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Maybe I Will

Maybe I Will

4.3 3
by Laurie Gray

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Drawing on her years of experience as a deputy prosecuting attorney who dealt with crimes against children, author Laurie Grey presents a compelling, haunting picture of the realities of sexual assault in this affecting novel. The story describes how one secret act of violence can change everything: how best friends can vanish when needed most; how the parents,


Drawing on her years of experience as a deputy prosecuting attorney who dealt with crimes against children, author Laurie Grey presents a compelling, haunting picture of the realities of sexual assault in this affecting novel. The story describes how one secret act of violence can change everything: how best friends can vanish when needed most; how the parents, teachers, counselors, and police officers who are supposed to help may prove skeptical; how difficult it is to know who to trust and how easy it is to slip into drinking, stealing, and lying; how the choice may come down to ending it all or starting over. Throughout it all, the gender of the protagonist remains ambiguous, emphasizing that so many of these acts of violence aren’t about gender or sex.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sandy has two close friends, Callie and Troy; immediate plans to audition for the lead in the high school musical, Peter Pan; and dreams that include Juilliard, Hollywood, and Broadway. But after Sandy is sexually assaulted by Callie’s boyfriend, Sandy’s life unravels. Sandy starts to steal and abuse alcohol, lies to everyone about what happened, and becomes isolated. Sandy’s supportive and concerned parents try to help, but seeing a “psycho therapist” is the last thing Sandy wants. Sandy’s gender is never revealed to readers, a decision intended to make the teenager’s experience more universal, but which instead keeps the character at a distance, despite Sandy also being the narrator. A new friend, Shanika, introduces Sandy to tae kwon do, which helps, but true recovery is impossible until Sandy faces the incident head-on. Gray (Summer Sanctuary) draws from her professional experience with teens in this fast-moving and emotional story. While readers may empathize with Sandy’s pain and recognize the value in seeking counsel from family and professionals alike, wooden dialogue and the characters’ overall artificiality keep the book from realizing its full potential. Ages 13–18. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
When a young person changes, suddenly and dramatically, for no apparent reason, there may be a reason that is not immediately apparent. In MAYBE I WILL, Laurie Gray insightfully explores such a situation. You will want to read this story twice. — Helen Frost, Printz Honor Award-winning author of KEESHA'S HOUSE and DIAMOND WILLOW

In MAYBE I WILL, author Laurie Gray deals with a difficult topic in a thoughtful, nuanced, and realistic way. A pinch of humor and dash of Shakespeare add flavor to what otherwise might be an overly heavy stew. MAYBE I WILLl belongs on teens' reading lists and bookshelves alongside classics of its type such as Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK and Cheryl Rainfield's SCARS.. — Mike Mullin, award winning author of ASHFALL and ASHEN WINTER

Sandy is written so as to be readable as either male or female...the book's portrayal is largely successful and the note it hits at the end is hopeful without being unrealistic. A careful treatment of a difficult topic. — Kirkus Reviews

MAYBE I WILL is a fantastic story that stirs reader emotions and shares a meaningful story. I would recommend it to teenagers who enjoy realistic fiction and books like SPEAK. — LitPik

MAYBE I WILL sets the stage for serious discussion about sexual assualt and the complications that arise form coming clean. — VOYA

MAYBE I WILL finds a new way to explore how sexual assault can affect anyone, not just a boy or a girl. The ending is sweet and somewhat unexpected. I liked how things didn't get all wrapped up. Life leaves a few loose strings, and Gray did get that right. — The Young Folks

Gray's background as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and her talent as a writer enabled [her] to craft characters whose emotions, motivations, and reactions seem realistic and utterly believable. I would definately recommend MAYBE I WILL for high school aged readers, but I think it's important that parents or tachers read it with the students. Kids will probably have questions about what they read and will benefit from discussing this topic with a trusted adult. — Ross Brand, THE TRADES

[Our teacher] told us the big twist when she asked, Is Sandy a boy or a girl? We were both shocked. I think, if the gender question was kept from readers until after reading, this book would make a really thoughtful classroom/book discussion choice. — Katie ~ Top Ten Recommendation YALSA Galley Reviews

