Saturday, November 14, 2009

Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee

Absolutely Maybe is a wonderful story about a girl named "Maybelline Mary Katherine Mary Ann Chestnut" or Maybe for short. She was named Maybelline after her mother's favorite brand of mascara. Maybe lives alone with her mother "Chessy" Chestnut, a former beauty queen and current owner of one of the top Charm Schools in Kissimmee, Florida. Maybe decides to runaway when her mother's current fiance attacks her and her mother takes his side. Maybe is tired of trying to cope with her mother's drinking and all of the excuses she makes.

Maybe sets off to find her real father and hitches a ride to LA with her two best friends, Hollywood and Ted. Hollywood was accepted at a major film school and Ted lands a great job leaving Maybe to fend for herself. Not surprisingly, Maybe has many obstacles to overcome such as low self-esteem and lack of self confidence just to name a few. Maybe encounters many adventures during her journey.

Absolutely Maybe is a charming book that touches on self evaluation, friendship, courage and adventure. To find out more about Maybe and her friends, I highly recommend reading this book. Does Maybe find her real father? What path has she chosen? What happens to her mother when she leaves?

This would be an excellent book for young adult readers. It is a light read with visions of hope for the future. It touches on friendship, believing in yourselft, and following your dreams.

Posted by Donna


Andra said...


This sounds like a great book for young adults. I love all of the characters' names. They definitely grabbed my attention.

I think we often hear or read about situations where parents take the step-parents' side. It was the same in Chinese Handcuffs with Jennifer and her step-father. Her mother only seemed to believe her the first time around, but never again after that. It is also nice to hear about a book that offers hope. Our students struggle with so many issues (i.e. alcoholism, abuse, etc.) that reading a book like this can show them that there is a future and they should have hope.

You mentioned that it is a light read... Do you feel it would be good for students who struggle with reading? Or did you mean something else?

Thanks for sharing,

Tom Philion said...

hi donna--following up on andra's comment, i'd love to hear about what age group you think this book is best suited to, and whether or not you recommend it for use in schools and classrooms, any creative ideas you have for teaching.

the convention of a "journey" is often found in yal. your summary reminds me of my favorite author joan bauer and her novel Rules of the Road. Find out more at

Bauer too is considered a bit "light" by the literary types, but few authors are funnier or more pointed in their satire, which takes her beyond the "light" category, IMO.


VCaste said...

Hi Donna! I was intrigued by your post because of the name of the book and how it relates directly to the main character of the book. It seems that this is an interesting tale of self-discovery and finding who you really are in relation to the others around you. You provided just enough information to make me want to read this novel, without giving away key information and details. I also like your description of the morals of the story, which highlight hope, friendship, and believing in one's self. I love that!

Donna N said...

Hi all:

Thanks for all your comments. What I meant by a light read is that the book is written in a simple enough form even for 8th graders but also still capture high schoolers as well. There is nothing complicated about the writing style, but it still a very enjoyable book.


Mallory Umar said...

I think that the use of the names were very creative-Maybe, Chestnut, Hollywood etc. however I think that they could be a bid distracting when it comes to the seriousness of the book. This book talks about alcholism, assault, family issues, etc. While I see that the names may bring a bit of lightness to the story, I think that creative names might reinforce the idea that the story is fiction. This situation, however, is the reality of some of our teens.

How do you feel about the names and appropriateness Donna? I haven't read the book, but I can see this as a potential issue.

T. Arnold said...

Great Job Donna! I knew you could do it! :-)

This is one of the books I wanted to read off the list! What I like about your description is that Maybe takes charge of her life. (I don’t know if I worded that correctly) She doesn’t wait for another attack from her mother’s boyfriend to get away. I think a lot of teens could relate to her and need to learn to believe in themselves. Her friends ditched her and she has to overcome that obstacle as well. It’s hard to figure out where you are going in life and what your future holds out for you.

Donna N said...

Mallory, I actually enjoyed the use of names in this book. It does add to a lightness, but I have three teenagers and they always use nicknames. I think it was a way to add a little fun to the book.


Paige said...

This sounds like a very good book, I was interested in seeing what your review would say because I wanted to pick this book for the assignment. I think that teens would enjoy reading this, but I can see why teachers may not want to teach this book. It is not like the typical educational book. I think that I will read this book, it sounds like a lifetime movie!

Stephanie said...

I feel like this book is loaded with situations that could be related to any reader. I can also already see some humor in the story just through your blog post. A mother who was a former beauty queen and owner of a charm school, now an excuse making alcoholic? I feel like students would really get into the story, and with a male character "ted" I feel like it can be suitable for both males and females.