Maybe One Day is one of those books that I had such high hopes for. I’ve read such great reviews for this book and upon reading the blurb, I expected that I would likely be lying in a puddle of tears by the time I finished reading this book. I liked it, but not without issues.
First, I’d like to begin with the things I liked about this book. I loved the prose and Melissa Kantor’s writing style. It has such a poignant quality to it without going over-the-top. The words were beautifully written. Maybe One Day is a gripping tale of friendship in the face of tragedy and the author succeeded in eliciting emotions from me as a reader. These reasons combined with the fact that the story itself is really good and compelling kept me glued to the book until the end.
However, there were also things that irked me a lot. Mostly, the main character and narrator, Zoe. Frankly, Zoe annoyed me to no end. I found her too whiny, judgmental and sometimes just downright bitchy. Her sarcasm isn’t funny and her internal monologues are often filled with negativity. I don’t know if it was intentional in the part of the author but Zoe’s character wasn’t really likable. Case in point:
I was running late and racing downstairs to grab something to eat before Jake picked me up and drove me to the rec center in downtown Newark, where – while I taught ballet and the cheerleaders taught tumbling – he and a bunch of other guys on the football team would be teaching kids how to bench-press or tackle or rape or whatever it was that football players knew how to do well. –page 86
Rape. Seriously, Zoe? That is so not funny. Considering Jake is also your friend, that joke is really off.
The walls of the hallways were decorated with paper turkeys and Pilgrims, and even though I knew the people who had put them up had meant well, it still made me mad. What exactly did people on a pediatric oncology ward have to be thankful for? –page 213
I also hated the way she treated the people around her, especially the cheerleaders. It was like Zoe felt she was the only one who had the right to Olivia’s friendship. She was condescending to everyone. I seriously think that the cheerleaders were genuinely nice people who loved Olivia. Yes, they tended to exaggerate and be showy but I didn’t see why Zoe had to be so bitchy around them. Worst thing was that she wasn’t letting them know how she really felt about these people. And don’t get me started on Calvin. The way Zoe treated Calvin was unacceptable. I think Calvin was way too nice to be used as a scapegoat. Olivia being sick did not make Zoe a better person. If anything, Zoe let herself be defeated by Olivia’s sickness.
Olivia, as the other main character, was relatively okay. She’s the total opposite of Zoe. She’s nice, friendly and outgoing. She even took being cut off from the dance school in stride, and used her passion for dancing to help children. Even when she got sick, Olivia maintained a positive disposition. If there’s one thing I loved about Zoe, it’s her and Olivia’s friendship. It was such a beautiful thing that there were times while reading this book when I just wanted to hug my best friend close. For me, the main focus of Maybe One Day wasn’t Olivia having cancer but the friendship between the two girls.
The ending was kinda predictable so I wasn’t really surprised when it came. It just felt so sudden but I think that made the story more real. I wasn’t sobbing by the time I finished reading, but this book made me shed tears nonetheless. Olivia’s letter for Zoe just broke my heart. Like I said, Melissa Kantor has a way with words that will poke holes in your heart.
Poignant, heartwarming and beautiful. All in all, I enjoyed reading Maybe One Day. This book isn’t perfect but it will tug at your heartstrings and make you wish for a friendship like Zoe’s and Olivia’s.