OMG! This book blew my mind! — Sarah ~ Top Ten Recommendation YALSA Galley Reviews

This book was great. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a different read. — Victoria ~ Top Ten Recommendation YALSA Galley Reviews

VOYA - Matthew Weaver
It is debatable whether Gray's decision to never reveal the gender of narrator Sandy is a brave storytelling move or a failed attempt to be clever, but there ought to be plenty of discussion about the subject matter. Sandy is trying out for the role of Peter Pan in the high school musical when longtime best friend Cassie's new boyfriend, Aaron, sexually assaults her/him. Sandy is too embarrassed to tell an extremely supportive mother and father, and starts swiping alcohol. Sandy turns to new friend, Shanika, for support as Cassie and other lifelong buddy, Troy, slowly slip away. When the truth comes out, who will still be in Sandy's corner? Maybe I Will sets the stage for serious discussion about sexual assault and the complications that arise from coming clean, using Gray's experience as a deputy prosecuting attorney dealing with crimes against children. The realities of the legal system can be frustrating for those seeking satisfying resolution, and potentially frightening, if the reader's situation bears any sort of similarity to Sandy's, particularly one rough confrontation with a detective. Gray explains her neutral narrator decision in a note, hoping for a society that "embraces and values male and female experiences equally." It is not likely to give anyone all the answers, but it is a good first step to get the conversation started. Reviewer: Matthew Weaver
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sandy plans to audition for the school's production of Peter Pan. Never identified as male or female, the aspiring actor loves performing and intends to go to Juilliard for a degree in drama. Sandy has two close friends: Cassie and Troy. When Cassie's boyfriend, Aaron, sexually assaults Sandy, the teen becomes depressed, turns to alcohol, begins to shoplift, and pulls away from Cassie and Troy. Sandy develops a new friendship with Shanika and is introduced to tae kwon do, which helps a little, but it is not until the teen's parents eventually learn of the troubles and become involved that recovery is possible. The author intentionally does not identify Sandy's gender to demonstrate that neither sex is immune to trauma, but this device hinders readers' ability to fully connect with the character. The narrative never truly resonates with readers because of their inability to empathize with Sandy.—Melissa Stock, Arapahoe Library District, Englewood, CO
Kirkus Reviews
Before the sexual assault, Sandy was an upbeat, Shakespeare-loving teen with two close friends and ambitions of pursuing theater at Juilliard. After, nothing makes sense. Sandy's friend Cassie, whose boyfriend Aaron perpetrated the assault, believes Aaron's story over Sandy's, and Sandy's other friend, Troy, sides with Cassie. Sandy's attempts to cope with the depression and anxiety brought on by the incident range from positive (joining new friend Shanika's taekwondo class) to destructive (stealing vodka from a local store to support a very quickly developed psychological dependency). Reactions to Sandy's situation also run a believable gamut: Cassie and Troy's rejection, Shanika's disclosure of information about another assault on Aaron's part, a police officer's essential accusation that Sandy is lying, Sandy's parents' display of support and concern. Sandy is written so as to be readable as either male or female, and while this device is somewhat effective, it also robs the story of some valuable specificity. Might not Cassie react differently to hearing that her boyfriend has assaulted a female friend versus a male friend? Wouldn't a male Sandy question or consider his sexual orientation after the incident differently than a female one? Despite some gaps in Sandy's internal experience, however, the book's portrayal is largely successful, and the note it hits at the end is hopeful without being unrealistic. A careful treatment of a difficult topic. (Fiction. 14-18)

Product Details

Luminis Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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Read an Excerpt

Maybe I Will

By Laurie Gray

Luminis Books

Copyright © 2013 Socratic Parenting LLC
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-941311-24-0


All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They all have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts ...

