A year ago, More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn was one of my most anticipated books of the summer. I’ve been excited to read it ever since, and though it’s been on my shelf for months now, I don’t know why I’ve been putting it off. But no more: I just found out that I won an ARC of Erin Hahn’s newest book, Never Saw You Coming, due out in September. I am thrilled, and it spurred me to finally read More Than Maybe while I await my glorious book mail.
|More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn|
|Number of Pages||309|
|Format I Read||Hardcover|
|Original Publication Date||July 21, 2020|
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.
More Than Maybe had already captured my heart before I even picked it up. Vada – one of our two protagonists – is a music blogger with dreams that include getting a degree in music journalism and securing an internship at Rolling Stone. Well, I never got the Rolling Stone gig (sad face), but I did get a master’s in music business and I run my own music news site, Hidden Jams. What I’m trying to say is: I totally identify with Vada and care for her like she’s someone I know IRL. She inspires me and I want to be her.
Her co-star in More Than Maybe is Luke, an introverted Brit with a popular podcast and a secret penchant for writing amazing songs. I actually identify with him too, at least the part about being shy. Alas, I’m neither British nor particularly musically talented (I wish!). Nonetheless, although I rarely see myself in characters, I just felt overjoyed at seeing two characters I connected with so instantly.
Perhaps my favorite thing about More Than Maybe, though, is how truly musical it is. These characters live and breathe music, and they know a lot about it. They can name any band and any song, no matter how obscure; they can (and often do) communicate via song lyrics; they have the drive and talent to develop careers around music. And I thought I was a proper music aficionado! Luke and Vada’s tastes run pretty alternative, but I loved seeing some artists I like mentioned, such as Something Corporate, Jet, and Twenty One Pilots.
A key foundation in Luke and Vada’s relationship is how important music is to them. Sorry to make this about me again – I swear this is the last time – but this reminds me of my husband and me. We met at the aforementioned music business program, and the rest was history. So many of our conversations and activities revolve around music, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s so heartwarming to see these two teens in More Than Maybe develop a deep bond over their shared love of music. Having something in common is so powerful in creating a strong, lasting relationship.
I also love the excellent depiction of Luke wanting to create for the purity and expression of it, not for its commercial value. Just because you’re good at and/or love something doesn’t mean you want to make a living off of it; it also doesn’t mean you’re required to share it with others. Sometimes, it’s best kept as your own personal passion and nothing more. That doesn’t negate the talent or the love of it.
This leads to another vital theme in More Than Maybe: family and the issues we can have with loved ones. Luke and his dad (himself an ex-punk rocker) can’t see eye-to-eye on Luke’s talent “going to waste.” When Luke’s twin Cullen, too, can’t understand him and betrays Luke’s trust, it’s a big rift that takes time to heal. Bigger still is the chasm between Vada and her dad, Marcus. Marcus may have given Vada her love of music, but he’s a selfish and neglectful parent with an alcohol addiction. Their relationship is strained at best, and it causes Vada a lot of pain.
Luckily, her mother has found a much better partner in Phil, who is also Vada’s boss. Phil is a wonderful father figure in Vada’s life, and he shows the power of the family we choose. Similarly, Luke’s brother Cullen has been dating Zack (Luke’s best friend) for over three years. Their’s is a rock-solid relationship, and Zack is like a brother to Luke. He even sometimes understands Luke better than his own family does.
More Than Maybe is a slow-burn YA romance, and Luke and Vada will develop a strong friendship first as they keep their mutual crushes a secret. It makes their relationship all the more believable and sturdy, setting them up for a long and joyous future together. This is a smart, relatable, and inspired novel that teens and adults alike can swoon over. You’ll probably also want to listen to the many songs mentioned throughout!
I truly enjoyed More Than Maybe and loved the characters and the power of music between them. Luckily, the story continues with Erin Hahn’s next book, Never Saw You Coming, which follows Vada’s best friend Meg. It comes out on September 7th, but I have an advance copy coming my way any day now, so stay tuned for my review of that very soon!
About the Author
ERIN HAHN is the author of You’d Be Mine, More Than Maybe, and Never Saw You Coming. 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, a.k.a. the greenest place on earth, and has a cat named Gus who plays fetch and a dog named June who doesn’t.