Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Harper Teen, 304 Pages
Expected US Release Date: February 18, 2014
Format/Source: ARC via Around the World Tours - thank you!
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 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.
I think it stopped being fun when I started wanting to be the best at it.
This is a weird confession, but here it goes: when I was younger, I was obsessed with cancer books. Books where characters had cancer, or were best friends with people who had cancer, or had family with cancer…whatever it was, I read it. Lurlene McDaniels was practically part of my daily diet.
I’ve since widened my reading repertoire, but I feel like I can safely say my knowledge and “experience” (this is such a weird thing to have experience in) had me going into Maybe One Day pretty prepared. I knew what to expect, I figured I could sense how it would end or progress within the first 100 pages, and I was determined to face whatever Melissa Kantor threw at me. I mean, I made it through TFiOS, I can make it through anything. As long as I have a tissue box.
And damnit, did I need that tissue box.
Maybe One Day is a strong, heart-achingly beautiful book of friendship and love. Of finding what we love, of learning that love does not always have to be forever; but it will always be for the things and people that matter.
I definitely did get a feeling what was going to happen less than 100 pages in, and I did get it right…but the entire story itself was so good I didn’t even care that I could figure it out. I loved the incorporation of dance and how it seemed to influence and echo a lot of their friendship and beliefs. I loved the families, how they struggled but were supporting, how they were just the right amount of involved.
I love Olivia and Zoe, so much. As individuals, but also together as friends. They are the epitome of everything I hope to find in a friend and hope to be in a friend. And what made this book so special is that their friendship just…was. It never felt forced or lacking, I didn’t think Melissa Kantor was trying to prove they had a friendship stronger than anything—it was fluid and beautiful, something I couldn’t see but believed in as wholeheartedly as I do air. Even separate, each character was so strong with her own personality and distinction. There was enough in common for you to see how it works between them, but they are definitely their own people too, and that was fantastic.
I wish Calvin was in the book a little more, I felt he could have been a bigger part—but for what he was, I loved him. He had few parts, but each one was meaningful and said a lot about him. All together he probably comprised less than 50 pages of this book, but I knew him wholely.
Because I can’t talk about the entire last third of the book without giving away what happens, just trust me that it will pull you every which way you could possibly go, without anticipation and only with hope. I cried pretty solidly through a lot of it, because there are moments you just…you don’t know. There was one line that just made me start weeping: “It is agony to thaw.” And in that one line, I feel you can see so much of this book. The emotions, the feelings, what may or may not happen, the parts that do and the ones you wish could.
Maybe One Day may not be on the same level as The Fault in Our Stars, but it definitely stands on it’s own. You are able to find yourself in their friendship and in both the characters, while feeling like you are a part of them as well. It made me want to hug my best friends harder, to tell them how much they mean to me.