Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Title: Maybe One Day
Author: Melissa Kantor
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend's life-threatening illness.

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plants 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 late page is turned.

Before I even started reading Melissa Kantor's Maybe One Day, I had been warned that it was a story that would pull at my heart strings. And it did. By the time I reached the end, I was a complete mess. But it was completely worth it.

Olivia and Zoe have been friends for as long as they can remember. They've always known what their future would look like. But that future started changing when Olivia and Zoe were cut from NYBC the summer before their sophomore year of high school. Now juniors, Olivia and Zoe have re-imagined their future, but that future never included Olivia being diagnosed with leukaemia. Zoe does everything she can to stay positive and put on a brave face for Olivia. But the sicker Olivia gets, the more trouble Zoe has staying positive. Without Olivia around, Zoe doesn't know who to turn to for support. When she starts falling for Olivia's crush, Calvin, Zoe thinks she's found a way to deal with it all, even if she feels guilty about it all. And even though the odds are against her, Zoe knows Olivia will make it through this. She just has to.

When I got Melissa Kantor's Maybe One Day in the mail, it came with a note saying I should keep ice cream or cake close by as I read. I really should have followed that advice. By the time I reached the end of the story, I was a complete mess of tears. This was a truly moving story, looking at how something like leukaemia doesn't just affect the person with the diagnosis, but also their friends and family. Because first and foremost, this was a story not about romance or dance, but about Zoe and Olivia's friendship. And as sad as they story could be, I loved that it was focused on the girls' friendship. So often in YA, friendships fall by the way side once romance comes in. Maybe One Day showed just how strong friendship can be, how important it can be, to the point where friends become family. In a way, reading about the friendship made me miss my own best friend. And of course, that ending brought me to tears, but also made me smile through those tears, because that's just who Olivia and Zoe are.

I loved Olivia and Zoe, and I loved their friendship. They were so different, yet similar in so many ways. But they were perfect for each other. As cliché as it might be to say, Olivia and Zoe balanced each other out perfectly. Seeing them together made me smile, despite everything else that was going on in their lives. And like I already mentioned, seeing Zoe and Olivia together made me miss my own best friend and the fact that university made it so we're so far away from each other. Beyond the friendship, there was also romance, but in an understated way. I liked that Calvin didn't push Zoe to do anything she didn't want to do. He was just there for Zoe, in as much as she allowed him to be. My only wish is that I could have seen a little more of that story, no matter how much I loved the story's focus on friendship.

Melissa Kantor's Maybe One Day was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. This story about two best friends is one that will make you want to pick up the phone and call your own best friend. You don't want to miss out on this one.

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