by Lisa Yee
Maybe (real name: Maybelline Mary Katherine Mary Ann Chestnut) is the daughter of a former beauty pageant winner who is now the owner of Chessy Chestnut's Charm School for Young Ladies. And since Maybe can't be bothered with going on a diet or wearing anything but XL shirts and sweats, she hasn't really lived up to her mother's high standards. Of course, there isn't a day that goes by that Chessy doesn't have a word or two (or 100) to say about Maybe's appearance. Do you think it could be the weekly hair color changes done in the bathroom sink with packets of unsweetened Kool-Aid that makes her cranky?
It doesn't help that Chessy is about to marry for the seventh time or that the fiancee is a scumbag who tries to rape Maybe in the middle of the night. What's worse is that Chessy is too drunk and jealous during the attack to do anything but accuse her own daughter of leading her fiancee on.
And that, as they say, is the straw that breaks Maybe's back.
She and her best friend, Ted, hitch a ride with Hollywood, an aspiring USC film student, as he makes his way from Kissimee, Florida to Hollywood, California.
Of course, Maybe has an ulterior motive for going. After years of never knowing, she's on the hunt for her biological father. But things don't go as planned and Maybe has to suffer through hunger, homelessness, and the feeling of being betrayed by her best friends as she searches to find out who she really is (even though she always thought she already knew that).
Final thoughts: Overall an easy read. A few things fell in line a little too easily for me, like Ted's insta-job after only one flyer and one interview. The ending felt like it was cut off a few pages too early, or that Yee is going to write a sequel. It was definitely feeling unfinished, though that may have been intentional, since life always feels unfinished.