What is a summary of Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Lisa Yee's young adult novel Absolutely Maybe, teen protagonist Maybelline Chestnut, called "Maybe" for short, runs away from home to find her father in California. Maybe feels antagonized by her beauty queen mother, owner of the Chessy Chestnut's Charm School for Young Ladies, because Maybe is the exact opposite of beauty queen material--she prefers to wear "baggy jeans, a men's black Beefy Hanes T-shirt (XL)," very old Converse shoes, an army jacket, and Goth makeup (p. 2). She also colors her spiky hair with Kool-Aid, changing colors throughout the story.

When she learns her mother is engaged to marry husband number seven, expecting her to be "part of the wedding ... clean up [her] act ... and come out of [her] cocoon" to emerge into a "beautiful butterfly," Maybe decides she has had enough pressure to be anyone other than who she is and flees her hometown of Kissimmee, Florida, to head for Los Angeles, California, in pursuit of her real father, whom she's never met. She sets out on a car trip adventure with her best friend Ted and second friend called Hollywood.

Once in Los Angeles, both Ted and Hollywood settle in and find satisfying jobs, while Maybe becomes stuck working in a taco truck and living with one of her mother's ex-husbands, Sammy. While the search for her biological father continues to be a struggle, she comes to realize that since life has its twists and turns, it's best just to learn to accept who you have in your life.

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