— As You Like It, Act II, Scene vii, Lines 139-142

My fourth birthday fell on a Friday during my sophomore year of high school. If I looked four, maybe I could have passed for a child prodigy. Only my birthday was February 29th, so really it took me 16 years to get to my fourth birthday. It used to make me crazy — how the whole world could just skip my birthday three years in a row. No one else I knew was born on Leap Year.

Since it would really, truly be my birthday that Friday, and I hadn't had an honest-to-god birthday since I was 12, I felt like all the gods were smiling on me, and I could have anything I really wanted. What I really wanted was to go to Juilliard, but it was still a little early for that. I'd have to settle for the lead in our school spring musical. Tryouts were scheduled for Friday, February 29. The musical was Peter Pan, so there were three major roles — Peter Pan, Wendy, and Captain Hook — and I'd been thinking that with all the makeup and costumes and stuff, I could play any one of them.

That's why I called a "Meeting of the Minds" with Cassie and Troy when they picked me up for school that Thursday morning. I wanted them to give me the latest on who was trying out for what parts and all. The great thing about our friendship was that we each had our own things we did best. We hadn't competed for anything since we were potty trained. No kidding. Cassie's mom babysat me and Troy every day and ended up potty training all three of us. That's probably why Cassie won. Consistency, 24-7.

Cassie's mom used to put us in one of those strollers that hold three kids with Cassie in front (even then Cassie needed a little distance from her mom), me in the middle, and Troy in the back closest to her because Troy didn't have a mom and wanted to be close to any mom whenever he could.

So every day Cassie's mom would push us like that all over the university campus. It didn't matter how hot it was or how cold it was, as long as there wasn't some sort of blizzard or lightning storm or tornado, she pushed us around the dorms, through the student union and past the English department where my dad taught.

Cassie was the first one to ditch the stroller. Dad says he was teaching The Tempest, Act V, Scene i:

A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
Nurture can never stick, on whom my pains,
Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost.

He looked out the window and saw Cassie standing in the front seat of the stroller looking like Washington crossing the Delaware. I guess Troy and I still hadn't figured out how to unbuckle the seatbelts. Anyway, Cassie's mom freaked out and ran around to the front of the stroller to hook Cassie back in. Only she forgot to set the brake on the stroller and when she ran forward, we rolled backward with Cassie's mom chasing after us, arms outstretched yelling, "Cassie! Stop! Cassie!" Cassie swore she never trusted her mom since and that her mom would forever blame Troy and me for pulling Cassie away from her. The lady doth protest too much. That's Hamlet, Act III, Scene ii.

So, back to that Thursday morning. When Cassie leaned her head out of the passenger side of Troy's white Monte Carlo and called to me on my front steps. "Hey, Sandy! What's Shakin'?" I replied, "When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain?" Those are the opening lines of Macbeth. Troy and Cassie always asked me "What's Shakin'?" They thought I was obsessed with all things related to the Bard. At first, they were just ribbing me, but now it's sort of our thing. I try to answer them with a quote from Shakespeare. "When shall we three meet again ..." meant I was calling a Meeting of the Minds.

Nobody had called a Meeting of the Minds since Troy's birthday last summer. Cassie and Troy had this pact since sixth grade that Cassie would have sex with Troy on his 16th birthday if he was still a virgin. Troy always had this huge crush on Cassie. And Cassie ... well, everybody but Troy knew that he just was not Cassie's type. But Troy saved himself for Cassie, and she kept her word.

Afterward Troy kept telling Cassie how much he loved her and begging her to go with him, which just totally freaked Cassie out. That wasn't part of the deal. And then when her pigskin prince went off to college and ditched her, Cassie had this thing about sex just being sex. So Troy was all depressed and kind of laid low through the holidays, but he came back after Christmas with his driver's license and a new love: Monte. His Monte Carlo, that is.

Anyway, when I called the Meeting I was real clear that this was about the spring musical and NOT about sex. I wasn't saving myself for anyone in particular, but I wasn't planning on having sex just because I was turning 16 either. For one thing, if I ended up all depressed, I was pretty sure my parents weren't going to buy me a hot new car just to make me feel better. In fact, I already knew I wasn't getting a car until that summer.

