Wednesday, January 9, 2019

FFBC Tours: Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Our Year of Maybe

by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 15th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.

But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.

Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one blurry, heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.

Can you briefly describe what’s going on in Our Year of Maybe and their main characters?
Thank you for having me back! OUR YEAR OF MAYBE is about the aftermath of a kidney transplant between best friends, complicated by the fact that the donor, Sophie, is in love with the recipient, Peter. 

Sophie is a quiet, anxious dancer who really only feels alive when she’s with Peter, and Peter is a gifted pianist eager to experience life beyond his friendship with Sophie…which makes him feel guilty. The book is about how they move forward when they have such opposing goals, and what that means for their relationship, especially when Peter has a literal piece of Sophie.

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

There’s a special place in my heart for Sophie’s sister, Tabby. I didn’t set out to write another sister story (after YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE), but I love how their relationship turned out, and I haven’t read anything in YA quite like it. Sophie is older than Tabby, who is the teen mom of a one-year-old. Tabby is still with her boyfriend, the baby’s father, and while that relationships isn’t without its challenges, I wanted to show a teen mother in a positive light. Tabby also loves showtunes (as do I), much to Sophie’s annoyance. 

At the beginning of the book, Sophie and Tabby aren’t close. They don’t have a bad relationship—they just don’t have one at all, not really. So the book shows them slowing getting to know each other for the first time, which I really enjoyed writing. 

I also have to thank my past Pitch Wars mentee/current CP Carlyn Greenwald for the inspiration for Sophie’s sister! She was originally older, and I couldn’t get their relationship right. Carlyn suggested making her younger, and everything just clicked. 

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?
I’m fascinated by organ donation, and I have so much respect and admiration for donors. Since a lot of transplant books focus on what can go wrong, I wanted focus on the relationships. No one is ever rushed to the hospital, and Peter’s body doesn’t reject Sophie’s kidney—medically, everything goes pretty smoothly. But donating a kidney to your best friend who you also happen to be in love with, when a small part of you hopes that after the transplant, he’ll realize he loves you back? That’s the space I wanted to explore. 

What’s your favourite quote from the book?
The last line ;)

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?
“Dreams” by Brandi Carlile—a line from it is the book’s epigraph

If the book was a movie/TV show, who would you imagine representing your characters?
I had Timothée Chalamet in mind while writing Peter, and Dutch actress/model Luca Hollestelle for Sophie—her freckles are so lovely.

Since it is still cold outside, what hot drink do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

I’m not a coffee person (I know, it’s a waste for me to live in Seattle)—so I’d say chai or hot cocoa! :)

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish Our Year of Maybe?

Yes! I think fans of OUR YEAR OF MAYBE might also enjoy the following books:



I’LL GIVE YOU SUN by Jandy Nelson

PHANTOM LIMBS by Paula Garner

YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT by Laura Silverman (out in March) Touring with the FFBC Tours in February!

What’s next for you?

I’m working on my third book, scheduled for summer 2020 with Simon Pulse! All I’ll say right now is that it’s a rivals-to-lovers YA romantic comedy that takes place over 24 hours on the last day of senior year.

Rachel Lynn Solomon lives, writes, and tap dances in Seattle, Washington. Once she helped set a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place. She's the author of You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone (out now from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse), Our Year of Maybe (1/15/19), and Today Tonight Tomorrow (2020). A short story of hers will appear in the anthology It's a Whole Spiel (Penguin Random House/Knopf, fall 2019).

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