Monday, March 2, 2009

Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee

Synopsis from

Meet Maybelline Mary Katherine Mary Ann Chestnut, named for two Miss Americas and her mother Chessy's favorite brand of mascara. Chessy teaches the students in her charm school her Seven Select Rules for Young Ladies, but she won't tell Maybe who her real father is -- or protect her from her latest scuzzball boyfriend. So Maybe hitches a ride to California with her friends Hollywood and Thammasat Tantipinichwong Schneider (aka Ted) -- and what she finds there is funny, sad, true, and inspiring . . . vintage Lisa Yee.

Absolutely Maybe was an average novel. When reading this, there were times I thought "Alright, this is pretty good. I like this." However there were also times I thought "Wtf? Why is she doing that?" There were a few instances where it was confusing to whether the author meant Maybe as in the character or maybe as in "possibly."

The story just wasn't very realistic overall. First of all, what kind of parent lets their teenage daughter pick up and go to California for the entire summer with two guys? Maybe's biological dad was such an asshole I thought she should've said something more to him to get him to take her seriously. The whole reason for the trip was to locate him, then when she finally did she didn't make much of an effort to build any kind of relationship with him. I felt bad for Maybe because her parents basically suck at parenting. Thank goodness for Sammy or she wouldn't have had any kind of parental figure to look up to. He was one of my favorite characters, actually.

As for living in the dorm lounges, don't colleges have any kind of security? Can just anyone walk into a lounge and, well, live there? I'm not really an expert on protocol for this situation, but it seemed like Maybe got away with being there for a bit too long. Granted, she could've passed for a college student and it wasn't like she was some middle-aged man but I think that probably wasn't the best way for the story to go.

Also, I thought it was highly unlikely that Ted, a completely unexperienced teenage boy, would get a job with an aging movie star. That part was a little strange in my opinion.

I have to say, it's pretty cool that Maybe dyes her hair with kool-aid. After reading this book, I decided I wanted to try dying my hair with kool-aid just to see if it would work. And it did! I now have a purple chunk in the bottom layer of my hair.

So, on the whole, this book was entertaining but not all that memorable. If you're wanting a fun, random, and somewhat crazy novel this might be just what you're looking for. If you're looking for something with some depth, this might not be for you.

3 out of 5 stars


  1. Doesn't really sound like my kind of book.

  2. I just finished this as well (my review will be up this week) and I had some of the same concerns as you did.

    Maybe did run away though, so it wasn't like her (terrible) mother was giving her permission to go.