Expected Publication: February 18th, 2014
Maybe One Day
By: Melissa Kantor
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.
Zoe and Olivia have been best friends their entire lives. They planned to be famous dancers, someday, together. When that dream went up in smoke and they get kicked out of ballet school, the girls are just focused on being normal high school students together. All Zoe wants is to find a purpose again and completely forget she ever knew how to dance, because it breaks her heart to think about it. Neither girl is even contemplating the worst when it happens. Olivia has been diagnosed with cancer, a form that has a really low survival rate. Now the girls will go through months of treatment and terror, trying to keep hope alive that Olivia won't lose her fight. But when Zoe starts keeping secrets, it might not be cancer that ruins their friendship. Can Olivia and Zoe make it through this, or will they be forced to say one last goodbye?
This book is narrated from Zoe's point of view, and at the beginning her thoughts mostly revolve around figuring out where she stands now that she can't be a dancer anymore. She loves Olivia, but feels like she was more affected by the loss than Liv was - especially since Liv is still teaching a ballet class for underprivileged little kids. Also, Zoe kind of hates the guy her friend is crushing on, Calvin, because he seems to think he's so awesome. But then Zoe's thoughts jump to something else. She starts thinking of what the world might be like without Olivia in it, after Liv is diagnosed with cancer. I loved that this book looks at a deep friendship between the girls, who are really more like sisters, rather than focusing on a romance like most books about terminal illness do. I almost didn't want to read this book, because I thought it was going to be yet another book involving a friend cheating with another friend's boyfriend, behind their back. SO SICK OF CHEATERS IN YA BOOKS. I was pleasantly surprised when this wasn't one of those books!
It was truly difficult to watch the way Olivia's illness affected her family, especially the way it ate away at her Mom. It seemed like a pretty realistic portrayal of the devastation of an ordinary family. For awhile it seems like Zoe is in self-destruct mode, on the verge of doing something truly reckless because of how upset and alone she feels. But thankfully, Calvin stops her from doing something she might regret. We do get to see her build a friendship with Calvin, bit by bit and unwillingly at first. She mostly is around him because he's best friends with Liv's older brother. Therefore he's at the hospital almost as much as Zoe is. But soon enough, she starts to realize just how much she misjudged Calvin as a popular player. The interactions between Zoe and the kids in Liv's ballet class were realistic as well. I liked that she wasn't miraculously the best teacher ever and it took her quite some time to connect with the kids at all. Zoe botches things pretty badly at first, barely managing to smooth them over in the end. But my favorite thing all in all, was the sense of humor Liv and Zoe maintained with each other, throughout the book. My favorite quip was when the doctor was explaining the cancer to Zoe (per Liv's request) and tells her it is most common in men ages 65+. The girls joke around about how Liv has old man cancer, and it's so embarrassing! It made me laugh out loud! :D Overall, this one is a beautiful look at lifelong friendship and the triumph of love over illness, even if that doesn't mean it defeats death. I highly recommend this one.
VERDICT: 4/5 Stars
*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is February 18th, 2014.*