Summary: When Caitlyn’s friend Ashley has to back out of student exchange to Quebec, Caitlyn takes her place for a chance at a fresh start. Still getting over an abusive relationship with Tyler and adjusting to life with a new baby sister and a step-father, Caitlyn’s having trouble making decisions and feeling confident. A visit to a fortune teller starts her on the path of reading her horoscope and looking for signs that she’s making the right choices, but a new relationship with Conner and a unexpected letter challenge her to start thinking for herself again.
Number of Pages: 173
Age Range: 13-14
Review: Despite Caitlyn’s troubling past, she comes off as younger than her sixteen years. Kimberly Joy Peters continues Caitlyn’s journey from Painting Caitlyn with Maybe Never, Maybe Now, providing her readers with a gentle story of learning to trust yourself and embracing love again after being hurt. The best part is that Peters is not just talking about romantic love, she is also talking about familial love. Caitlyn is confronted with the need for second chances with her father, and with herself.
Caitlyn’s character is refreshing because even with everything that has happened, she isn’t bitter. She’s definitely uncertain and lacking confidence, but bit by bit Caitlyn grows into a young woman who is able to forgive herself and take chances. Connor is the perfect boyfriend after Tyler because he has been Caitlyn’s friend for a long time and he is very understanding of her need to take things slow.
I enjoyed Caitlyn’s trip to Quebec and her life with Mireille’s family. Sharing Mireille’s siblings and parents opens up a new world for Caitlyn, and I love how she describes it as missing a part of a rainbow. Mireille is a great character with a lot of spunk, and her family is equally endearing.
This is a read for younger female teen readers, but one they will definitely enjoy. Caitlyn’s growth turns her into someone readers can really look up to.
“I also might have recognized that second chances are so much more fragile than firsts. Because even if you’re lucky enough to get a second chance, you already understand how badly things can turn out. You start to realize how much more it’s going to hurt if everything somehow goes wrong again. And if you don’t believe, deep down, that you really deserve that second chance, the very idea of one can be paralyzing.” – Caitlyn from Maybe Never, Maybe Now by Kimberly Joy Peters, page 7
“There is a moment before you begin a painting when the canvas is fresh and unmarked, the brushes are clean and you know in your mind’s eye exactly how you want it to turn out. And when everything goes perfectly, when you capture what you’ve envisioned, there is no better feeling.
But sometimes, after you start, your brush slips, or the colors you mixed aren’t right, or the perspective becomes distorted. Then, you have to decide whether you can work with what you’ve got and find a way to see it through, or whether it’s always going to feel like a disappointment because it didn’t turn out the way you had anticipated.” – Caitlyn from Maybe Never, Maybe Now by Kimberly Joy Peters, pages 90-91
“Sometimes you do have to take chances. And sometimes you just have to protect yourself.” – Caitlyn from Maybe Never, Maybe Now by Kimberly Joy Peters, page 96
“‘Fantastique?’ Sébastien asked, at the bottom.
‘Oui. Fantastique!’ I replied. I started up a bigger hill, knowing that it would take courage to make decisions when I couldn’t predict how fast life would go, or what might be around the corner. But I was confident, now, that that was where I’d find the best surprises.” – Caitlyn from Maybe Never, Maybe Now by Kimberly Joy Peters, page 159
Maybe Never, Maybe Now by Kimberly Joy Peters is published by Lobster Press (2010).