Book 45 of 2015
In Maybe One Day, author Melissa Kantor artfully describes a doleful view of what a true friendship can handle, and takes us along for the ride as a high school girl grapples with her best friends cancer diagnosis.
Best friends Zoe and Olivia have dreamed of becoming ballet dancers and living in Manhattan for as long as they can remember. In their junior year of high school, however, reality kicks in: both girls are cut from their ballet school and forced to attend regular high school, and take up ‘normal kid’ activities. Olivia is excited about the new challenge: she’s positive, loved by all and ready for a new adventure. Her best friend Zoe, on the other hand, is struggling with how to navigate a new path for herself and grow into her new identity. As the girls settle into their new high school life, however, their world is turned upside down: Olivia has been diagnosed with Leukemia and has to start chemotherapy immediately.
The story is told from Zoe’s point of view; Zoe is a sarcastic, sometimes pessimistic (yet charming!) protagonist. Reading as she battles inner demons and tries to stay strong for Olivia while she’s in the hospital is both a heartbreaking and realistic narrative. As Zoe tries to do everything she can for Olivia, she still has to attend school and –whether she wants to or not–go through new teenage life experiences, all without her best friend by her side. This story examines just how poignant circumstances can touch everyone differently: Olivia shares her deepest fears about dying with Zoe during Zoe’s frequent hospital visits, and friends and family band together and deal with Olivia’s illness in a variety of ways.
I had no idea how this tale would end, and I don’t want to spoil it for potential readers, but I will say that Maybe One Day is a worthwhile, sweet novel that deals with realistic issues, friendship, love, strength and tragic circumstances. It’s a perfect read for fans of A Fault in Our Stars by John Green and will offer readers some swift reminders: appreciate your friends and loved ones and the special relationships you share with one another.