January 28, 2014

Review: Maybe One Day

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Grade: C
Release date: February 18, 2014
This book was an ARC provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.

The Good: I never know what to think, going into cancer books (I say that like I read so many).  On the one hand, I want to think, "It's gotta have a happy ending!  No one's going to die!"  But then I also think, "It's a cancer book.  It has to be realistic.  Someone's going to die." (I'm especially that cynical after reading The Fault in Our Stars.) So, with that said, I was never sure if Olivia would die.  There were several good moments where there was so much hope.  I did like how it ended.  It felt right.  I liked Olivia and Zoe's friendship and how they were ballet dancers.  I've seen an influx of YA books about ballet lately, but this wasn't a ballet book.  There was only a subplot about dancing.  While I didn't initially like Calvin and Zoe's relationship, I enjoyed what it turned into.  He seemed like a nice fit for her, and I was glad that he was concerned about her, too, in the midst of everyone wondering how Olivia was doing.  Zoe's soccer team friends were great characters, but...

The Bad: I kept forgetting about them and who they were!  With the soccer team and then the cheerleaders, I kept mixing up secondary characters.  I didn't enjoy the prologue.  I always read prologues because I figure they're pertinent to the book.  But this one didn't feel like it was.  It befuddled me how Zoe had no clue what leukemia is, yet recognized words like cardiology and oncology.  I knew vaguely what leukemia was long before I knew what oncology was.  And I can't forget that Olivia's leukemia was diagnosed WAY too fast.  Also, Maybe One Day was a bit slow in places.  Obviously, there wasn't going to be any big action scene, but there were moments when the events just plodded along.  I wasn't a fan of Olivia's mom, Mrs. Greco, at all, and how she came across.  I didn't like how Zoe seemed to look down so much on Christianity.  The cheerleaders I mentioned before were not enjoyable characters; they were too stereotypical and much, much, much too peppy for my tastes (and I have very bubbly friends - looking at you, Hannah).  I also felt no emotional connection to Olivia or Zoe.  With all the sad stuff that happened, I didn't tear up once, and I usually tear up if it's sad (I cried during Allegiant and The Fault in Our Stars).  If the book is a cancer book, I need to be emotionally connected to the protagonist and feel his/her pain and sadness.

The Ugly: A lot more foul language than I was expecting.  The f-bomb and the s-word were said a lot, along with milder stuff.  Romance sometimes got a bit passionate, but nothing too inappropriate.  There was also underage drinking at a party.

The Verdict: Unfortunately, a lot of the bad outweighed the good for me.  It's definitely worth checking out, though.

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