Book Review — Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Book Review — Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Book Review — Maybe One Day by Melissa KantorMaybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Published by HarperCollins
Publication date: February 18, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
400 pages
Format: eARC
Source: ARC via publisher

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

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Picture your best friend from childhood.  The friend you met in elementary school who remained your friend all through high school.  The friend you did everything with.  The best friend who shared all of your ups and downs. The friend you told your deepest darkest secrets to.  The friend who shared the same passions you did.  The friend who was there when that passion was ripped from both of you.  Now picture that same friend being diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer.

That’s what happened to Zoe and Livvie.

Maybe One Day is a story about friendship being pushed to its limits. It’s a story about how beautiful love can be in its purest form.  What initially drew me to this story was its promise of an emotional journey.  Tearjerkers are one of my twisted pleasures. I know that’s kind of weird.  I love it when a book will move me to the point of audible sobs.  When I read the synopsis of Maybe One Day, I hoped it would deliver an emotional story straight to my heart.

Livvie and Zoe have been best friends since they were little.  They lived down the street from each other and rarely spent time apart.  From the age of nine they had been dancing with the New York Ballet Company.  Both had dreams of being a prima ballerina and traveling all over the world.  Both are dealt a devastating blow when they’re essentially kicked out of ballet school.

I really liked Zoe’s character.  She was kind of a hard nut to crack.  After she and Olivia were dismissed from ballet school, she completely obliterated any item or memory that could have reminded her of it.  Ballet is what used to define her, now it’s her bitterness and anger.  Having lost such a big part of who she is, she sort of goes through a teenager crisis.  I found her to be a really relatable character for her vulnerability and uncertainty, despite her hard exterior.

Livvie, on the other hand, handled the loss very differently from Zoe.  She remained active in the community, teaching dance to underprivileged kids and hanging out with the cheerleaders.  Danced remained a big part of her life.  Suddenly, she was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukemia and dance was once again ripped from her life.

Obviously, cancer played a big part in this story.  The majority of the story revolved around Livvie’s treatments and prognosis.  I really admired the amount of research that the author put into this book.  She outlined exactly what kind of cancer Livvie had and the treatment in a very researched, yet readable way.

The friendship between Zoe and Olivia was the focus of this novel, which was a welcome change compared to what I normally read.  The romantic storyline between Zoe and Calvin was very secondary and did not overshadow the friendship at all.  I think the author could have easily overdone the romantic relationship, which would have ruined the book for me.  There were a lot of beautiful moments between Zoe and Livvie that I think that author wrote beautifully.

“Imagine the most amazing moment of your life.  Only multiply it by a million. And imagine it goes on forever. It’s the most incredible feeling, only we can’t even imagine what it’s like because we’re still live. Trying to imagine heaven could be like…trying to picture the fourth dimension. We can’t do it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

As much as I was hoping, this story didn’t have as big of an emotional impact on me.  Now before you start screaming at me about my heartlessness, hear me out.  This story was VERY sad.  I mean a young girl got cancer and her condition deteriorated quite rapidly.  That’s incredibly sad.  I knew going in that this book was going to be about cancer.  I knew which person had cancer.  The reader knows the whole time that Livvie is not doing well.  So the ending did not have a huge effect on me personally, aside from its intrinsic sadness.  I’ve read some other reviews from other readers who had different reading experiences.  Nonetheless, I really loved this book for the story and the writing.

3 stars

*I received an advance copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Review — Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

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