Published by HarperTeen, the story is 92 pages.
He was fifteen and she was seventeen.
When sophomore Ryan “The Kid” McPhearson makes the Varsity baseball team, he finds himself submersed into the life of upperclassmen, and falling in love with senior Brooke Bennet. To Ryan she’s his dream girl, perfect. Maybe to the outside world a two-year age difference doesn’t matter, but this is high school. Everything matters.
Ryan soon realizes Brooke’s life is not so perfect. He becomes her closest friend, her safe place to fall when she needs to escape. Ryan seems to be benched in the friend zone with no chance to bat.
Time is both a curse and a blessing. It ushers Brooke away to college, and Ryan into the arms of his first girlfriend. It alters Ryan from a kid to a high school graduate, ready to venture to college himself. But when Ryan sees Brooke again he realizes there are some things even time can’t touch.
Though much has changed, one question still remains. Will the things that mattered in high school always stand between them?
FLIRTING WITH MAYBE is an absolutely delightful and heartwarming novella that follows the relationship of Ryan and Brooke as their friendship develops into the possibility of something more.
Told from Ryan’s point of view, this short story spans nearly three years, giving readers glimpses of significant moments in his life involving Brooke as he progresses from a shy high school sophomore to a more confident high school graduate.
It is a story that tests whether love can overcome any number of obstacles – age, appearances, friends, family, self-worth, distance – even when that love may be one-sided. And it puts it to the test time and time again as life takes Ryan and Brooke in different directions.
This novella is fun and flirty, but also bittersweet. It introduces a character who is outwardly shy but sure of himself and his feelings and one who appears in control but is actually a bit of an emotional mess, which makes for an exciting dynamic and makes this an incredibly engaging read.
While this is only a novella, the story feels complete and the characters are easy to connect with. The author gives readers enough of a peek into their lives to become attached and to feel invested in the outcome. And she keeps them riveted by taking them along on the emotional roller coaster ride she put her main character on.
For readers looking for a quick maybe love story that’s not only hopeful, light and sweet but substantive, FLIRTING WITH MAYBE is a must.
Reviewer gives this novella…
On a personal note…
What a sweet story. I loved getting to meet Ryan McPhearson, even if it was for only a short while. And although Brooke was so very flawed, I liked getting to know her too.
For a short story that spanned such a long time period, I thought the pacing was perfect and there were just the right number of peeks into Ryan’s life. I was immediately drawn into the story and made an instant connection with the main character.
What I liked most about this story were its characters. Neither was perfect, but the possibility for them to be perfect for each other made me hopeful for a happy ending.
And I liked that the author touched upon some very real issues involving body image, self-worth, alcoholism, broken families. It gave the story a bit more depth and its characters, as well.
Of course, I adored the love story, even if it was a bit of an unrequited one. Whether it ended up that way… well, I’ll never tell.
As much as I loved the novella, I would love to see this story fleshed out a bit more and made into a full-length novel. The story is there. The characters are there. And of course getting only a short peek at their lives makes me want to know more about them. But then I knew that would be the case when I decided to read this standalone contemporary.
Regardless, I definitely recommend FLIRTING WITH MAYBE. It’s a wonderful short story that gave me all sorts of smiles, with a main character I’m very glad I met.