Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Book Title: Maybe One Day
Author: Melissa Kantor
Publish Date: February 18th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Link: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest opinion.

Bare with me here as there’s bound to be a lot of tears that I will disguise as allergies while I write this review.This book was pretty much near perfection for me. As a child I gravitated towards the fictional works of Lurlene McDaniel and Melissa Kantor’s Maybe One Day is right in that very same vein. Actually I would argue that they are extremely similar in a lot of ways. The way Maybe One Day sounded was not at all unlike Lurlene McDaniel’s work fifteen or so years ago.

Zoe and Olivia were more than just best friends. They were sisters, not bound by blood,but by love and friendship.Their friendship made me jealous. I wished so badly that I could have had a friend like that at their age.They were there for each other in way that their parents and families couldn’t understand. Olivia’s mother had the most problems with the friendship. It was implied that Adriana Greco didn’t believe that Zoe was a good influence on her daughter.

Once Olivia starts treatment, it becomes very clear how Mrs. Greco sees Zoe. She sees her daughter’s best friend as “just a visitor” That was heartbreaking. No one wants to think that their best friend’s mom doesn’t like them. It becomes clear what Mrs. Greco’s motive is. She’s gone into protective mama bear mode. Her entire existence has turned into keeping her immuno-compromised daughter as healthy and germ free as possible.

Back to Zoe and Olivia though, Zoe is the perfect friend. She’s unbelievably supportive and she spends hours upon hours visiting Olivia in the hospital.Hospital visits are something no teenager should have to do.Yet Zoe does it.She stays unfailingly loyal to Olivia despite the fact that they are living two different lives.

That loyalty is tested when Zoe finds herself dancing and kissing the boy who Olivia has been crushing on. Zoe takes it a step further by not telling Olivia about it until later, a lot later.I am really, really glad that the inkling of romance was just that, an inkling. I think any more romance would have taken away from the beautiful story of friendship that Melissa Kantor had so carefully crafted.  

I loved, LOVED that both girls had family units that were fully immeshed in the book. That’s a new YA trend that I am loving. In the past, the families of YA characters have been difficult to spot in a book. I really liked Olivia’s brother Jake.He was an amazing brother to Olivia and friend to Zoe. Sometimes the friendship between brother and sister’s best friend seems forced,but not in this case.

This book was a very emotional read and by the end of it I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. I was sobbing pretty loudly and violently. Yes apparently there is a way to sob violently.All the feels in this book were intense and amazing. This book will definitely be on my list of my favorite books of 2014. It should come as no surprise that I’m giving this book, the full 5 stars.If I could give it six stars, I would.Everyone should go pre-order this book now.I plan on pre-ordering a finished copy for myself.

Review: The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Book Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Release Date: November 13th, 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads:
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

How the hell do I write a review for this book? Writing a review of this book will definitely prove to be difficult as it was amazing. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same after reading this. It had everything you could ever want in a book and more.

When you read this synopsis, you don’t think this book is going to be funny, but it is funny. It;s also sad,so sad in fact that it pretty much destroyed me in the best possible way. Yes, apparently there is a way to be destroyed in a positive way. There has to be, because I was. Holy crap, I am SO mad at myself for not reading this book sooner. I have a thing for books about damaged characters, yes I’m weird like that. 

You wouldn’t think that Nastya would be likable,but in her own way, she was and I loved that she wasn’t a typical sullen, angry teenager.I also liked that her family was in the book and that specifically her aunt was in the book. Not many YA books involve the extended family so I was excited to see that this one did.

Her family was similar to Drew’s family in a lot of ways, but also different in a lot of ways. Drew’s family doesn’t push her to talk unlike her own family who desperately wants and I think needs to hear her talk.

In contrast, Josh has only one family member left, his grandfather and his grandfather is very sick and he dies in the book. Yet he is very close with Drew and Drew’s family. Drew’s mother likes to take in “strays” and with Josh, she does.

The beginning of this book is slow as it does a lot of introducing the characters and taking a peek into their daily lives. Yet, it wasn’t the kind of slow that was boring. In fact, I devoured every word.

The second half of this book but most especially the last 150 some pages are emotional, gut wrenching and heartbreaking. Like I said before, it destroyed me. I was in bed, sobbing violently into my kleenex until my kleenex was shredded beyond recognition.

I loved that Nastya and Josh’s relationship was slow burning. Much better than having them jump into bed two seconds after meeting. They established a friendship first which I loved.

I cannot say enough about the writing. It was absolutely gorgeous and I think I mentioned that a couple times in my Goodreads & Twitter updates. The dual points of view were done amazingly and I would argue that it was one of the best examples of dual POV’s that I’ve ever read.

Gahhh, I just loved this book. It was perfection and I cannot wait to read the next thing that Katja writes.This was amazing and well worth the 5 stars I’m giving it. If I could give it 6 stars, I would.