Monday, 17 February 2014

Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Publisher: HarperTeen
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.



31 comments:

  1. I am so with you, I can't resist a good heartbreaking book and I'm sure I'll have to read this now. I like how realistic it sounds, lives can change that quickly and it would be even more shocking for teens.

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  2. "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." this line made me smile :) I love dancing (even though I've never done any ballet) so naturally all things related to dancing are always a plus in my eyes. I'm glad that this was a book that tested friendship, had family in it and idk. I dislike many cancer books, because they bring back sad memories of our family. Both of my grandmas and our dog passed away a few years back thanks to cancer and it's.. still painful to think back to. Though, I'm coming around to these. Also, I assume Calvin is someone who offers some romantic relief? No? That'd be an awesome addition to this story. I. Am. Going. To. Read. This. Yes :) Great review, sweets!

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    1. Aww I'm so sorry to hear that Siiri, I understand why that would make this book such a tough book for you to read. I hope you end up loving this book just as much as I did. And yes Calvin brought a lot of swoon to this book!

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  3. I'm currently reading this, Jasprit, so I skimmed your review, but so far I'm really enjoying the book. It's very sad but it's so well-written.
    I'll come back and read your review once I'm done with the book. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it so much!

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  4. I just love Ms. Kantor's writing style, and though I've never heard of this title before, you'd better believe it's on my list now! I absolutely can't wait to read a novel so full of beautiful characters and relationships! Lovely review, Jasprit :)

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  5. Stories of sick kids are always hard but I like that this one is filled with hope and love and fabulous characters. Plus, fabulous writing takes a book to the next level.

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  6. Jasprit, I have to agree that this was such an emotional tale. I loved the strong friendship featured throughout this book and although the subject matter depressed me a lot - which sort of took the fun out of reading - I still enjoyed this debut. Wonderful review, dear!(:

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  7. I typically steer way clear of cancer stories Jasprit, I know that makes me sound heartless, but they tend to just be so heavy and emotional that I can't help but not want to dive in there and have my heart broken. This does sounds like a STUNNING story with an absolutely enviable friendship, but you're right that it's definitely a mood read. I need to strap on some emotional armor before I tackle this one. Really beautiful review though:):)

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  8. Goodness, I'm so conflicted now. So far, I've noticed this book is one of those that you either REALLY hate or REALLY love. I really want to read this based on your reviews, but I have little patience for selfish characters who disregard others (although I'm getting she matures?)

    Beautiful review! I may give this a try and just see which end of the stick I'll go :)

    Faye @ The Social Potato

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  9. Calvin sounds super sweet <3. For the main characters themselves, I'm excited to read about Olivia and Zoe's friendship. It seems like a great one. Awesome review :)

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  10. Sounds like a lovely story!! I really like heartbreaking stories like these too, because yes, they are sad, but it's still real life. sounds like the friendship was great too.

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  11. This sounds beautiful and wonderful but I am so hesitant to read books that shatter my hearts in a million pieces you are much braver than I am.

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  12. Flipping heck this sounds like a whirlwind! I don't know what it is about tragic books that make us put ourselves through the pain but the gorgeous relationships between the characters definitely contributes. So glad to see that Maybe One Day was a winner even though it nearly broke your heart haha!
    Brilliant review, Jasprit :)

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    1. Thank you Rebekah, you were spot on in your comment, I love tragic books which end up breaking your heart.

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  13. I agree it really showed how quickly things could change, and was an emotional roller coaster

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  14. 5 Stars! I too, likes a good cry from time to time. I think this book will hurt in the most beautiful way though.

    Great review, Jasprit!

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  15. Wow, 5 stars! Jasprit, I'm so glad you loved it, it sounds like it really touched you. I picked this one up when I wasn't in the right frame of mind for it, I think, but I need to try it again soon. It sounds like such a poignant story, and we don't get nearly enough books about friendships.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Oh I'm so sorry to hear that Wendy, I really hope that you end up enjoying it if you decide to pick it up again soon!

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  16. I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much, it really seems to have struck a chord with you. I really need to read this one, there's a lot of positive hype surrounding it. I like the idea of a book focused on friendships, which honestly seems to be uncommon in YA. Wonderful review! :)

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  17. ah, jasprit. this review is just beautiful <3

    i love books that shatter me as well. it's been a little while since i've been shattered though.

    i think i'll be checking this one (please let my library get it!)

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    1. I'll have my fingers crossed for you Nomes! And thank you!

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  18. YESYESYES! I'm soooooo glad you loved this <333 I absolutely adored the friendship between Zoe and Olivia as well....I personally think it's one of the best (if not THE best) friendships I've ever read about :)) Oh, and like you, my heart also fell when Calvin wasn't around :( Glad we had similar thoughts about this!!

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    1. Oh yay that's awesome to know that we shared the same feelings Shirley, the friendship was definitely one of the best that I have seen around and also I adored Calvin!

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  19. Oh this sounds amazing! I love emotional read and those that shatter my heart usually end up on my favorite shelf. I love the sound of friendship between Zoe and Olivia. Calvin sounds like a boy I'd like to meet too. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one Jasprit. Great review :)

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  20. This is such a beautiful review, Jasprit! I love that this book is about a friendship rather than a romance I think it makes a nice change. I ordered this one the other day and I can't wait for it to arrive. I'm loving my emotional stories at the moment.

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  21. I'm always nervous about books I know will break my heart, but you're right, sometimes strong emotions are exactly what I want. Cancer is such a tough subject to read about, but I really like that this book focuses on two close friends and how it affects each of them. Lovely review!

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  22. This cover is beautiful and I have been hearing such wonderful things about this book. Of course, I know when I get to this book that it will make me cry my eyes out. It sounds like this tough subject matter was handled in a great way. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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  23. Wow this sounds like a truly beautiful and heartbreaking story. When my emotional state can take something like this I will be sure to give this author a shot.

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  24. I completely agree, girl! This one was so emotional and that ending just tore me into shreds.

    Fab review! <33

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  25. Aw! I'm so glad that you loved this book :D It does sound pretty amazing. <3 Five stars is awesome. Sigh. Thank you so much for sharing your honest thoughts :)

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  26. Sometimes there really is nothing like an emotionally raw read - I agree completely with you there, Jasprit! And this does sound like it would satisfy that need. What makes me most interested in this book is just how female friendship-centric it seems to be. Lovely review, Jasprit. :)

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