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 blurry, 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. (Goodreads)
Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon is even better than her debut, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone. There. I said it.
Now, obviously this is my opinion, but I just related to Sophie and Peter, the two main characters and POVs, in OYOM better than I did to Adina and Tovah, the two main characters and POVs in YMMWIG. I understood the yearning, the unrequited love and crushes, the friend break-up, and the uncertainty of your place in the world/who you are. The story couldn’t feel more nostalgic to all the messy feelings of my high school life if I had written it in high school.
As always, Solomon adds depth to her characters through their faith (the characters are Jewish and half-Jewish, as said by the characters themselves), their families and friends, and through their relationships to each other. Peter feels like he owes Sophie something for her giving him a kidney and Sophie feels like it wouldn’t be a terrible thing if Peter just happened to love her back now. Both characters are complex, imperfect, and, sometimes, selfish. But at no point did I feel like I disliked either of them. I understood where they were coming from, why they felt how they did, and I think Solomon really toed a fine line of creating these characters, creating appropriate tension, and deconstructing their friendship.
I highly recommend this beautifully written, heartbreaking, and relatable story.
Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon will be published January 15, 2019.