Erin Hahn pulls readers back into her compelling writing with her new young adult contemporary novel, More Than Maybe. Following the vein of You’d Be Mine, her debut novel, More Than Maybe is another contemporary romance centering music; you may remember it from our Best Dual POV Romance Novels To Look Forward To This Valentine’s Day list from earlier this year.
Luke Greenly and Vada Carswell are music enthusiasts. Vada runs a blog titled Behind the Music, which is part of her five-year plan for a career in music journalism. While working at the Loud Lizard, an establishment owned by her mom’s boyfriend and local music legend Phil Josephs, she prepares to attend a prestigious music journalism program at Berkeley. All the while dealing with her deadbeat dad and his refusal to take emotional or financial responsibility for his daughter.
Growing up in the shadow of his punk rocker dad Charlie Greenly, Luke faces a different type of pressure. Luke inherited his father’s musical talent—which no one can know, most of all his dad. He’s seen the effects of fame and the inner workings of the music industry firsthand, and he wants to keep far away. So instead, he enjoys recording a local podcast with his twin brother Cullen, and is satisfied with creating music in the secret comfort of his room.
That is, until his brother Cullen decides to take matters into his own hands…
Told in the first person dual point of view, the characters were well-constructed and complex. They felt real, and I grew invested in their stories. They were flawed, they made mistakes, they had misunderstandings. There were wholesome relationships—Cullen is very much in love with his long-term boyfriend (who also happens to be Luke’s best friend) Zack. Their relationship made the book all the cuter. The Loud Lizard crew were an interesting group as well. There were also painful relationships—Vada’s father Marcus frustrated me to no end, but the consequences of his actions on those around him were all the more hurtful to watch unravel.
I was rooting for Vada and Luke the whole time—and I don’t just mean as a couple. I grew invested in their dreams, their hopes, their futures. There were multiple scenes that made me laugh out loud or grow frustrated and demand a character call someone out, and be proud of them when they did.
The dialogue was delightful and flowed very well. The story was well-paced, pulling the reader along from the beginning to the very end.
I did feel that the conflict could have been executed more convincingly toward the end, as I wasn’t necessarily persuaded by Vada’s reaction to the sequence of events—it didn’t seem to follow her normal thought process and behavior. To maintain consistency with her character, it could have been drawn out and explained better. I think that if the conflict had more page time, it could have been conveyed in a more believable manner.
Overall, I felt that the book was well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. More Than Maybe is a book about struggling to live for yourself in the midst of other’s expectations. Especially as Luke and Vada are high school seniors looking to embark on a journey that determines their paths for the future, they struggle to make those around them understand their choices.
More Than Maybe is the musical romance you didn’t know you needed. Fast-paced and character-driven, especially for a contemporary romance, it makes for an entertaining summer read that will leave you with the random urge to create a playlist.