Troy parked Monte in the back of the student parking lot. We all put on our hats and gloves and headed into school. "Any word on who's trying out for what parts?" I asked. I kicked a smooth gray stone up the sidewalk.

"You know Sarah Hensley will want the lead," Troy said, scooting the stone back my way.

"And Dustin Fairbanks," added Cassie. She intercepted the stone and kicked it 10 yards forward and off of a fire hydrant. CLANG! It disappeared in the dirty snow.

I nodded, scanning the sidewalk for another rock to kick. "Hamilton always gives seniors all the breaks."

"Well, there's no way Sarah can play Peter Pan," Troy said. "Her boobs'll get in the way."

"Definitely," Cassie agreed. "And Fairbanks' voice is too low. He looks like a grown man with a five-o'clock shadow. He's out."

"Yeah," I said. "You know he'll want to be the father and Captain Hook."

"Sarah will be Wendy," said Troy. "You can count on it."

"I guess that means Sandy will have to be Peter Pan," Cassie mused.

"What about Alex Parker?" I asked. "Hamilton might give the part to him since he's a junior. Or Katie Henry."

"I heard Katie's running track this spring," Troy offered.

"Alex's voice is changing," said Cassie. "I'm pretty sure he'd rather play baseball than sing."

I nodded. "I believe I've found my place. 'Second star to the right and straight on till morning.'"

Cassie and Troy looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

"What?" I said. "That's Peter Pan, not Shakespeare."


There was a star danced, and under that was I born.

— Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Scene i, Lines 349-350

I always loved my real birthday when it finally arrived. It was my day, and I never wanted anything to ruin it.

On my last real birthday when I was 12, my mom scheduled a dentist appointment for me to get a filling. My parents said I was being overly dramatic, but I said what kind of a mom schedules pain on her child's birthday on purpose? Then Mom ended up stuck in court, so Dad had to take me. "Really, Sandy," he said, "don't you think you're over-reacting?"

"No thir," I said. My tongue was still numb. "Thith totally thuckth! Birthdayth aren't thuppothed to be painful!"

Dad laughed. "This is nothing compared to the pain your mom had 12 years ago on your birthday! Trust me, the older you get, the more painful birthdays become."

But my 16th birthday started out perfectly. Mom made my favorite "ABC" breakfast. "A" was for applesauce; "B" was for bacon; "C" was for cheese. She put a slice of American cheese on a piece of toast, topped that with four slices of crispy bacon and then smothered the whole thing in hot applesauce so that the cheese got all melty. Delicious! It was one of the benefits of being an only child. If my mom wanted to make my favorite breakfast for my birthday, then who was I to argue?

I swallowed and washed down my last bite with a gulp of cold milk. "Tryouts are after school."

Dad looked up from his newspaper at me. "Which part did you decide on?"

"Peter Pan, of course," I replied. I let out a crow and broke into my audition song. "I'm just the cleverest fellow 'twas ever my fortune to know." Mom clapped a couple times to encourage me, so I continued singing. "I taught a trick to my shadow to stick to the tip of my toe." Mom and Dad both jumped in at the end: "I gotta crow!" Dad dropped down to bass and Mom hit alto on the last note. They were smiling like they thought we might win an Emmy or something. I just laughed. My parents are so cheesy. If they think I'm overly dramatic, they should at least admit I get it from them.

Mom came over and gave me a big hug. "You'll do great!"

Dad nodded. "Break a leg."

"We'll celebrate your birthday and your audition at dinner tonight," added Mom.

"What time should I pick you up?" asked Dad.

"5:00 outside the auditorium," I replied.

We heard the loud roar of a motor and the thumping bass of a stereo in the driveway. "They're here. Gotta go!" I grabbed my coat and book bag and ran out the door.

I heard Dad call after me, "Wear your coat! Don't just carry it!"

I waved at him without looking back. Like I would have frozen to death carrying my coat because I didn't know enough to put it on when I got cold.

