Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rachel Rambles About Maybe One Day

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
From Goodreads:
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.

Warning: this book will make you sob uncontrollably. (In a good way.)

Maybe One Day is about a friendship between two teenage girls, and what happens to that friendship when one of the girls gets diagnosed with cancer. But don't worry, it's not a super sappy cancer book. The most important thing about Maybe One Day is the friendship. I love a good friendship story, and I think it's important to seek them out amid all the romance stories in Young Adult books (and even media in general) these days.

Zoe and Olivia have been best friends for most of their lives, and as a result, their friendship is natural and raw and realistic. Everyone who has ever had a best friend can relate to some part of this book. Zoe and Olivia's relationship undergoes a lot of change throughout this story, and the book portrays the ups and downs and twists and turns of their friendship. The way the two girls interact with each other feels so normal. There is no awkward dialogue or unrealistic wisdom; it's just two teenage girls joking around and getting annoyed with each other and comforting each other. It seems like most books about cancer focus on romantic love, so it was refreshing to read a book about cancer that focuses on love between friends.

While the summary implies that Zoe's relationship with love interest Calvin is a major part of the book, that is not totally accurate. This book is not about a romance, so Calvin's role as love interest is quite small. In a book so focused on friendship, there simply isn't room for a romance, for which I was grateful. I was worried that Calvin would steal the spotlight away from Olivia and Zoe, but he didn't. His role in the story is certainly important, but there was no unnecessary romance in Maybe One Day.

In addition to the focus on friendship, Maybe One Day tells an important story about family. Olivia's family has to cope with her cancer, and this book shows the power of familial love. I love stories that have strong familial themes, so I was delighted to find that this book includes a lot of moments with Olivia's parents and siblings, as well as Zoe's parents.

While this book isn't super sappy, it does have its sad moments. The last fifty pages or so of Maybe One Day made me sob hysterically. Not my most dignified moment, but hey, how awesome is it that a stack of paper made me feel that way? Bravo, Melissa Kantor, for bringing the feels.

Maybe One Day is an emotional and powerful story. I haven't cried this much reading a book since The Fault in Our Stars, so if you're ready for that kind of emotional pain, then by all means, get thee to a bookstore and pick up a copy of Maybe One Day.

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