Publication date: February 18th 2014
My rating: 5 stars.
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.
“It would be impossible for any God to ignore that many
prayers, that much love.
He would have to let her live”.
Maybe One Day was a beautifully written story full with hope, heartache and purposeful relationships. If you know my reading style by now, you know that I love picking up books once in a while which shatter your heart in a million pieces and ones which keep you sobbing away in the middle of the night. Maybe One Day was just the emotional endearing book I had been in the mood for. Melissa Kantor excelled in writing a gorgeous friendship between Olivia and Zoe, one of the best ones I have seen written in a long time, their love and appreciation for their friendship was always apparent, even when they received the most soul destroying news ever; Olivia had leukaemia.
Now there are a lot of cancer books around, but what I think I appreciated the most about this story was how Kantor showed how quickly things could change. Olivia and Zoe were having sleepovers one day and the next Olivia was being whisked away to UH hospital for tests to confirm she had leukaemia. Olivia was told she couldn’t go to school for the next few days as she had to start on her rounds of treatment. This was a big bombshell for Olivia’s family and Zoe to take. Zoe wasn’t the biggest social flower at school; she used to do everything with Olivia so it was hard doing everything without her. Also after Olivia’s news broke, everyone wanted to comfort Zoe, something that she wasn’t used to.
It really was a testing time for Olivia and Zoe, Zoe wanted to be with her whenever she could, but Olivia also wanted Zoe to experience and live her life as much as possible. I loved watching the friendship between Olivia and Zoe bloom, it was comforting to know that they had had such a beautiful relationship, but there was always that niggling that this friendship could end so suddenly. Olivia was a rock solid character throughout her treatment, it was a challenging time for all those around her, but throughout the book there was hope that she would make it.
The cancer story was an integral part of this story, it went onto prove just how strong and important Zoe and Olivia’s friendship with each other was. I also enjoyed the smaller stories which made this book even more gorgeous. We had Zoe who was trying to make sense of what was going on around her, girls who she never would have imagined spending time with being the most thoughtful and considerate people ever during her time of need. There was always this invisible battle between Olivia’s parents and Zoe, during this time it was when Olivia needed Zoe the most, but of course Olivia’s parents were concerned of Olivia catching an infection when her immune system was already so weak and of course not wanting to overwhelm Olivia with too many visitors. It was a heartbreaking time for Zoe, her best friend needed her, but she always couldn’t be there for her because of other reasons beyond her control. There were some really heartbreaking scenes, but Kantor was able to infuse the story with some gorgeous moments which made my heart swell in delight. We had some young ballet dancers who Zoe was teaching on behalf of Olivia, who were quick to bring a smile on my face with their sweet delicacies and enthusiasm. And then we had Calvin Taylor, again this was a character who Zoe was quick to make judgements about early on, judgements which were later quick to be trampled on. Calvin really came through as a rock through this testing time for Zoe. I appreciated his understanding and patience he had for Olivia’s family and Zoe. I really think I fell for this guy, as I felt my heart fall when he wasn’t around in some of the scenes. Also he was totally swoon worthy *sigh*.
Maybe One Day was a poignant story it was full with endearing characters and beautiful relationships, but most of all a story full with hope. I know it’s really early on in the year for me to say this but I’m sure that Maybe One Day will remain one of my favourite reads of 2014.