Cassie was in the front passenger seat, so I jumped in back. She turned down the stereo, and then she and Troy greeted me with our traditional birthday dirge.

"Happy birthday, happy birthday," they sang. "Pain and sorrow and despair, people dying everywhere, happy birthday, happy birthday." Their voices were meant for a dirge, and they sang it well.

"Thanks, guys!" I said.

"Better not give up your day job," Cassie said to Troy. "You can tune a car, but you need some help carrying a tune." Troy just laughed and turned the stereo back up. We jammed all the way to school.

As soon as Troy had parked and turned off the car, Cassie turned around in her seat to face me. "Are you nervous about try-outs?" she asked.

"Naaaah," I replied. "It's my birthday. I'm not going to waste the whole day stressing."

"Good for you," said Cassie.

Cassie and Troy exchanged a glance. Troy shrugged. I could tell they were thinking of last year when I was trying out for Seussical. I was totally freaking out all day.

I really wanted to be the Cat in the Hat, but so did Kristin Kennedy. She was a senior and used to getting whatever part she wanted. She was so confident the part was hers for the asking that she didn't even bother to show up at the right time. I nailed the audition and got the part. Kristin ended up being Mazy the Lazy Bird. Just thinking about it still makes me smile.

"Maybe I am a little nervous," I told them, "but not like last year, if that's what you're thinking."

We climbed out of the car and headed into the school toward our lockers. As we went our separate ways, Troy slugged my arm. "You'll do great," he said with a grin. "Like always."

I nodded. "See you at lunch."

All morning I was thinking about tryouts. So much, that I almost forgot it was my birthday. I wasn't worried about singing the song or saying the lines or anything like that. But I found myself looking around at all the kids in this school wondering if anyone else really even cared about auditions. No one else wanted to go to Juilliard. In the whole history of West Side High School no one had ever even applied to Juilliard.

At lunch, Cassie and Troy got the West Side barbershop quartet to sing the real Happy Birthday song to me in four-part harmony and present me with a cupcake. Part of me felt embarrassed, but the whole key to acting is to free yourself from self-consciousness and fear. Sometimes I was still in the "fake-it-until-you-make-it" stage.

After lunch I started thinking about try-outs again. Last year after Seussical Hamilton told me he had never even considered giving such a major role to a freshman. "But you earned it," he said. He furrowed his brow and frowned like he was still trying to convince himself. Then he peered out at me over the rims of his glasses. "You've got talent." It sounded more like a curse than a compliment.

"I appreciate the opportunity," I said.

Hamilton just blinked at me, like he wasn't quite sure if I was mocking him. "Do you?" he inquired.

I nodded. "I know I can't sign up for drama class until I'm a junior, but I really want to go to Juilliard. The more experience I can get, the better."

Hamilton raised his eyebrows. "Juilliard?"

I nodded again. I think I was hoping he would get me into the drama class as a sophomore, but that didn't happen.

"You've got a long way to go to get to Juilliard," he replied. "That school attracts the most talented people in the world. And about 95% of them can't get in." He emphasized them as if I weren't one of them. "What makes you think they'll take you?"

I smiled with a confidence I did not actually feel. "I'm willing to work hard, and I've got you to teach me," I said.

Hamilton roared. He laughed so long and so hard that tears came to his eyes, and I started thinking about seeing if I could switch schools or maybe get Mom and Dad to homeschool me.

Finally, he took off his glasses and wiped his eyes on his corduroy jacket sleeve. "I'll tell you what, Sandy," he said. "If you work hard for the next three years — show up on time, every time, prepared — I'll do everything I possibly can, too."

I never told anybody about that conversation, but in the back of my mind, I really believed Hamilton would help me if he could. There were times, though, I wondered if Hamilton would actually remember his promise. Like for tryouts that day. If he does, and I show up prepared, the part should be mine.

That or something better, my mom's voice whispered in my head. Mom had this theory when things didn't go exactly her way that there was something even better out there that never occurred to her. It was all very optimistic and Zen, but I was more like Dad. I'd just as soon have what I wanted to begin with and not deal with the disappointment.

