ARC Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Maybe One DayRating: 2/5
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Publishing House: HarperTeen
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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.

REVIEW

Most “cancer books” I’ve read have either been semi-enjoyable or just plain bad (I recently read Side Effects May Vary which was horrible, and The Fault in Our Stars was cute but lacking), which is why I went into Maybe One Day slowly but surely. Then again, I’m just not the kind of person who reads books about illnesses (they usually make me bawl my eyes out), so it could just be that these kinds of books just aren’t for me. Or, maybe the right “cancer book” for me is yet to come. It wasn’t Maybe One Day, though.

Again, I’m feeling like the black sheep. This one has gotten praise from a lot of bloggers I’ve seen, but it just didn’t do it for me. I thought that it would just be boring initially, considering we’d be introduced to Oliva’s sickness and how lonely Zoe would be. But the whole book just dragged on, pulling me to the ground with it. The only feels this book got from me were irritation and utter boredom. (Okay, fine, I did cry in the last 5% of the book.)

Maybe it was the writing style. Maybe it was the heroine. But something about the book just felt so flat and without any personality. Or maybe that it was more of a telling than showing kind of book. The point is, it didn’t make me cry as much as I wanted to, or made me want to spend more time with my friends or family and things like that. It was just so plain for me.

“She wanted to be Jake’s official girlfriend as opposed to what she was, which was the sad girl who threw herself at him.”

Now see? That’s a look at the mind of our dear heroine Zoe. From the beginning until the end of the book, I felt that she was insensitive, selfish and judgmental. Maybe it’s because her best friend’s dying that she acts and thinks that way, but I just couldn’t get into her character. She was also one to give up quickly. When she deemed herself not good enough to dance, she just quit. She did learn some lessons in the end, which was a bit of a comfort to know.

Olivia, the cancer patient, was a much kinder character. Even when she was sick, she showed concern for her brothers and tried to teach little girls ballet through Skype. She really fought the disease, going through all sorts of difficult times, because she knew that she was young and she didn’t deserve to die.

“I couldn’t help feeling like they saw me as this weird birth defect of Olivia’s, something she would have been wise to have removed but for some reason chose to live with.”

As friends, Zoe and Olivia had chemistry. They were very supportive of each other, and pushed the other to try their best, fight and to be strong. They brought out the best in each other, and I enjoyed scenes with them together (mostly).

We also have a bit of romance thrown into the story. The love interest is Calvin, Olivia’s crush and her brother’s best friend. I did not like this aspect of the book. Zoe went from hating Calvin, to thinking he was a douche, to thinking he was hot, to falling for him. Talk about bipolar. I did think they had some chemistry (a bit), but mostly I didn’t feel any development between them. It was just like, one moment, the “love” was suddenly there!  I would’ve wanted more scenes of them together before kind of making out and stuff (drunk) at a party.

Overall, I would recommend this one to fans of The Fault in Our Stars, if you’re okay with a bit less romance. It was a bit of a tear-jerker through the end, but the first 90% bored the hell out of me. I do think a lot of other readers will enjoy this one more than I did, so just keep an open mind out when reading this one!

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Aimee
Aimee is a sixteen year old bookworm from the Phillipines! She reads any book that catches her attention, but she mostly reads YA. She's into graphic design, writing and sleeping. You can find her at Deadly Darlings, The Book Geek, Goodreads and on Twitter.
Aimee

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  1. says

    Aww! That’s such a shame you couldn’t enjoy this, Christie. I agree with you though that cancer books are hard.
    I’m actually currently reading this one and I’m only 15% in, but so far, I think it’s decent. I don’t particularly care much for the characters, but I like the friendship between Zoe and Olivia. I do agree that Zoe is very judgmental and she can be infuriating at times.
    I’m sorry this didn’t work for you. Hopefully, your next read will be much stronger. :)
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Faking Normal by Courtney C. StevensMy Profile

  2. says

    I’m not a big illness book fan either, but I really ought to read TFiOS before the movie comes out, because then I won’t ever. I know it. I never read a book once I’ve seen the movie. Plus, it has been on my shelf for 2 years, so, yeahhhh.. should get on that. “The only feels this book got from me were irritation and utter boredom.” — That’s what I keep hearing from people who don’t rave about this book O.o Eh, I hate quitters so thanks, but no! Well, I’m glad you at least enjoyed the friendship. Wait, but when the dude was her (dying) best friend’s crush, then why in the world would she fall in love with him? O___O *scratches head* I don’t get it. Eh, I won’t be reading this. Wasn’t on my tbr and I’m really not intrigued. Thanks for your honest thoughts! :)
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

  3. says

    Jenni ( my co-blogger) DNFed this one and while reading it she was sending e screenshots and reasons why she had no patience for it and I really got a bad feeling about my chances of liking it so I skipped it. But yeah you’re not the black sheep – or at least not the only one hah. Zoe sounds like a character that would easily annoy me. I don’t much fall for the self-blaming, selfish characters (plus she didn’t even know what Leukemia was right? so she’s obv not very intelligent either lol). I do like the creativity of writing this story in the friend’s POV though. And the friendship aspect seems to be a big one that many people loved from this. I dunno yet if I’ll give it a try but I have lowered my expectations a lot!
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Impulse by Ellen HopkinsMy Profile

  4. says

    I’ve just actually finished reading a raving review for this one, and have heard quite a lot of positive hype about it. Still I wasn’t really sure if I’d read this one, alike you I’m not the biggest fan of cancer books. It’s sad that you couldn’t really form a deep connection with the book, other than annoyance. I hate when that happens.

    I hope your next book turns out better for you! And this was a great review :)
    Larissa recently posted…Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. JensenMy Profile

  5. says

    I haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars yet so I think I will rather read that than this one. I’m not one to read about “cancer” books too because its depresses me but if I do I would rather read one that has the general approval from readers I trust. I don’t think I’ll like Zoe from your review plus that whole instant falling in love without the actual process always piss me off. Great review Christie! :)
    Amir recently posted…Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena ShowalterMy Profile

    • Aimee says

      The Fault in Our Stars was much better-written than this one. :) I think I gave it three stars?

      Lol, I actually like depressing books! I’m one of those weird people that enjoy crying. :P