Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Source: Edelweiss via publisher*
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
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.
My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor wasn’t your ordinary hard-to-deal with book that centered around cancer. I believe this one stands out among the rest and exceeds any type of standard there is for such a novel. It was more than the cancer itself, it was about true friendship between two girls who loved each other like they were sisters.
I always find it rare to read a book with someone else looking on the outside-in of someone with an illness. In Maybe One Day, Zoe was that person. I liked her right off the bat because she was just so normal in the sense that I could possibly meet someone exactly like her on the street. She was funny and silly and complained about parents and crazy cheerleaders and boys like a normal teenager would. What really made me love Zoe with great certainty was the way she stood by Olivia’s side before and after she got cancer. Everyone was concerned for Olivia and like a few characters mentioned, no one was looking after Zoe, but she wasn’t thinking about that at all. She kept thinking about her best friend. Zoe, of course, was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. She made bad calls, she had a shaky relationship towards her feelings on dancing, and she struggled with teaching Livvie’s dance class.
Zoe's friendship with Olivia wasn’t just mere friendship, it was love and devotion and the willingness to do everything for that person because she wasn’t just a best friend, she was family. And this love, this beautiful, heart breaking friendship went both ways. Zoe loved Olivia just as much as Olivia loved Zoe. It was painfully obvious throughout the whole book even when they fought, even when Olivia wasn’t feeling so good and even when Zoe felt like she did her friend wrong. I have never read or experienced such a strong bond between two people as much as this one. I reveled in it, I rejoiced, and I cried like a freaking baby.
At first, I was hesitant to read Maybe One Day. The beginning was pretty slow for me. I was waiting for that ball to drop and even though I knew it was coming, it still packed a punch to the gut. From there, I flew through this book. The writing was as easy to read as it was to take in a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t stop myself from getting to that end, to find out what was going to happen to these two girls I was so tragically in love with. What really blew me away was the honest, real and genuine way Kantor told the story through Zoe. She didn’t cut corners or exaggerate certain emotions or even scenes that others may have. I felt every single smile, laugh, sorrow, pain, and loss right down to the bone. And I felt this not only through Zoe, but in Olivia, with her pain and fear and especially in Olivia’s parents. I just felt their heartbreak, their hope dwindling away.
I really thought Kantor did an excellent job with this book. She not only focused on how Zoe was handling Olivia’s sickness, but also Zoe’s life in general, her feelings and outlook in certain things and how they changed. Zoe grows in this novel despite the pain she felt at watching her friend suffer in the hands of such a cruel disease. She questioned a lot of things, from God, to dancing, to how unfair life was.
Overall, Maybe One Day was such a powerful, thought provoking, and captivating novel. It showed the importance of life, family and friendship. It completely grabbed me in such a moving way.
*Thanks to HarperTeen for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review.
"You're a couple of salt and pepper shakers. And now here I was, just a stupid lonely pepper shaker. What was the point of a pepper shaker without a salt shaker? I didn't even like pepper."
"I tried to imagine a God who would never let anything really awful happen to us for no reason. A God who loved us too much to take us away from each other."
"Time does not care how precious it is, how hard you are working no to squander it. Time passes."