You get what you get, and don't throw a fit. That was what Cassie's mom always told us when one of us wanted what the other one got. God, I've got a lot of voices in my head. If I'm going to be Peter Pan in two hours, that's the voice I should be zeroing in on.

And so I did. "How clever I am!" I crowed uncertainly to myself. "Oh, the cleverness of me!" I'd need to convince myself first before I had any hope of convincing Hamilton.


Such tricks hath strong imagination
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

— A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V, Scene i, Lines 18-20

Each minute of the afternoon was like an empty boxcar on a slow-moving train to nowhere. I was ready to audition and be done with it.

I actually hate auditions. Sure there's the adrenaline and the vision in my mind of the perfect performance and the absolute knowing that I can do it, but it is really painful to watch other people totally crash and burn. At try-outs, everyone has to act all nice and proper, but you know the people competing against you for the part, plus all of their friends, are secretly hoping that you will screw up big time.

Once all of the parts were assigned, the cast would start to pull together as a team and really support each other. Hamilton really preached cooperation over competition once we all had our parts. I just needed to get through today.

I had study hall last period. This worked out great when we had plays and musical productions in full swing because I could get a pass from Hamilton and get a head start on rehearsals. Hamilton wasn't handing out passes today, though. So I signed out to go to the library in search of the real Peter Pan.

I went straight to fiction and started looking for the last name Barrie. I was pretty sure Mom and Dad had read Peter Pan to me when I was growing up, but I didn't really remember the book compared to the play or the movie versions. I came across a well-worn copy of the classic by J.M. Barrie and started flipping through the pages. Very near the end of the third chapter, these words jumped out at me: "I solemnly promise that it will all come out right in the end."

The words somehow reassured me. Of course, they weren't talking to me about my life. They were promising a "happily ever after" for Wendy and John and Michael Darling. Still, I wanted to believe these words for myself, too.


Excerpted from Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray. Copyright © 2013 Socratic Parenting LLC. Excerpted by permission of Luminis Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Laurie Gray is the founder of Socratic Parenting LLC and an adjunct professor of criminal sciences at Indiana Tech University. She is the author of the young adult novels Just Myrto and Summer Sanctuary, which won a Moonbeam Gold Medal for excellence in young adult fiction and was named a 2011 Indiana Best Book Finalist. She is also the author of the parenting title A Simple Guide to Socratic Parenting. She lives in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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Maybe I Will 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
natzers More than 1 year ago
Life couldn't be better for Sandy. Cassie and Troy are the best friends that one could ever hope for, and Sandy's parents are understanding and supportive. Nailing the role of Peter Pan at the school musical and the new iPhone makes life even better. And then tragedy strikes.  One night at Cassie's house, Sandy is sexually abused by Cassie's boyfriend, Aaron. In a matter of seconds, Sandy is traumatised and life takes a downward spiral. Sandy turns to drinking, and steals to support the habit. Depression and anger become close friends as Sandy starts to isolate from both Cassie, who believes Aaron's story, and Troy, who is anguished at having to choose between them.  There are relatively few books that make me cry, and this is one of them. It's very easy to identify with Sandy's thoughts and feelings, even if you've never been in the same situation. Gray's storytelling makes everything so vivid and so real that you are able to step into Sandy's situation and identify with him/her. It's not clear if Sandy is a guy or a girl. In certain passages, I'd imagine Sandy, in all her enthusiasm and excitement, as a girl. In others, Sandy's actions lead me to believe he's a guy. This was done intentionally by Laurie Gray, and it's quite effective in her purpose - to emphasise the fact that sexual abuse happens to everyone, whether male or female. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book soooo much! It was great! I felt a very deep connection with the whole story and how so much can change in so little time. I recomend this book for girls ages 13- 16 Maybe I Will an unforgettable story that I'm surprised hasn't gotten more recognized. ): I was looking for a book I wouldn't be able to put down and thats what I got(:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My grandma wrote this book and I am exited to read it! -lucy gray