented teens pursuing their passion and getting angsty about everyone and everything being against them. In the end, things fall in place and they are en route to success. But Hahn carefully lays the groundwork for us to see why Luke and Vada make the choices that they do (and can afford to). When Luke is all brooding and honestly, comes across as annoyingly whiny about how he doesn’t want to sing onstage because he finds the business aspect of it exploitative, one can’t help contrast it to Vada’s world – where she doesn’t have the luxury to shut doors at such lucrative options. Their inner monologues, however, never overpowers the narrative. Their love story is sweet, sensual and keeping in line with vibe of the book – (imagine) a musical cinematic journey! I think the only aspect (which I guess is a significant one) that I didn’t connect with is all the music references and debates, because I wasn’t too familiar with a lot of them. Those who do get it though, will enjoy it. Music drives the story – the characters, plot, conflicts and a rousing finale (oh, and a playlist too).
More than Maybe releases on July 21st 2020. What are you most-awaited books this year?