More Than Maybe
by Erin Hahn
Release Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Number of Pages: 336
Source: Net Galley ARC
YA Romance M/F
Read 5/5/20 to 5/7/20
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?
In More Than Maybe, Erin Hahn’s swooniest book yet, Luke and Vada must decide how deep their feelings run and what it would mean to give love a try.
**blogging note: I am signed up to do a blog tour for this title for today, but the publication date was pushed so the blog tour was pushed. I adore this story and didn’t want to hold my review any longer…more time for you all to go pre-order the book! I’ll be back in July with the excerpt for the blog tour. But for now, to pique your interest, here’s my review.
Wow, wow, wow! For her sophomore offering, Erin Hahn hit it out of the park. While I enjoyed her debut novel, You’d Be Mine, this one is even better.
Let’s start with location. This is the thing about the story that won’t speak to everyone the same way it spoke to me, but as a Michigan girl I loved that the book is set in Ann Arbor. So, right from the start, there were bonus points from me.
Okay, now that I have that out of the way, let me tell you about the connections. This story is about Vada and Luke, but I’m going to talk about other connections first. Vada was raised by her mom with her dad being more on the periphery. He’s a sometimes drunk with a new wife and twin toddlers who couldn’t wait until Vada’s 18th birthday so he could stop paying child support. He shows up in her life when it’s convenient for him…for babysitting, to lecture her, to try to steer her life to his liking. In other words, the man will be no help when it comes to her college tuition. On the other hand, her mom’s boyfriend Phil has always been there for Vada. Even when her mom and Phil were friends and nothing more, Phil has supported Vada’s hopes and dreams to the best of his ability. Not only does Phil champion Vada, he is also a champion of any rising talent he sees. His bar/club doesn’t make tons of money, but he gives many bands a venue they wouldn’t otherwise have. He helps young adults like Luke and his brother by providing them a place to record their podcast. He puts on a summer concert series to help bring music to his community. Phil is an all-around great guy and I loved watching him interact with all of the young people in his orbit.
As for the connection between Vada and Luke, it’s perfect. Not as in perfect, no flaws. As in perfect because it comes across the way it should. Two 18-year-old high school seniors who know what they want but are still unsure of themselves. The author writes their insecurities so beautifully it brought back memories of high school for me, and that was a very long time ago. Both Vada and Luke have a certain innocence about them when it comes to matters of the heart. I loved watching them forge a strong bond in friendship, not wanting to scare the other off so taking it slow. It was touching and gave me all the feels. Here’s an example of the amazingness of these two, a thought straight from Luke’s brain. “Science has shown, once you start noticing constellations in freckles, you’re fucked.” Gah!!! Yes!!! I love it!
There are so many complicated family relationships in this story. Luke has a twin brother who is wonderful but does a boneheaded thing thinking he’s helping. Luke’s parents are amazing, but his dad truly doesn’t understand him and, like his brother, does some idiotic things along the way. I feel as though Luke is really misunderstood by his whole family. Not because they’re bad people, but because they are different from him and have a hard time wrapping their heads around his introverted nature.
Before I wrap this up, I have to address the music. I am someone who loves music. I’m always humming and singing without even realizing it. But I know nothing about music. I’m also the type that is super curious and cannot just read the title of a song and keep reading if I don’t know what song is being referenced. Most of the music reference throughout this story is well-known, I’m just not good at artists and titles. I had to laugh at myself when I would look up a song and realize I knew the song, but sang it all the time. The author does a great job of giving a wide variety of genres that are known, but not the most popular of that artist. And once I got super excited when she referenced one of my favorite bands, Guster, which I find not many people know. (Again, I’m not expert. I only know them because many years ago they opened for another band I was seeing in concert and I fell in love with their music.)
This story was a lot of fun along with the young adult angst. I cannot wait to read more by this author. She has a knack for digging deep while keeping the reader engaged and not overwhelming the senses. I’ll be recommending this one to many.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**