Today, I'm excited to be participating in Wednesday Book's blog tour for Erin Hahn's second book: More Than Maybe! When I read her debut novel, I fell in love with her writing style. And, I knew that More Than Maybe would be just as great! Keep reading to learn more about the book, Erin Hahn, and my thoughts.
Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly know 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.
About the Author:
Erin Hahn is the author of You'd Be Mine and More Than Maybe. She teaches elementary, would rather be outside and makes a lot of playlists. So many playlists in fact, that she decided to write books to match them!
She married her very own YA love interest who she met on her first day of college and has two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever was at their age.
She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth and has
a cat named Gus who plays fetch and a dog named June who doesn’t.
*Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with an ARC of this book. Some parts may have been changed as I did not read the final version. Please know that all of the expressed thoughts are my honest opinions.
Erin Hahn has done it again! After reading You'd Be Mine last year (and rereading this year), I knew I needed to read More Than Maybe. It had the same wonderful qualities as the first: loveable characters, full storyline, and phenomenal writing!
The synopsis was promising, and it completely delivered! More Than Maybe was so heartwarming and sweet –– a great summer read. Vada and Luke's relationship is an essential part of the story, but family and friendship themes and relationships take priority at times. I enjoy having the variation because a healthy relationship doesn't cut out all other ties. The story also wasn't always sunshine and rainbows –– it dealt with more nitty-gritty topics. For example, there were mentions of active shooter drills (and that fact that we actually have them).
The characters are full of life and easily recognizable. Vada and Luke are the main characters, and the POV switches between them every chapter. Vada is the author behind the popular music blog Behind the Music. She is an introvert; however, her voice shines through in her blog posts. Many people often associate an introvert with push-over qualities, but Vada proves that belief wrong. I love that she's more of a quiet strong –– standing up for herself and others in an inobtrusive, but still firm way. One of her most significant conflicts is with her father, who left when she was young. It spans the story, and using it as a reference clearly shows how Vada came more into her person. What I also love about Vada is how straight-up, sincere, and dedicated she is.
Luke is also on the quiet side (finally! two characters that aren't two completely opposite people). He is a twin, and identical one if I remember correctly, and making things a bit more complicated, his brother and best friend are dating. Yes, there is LGBTQ+ rep in this book, something I love seeing! Luke seems more pensive and is less of an open people person. At times, it seemed as if Luke and Cullen (his twin) were just written as opposites of each other to make up for the lack of physical differences. Thankfully, they did share some common interests (such as the podcast), which is a more realistic situation.
I relished watching Vada and Luke's relationship grow in this story. Both have some family issues, and by the end, it was easy to see how it changed and evolved. It was not always smooth sailing, nor were their problems similar. Vada deals with a father only there when convenient, and Luke's father expects him to fill his music legend career. Their relationship was the cute and classic "I really like her and think she's cool, but I can't tell her that" "he's super cute and talented, but I don't think he'd like me back" situation. Their conversations with each other were peak cringe moments at times, but considering their personalities, it fit.
The other characters felt fully fleshed out, much like the supporting characters in You'd Be Mine! They all had their own goals and problems, even if they weren't as blatantly obvious as Vada and Luke's. It is the snarky comment here, the knowing look there that helped to bring them to life! My favorite was Phil. It is apparent while reading: Phil is such a great guy. Throughout the book, he does everything he can to support Vada and help her five-step plan come into fruition. Besides being the original owner of Behind the Music, Phil has helped to fill a mentor position in Vada's life through his extensive music industry knowledge.
Finally, the most crucial part: the writing! Hahn did a great job overall with it; however, there were still some off moments. There are paragraphs and internal dialogue where you can just feel the emotion! It was easy to see how overwhelmed certain characters were from the run-on, single breath paragraphs. As a result, I got a better sense of what the characters were feeling, giving them more depth. The voices and dialogue were also on par with the characters' age –– at least I didn't note out of place vocabulary too much. Luke, who comes from the UK, used, from what I can tell, the corresponding British phrases and words, which helped keep me in the story.
In the novel, there were also text conversations that helped to add another element to the story. They varied in length but proved to be the perfect medium to get more character information without being too on the nose. I thought it was particularly cute how Luke and Vada would share songs. I only looked at the song title, but I bet a stronger, more nuanced message would be apparent if you had a knowledge of the song and lyrics.
Unfortunately, there were some confusing and less-than-perfect parts in the writing as well. My most significant complaint would be descriptiveness. At times, I loved how descriptive things were described because it is what was needed. Other times, the descriptions felt like a filler, and frankly, they confused me too. An example that sticks out to me is when Vada is dancing. Hahn tries to put us in Vada's head and express the chaos and passion that she has. It was a couple of paragraphs, and I got lost and overwhelmed. I would have preferred a more simplistic, toned down moment.
If I were to sum up More than Maybe in a couple of words, they would be fantastic and lively with strong relationships. The characters were multi-dimensional; I connected with them through writing choices, such as run-on inner thoughts. The song references in the novel and the texts between Vada and Luke always made me smile –– they were creative, and I recognized some too! And, while this book is perfect for summer because of its lightness, it touches some critical details as life isn't always perfect. Basically, Erin Hahn has yet to let me down, and I know I'll be picking up her next book! I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a contemporary romance with LGBTQ+ rep, music references, humor, and great characters.
So, have you picked up your copy of More than Maybe yet? If you haven't already, I hope I have inspired you to do so! Again, I thought that this book was fantastic and fully recommend it!!