May 5, 2014

Maybe One Day - Melissa Kantor

Young Adult
Pages: 400
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Goodreads / Amazon

In the tradition of The Fault in Our 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.
A person's whole life, she's lucky to have one or two real friends. Friends who are like family . . . for Zoe that someone is Olivia. So when Olivia is diagnosed with leukemia Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her best 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.

A large part of being a teenager revolves around our peers. Many of us are lucky enough to connect with that one person, your BFF, your rock, your go-to person. This book explores that relationship in a profound way. In the wake of an unexpected "tragedy" as cancer is, Zoe must navigate this journey with Olivia, in every way she needs, while still being her best friend and thus not part of her family.

This is a theme that I have often wondered how it is not explored more in YA. In fact, this is a theme that might be one of my main problems with society. Society places blood-related family as family, and friends as something else. But the truth in life is that those lines often get blurred in every direction. A family member can become someone you will never want to see again and a friend can become someone more close to your heart and more essential to your well-being than any family member could ever be. Maybe One Day beautifully explores this complex theme through the eyes of Zoe.

With some romance, some ballet, and wonderful family dynamics, this book will trap readers in the story and leave a mark. For those of us who loved The Fault in Our Stars, here is another memorable story where friendship is more important than any romance.

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