Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor is a young adult contemporary fiction novel about two high school-age girls named Zoe and Olivia (or Livvie for short); they’ve been best friends since they were little and practiced ballet together at NYBC. When the novel begins, Zoe and Olivia are in the middle of getting cut from NYBC and both girls are disappointed at the decision, but Olivia handles the rejection better than Zoe. Zoe impulsively decides that she must not be good at dance and promptly throws away all of her dance equipment, apparel and accessories. Although Zoe still loves to dance, she feels like she’s not a good dancer anymore and so gives it up entirely. Her parents encourage to pursue other interests and to try out different activities and sports to find other interests that she can participate in. Zoe, reluctantly, tries two different clubs she didn’t really like and soccer which was ok, but she still didn’t enjoy it and love it as much as she loves dancing ballet, so she doesn’t do that. She simply has extra time on her hands now that she doesn’t dance.
Olivia has an older brother named Jake who attends the same high school and plays on the football team. He’s well-known, ok he’s popular and has a good reputation among teachers and peers alike; his best friend is another football player named Calvin. Some girls in the same grade as Zoe and Olivia play a somewhat important secondary role in the story – they are Emma, Stacey and the Bailor twins. Apparently, both Jake and Calvin are handsome young men that most girls at school drool over, some secretly and some not. One day while Jake and Calvin toss a football in the front yard of Jake’s house, Olivia admits to Zoe, while they’re sitting in a tree they climbed, that she thinks Calvin is “hot”. Zoe doesn’t like Calvin because when she was dating a young man named Jackson, Calvin made fun of her about the relationship and made fun of Jackson. Zoe thinks Calvin is mean and because of that she doesn’t think he’s cute and couldn’t imagine dating the guy.
The girls continue to attend school and do the usual high school teenage girl stuff. One day Olivia wakes up not feeling well and has to go to the doctor. At the appointment, her doctor notices some concerning symptoms such as bruising on the body and some of her bloodwork results were not in the normal range. The doctor sends the family to the hospital for a more thorough follow up and re-examination. Unfortunately, we find out that Olivia has a rare type of leukemia and will need to undergo treatment. She and her family are, understandably, devastated by the news; they ask many questions about the diagnosis and treatment, then they bring some items from home to the hospital, notify the school of Olivia’s condition and inability to attend classes in person for a long time. Olivia will have to go through about three rounds of chemotherapy to see how she responds. Olivia wants to tell Zoe the news, but doesn’t want to do it over the phone or through text message – so she asks Zoe to come by her hospital room after school. Zoe is slightly concerned to find out Olivia is in the hospital and about having to meet her there to find out why, but tries not to freak out with worst case scenarios before hearing what the problem is.
Once Zoe gets to the hospital and has to head to oncology to get to Olivia’s room, she begins to get an idea of what may be going on. Olivia asks if she can have some time with Zoe alone and her family gives her the time she needs to tell Zoe about her diagnosis and how she’ll have to go through treatment with some pretty major side effects. Olivia also asks her oncologist to come explain the diagnosis and treatment to Zoe and to answer her questions about it, so while Olivia and Zoe are together the doctor comes down to explain everything. The other reason Olivia wanted to see Zoe is because she is going to need someone to fill in for her at her ballet dance class at the recreation center in New Jersey. She pleads with Zoe to seriously consider doing it since she (being Olivia) only really trusts Zoe to do it. After some consideration, Zoe agrees to help Olivia with teaching the ballet class at the Rec. Center; Olivia is happy to hear that Zoe will do it and explains, numerous times, that it is a lot of work and that they (Zoe and the class) will need to choreograph a dance for the Spring recital. Zoe nods her head as Olivia is telling her this, but the words are not really registering and she doesn’t fully understand until she is teaching the classes by herself without the help of Olivia in a video call on her phone while it’s propped on a chair.
The story is narrated by Zoe in its entirety; it follows her as she navigates being a high schooler and being there for her sick friend because she needs her. It shows her falling for a guy, actually making friends other than Olivia, and growing closer to Olivia’s family and her own. To say navigating all of these things is hard is an understatement, but Zoe tries her best. The story is well-written and for a story about a teenage girl’s battle with cancer and her best friend, it was pretty interesting and kept a good pace. The story is pretty emotional – they’re teenagers too so there are a lot of dramatic scenes with sobbing and yelling.
Overall, I thought the story was handled well and I learned a lot about medical treatment for cancer, medical terminology related to its diagnosis and treatment. I didn’t really have any expectations about this book – whether it would be good or bad – just decided to read it after reading the summary on the back and deciding that it could be an interesting story. The author did a good job telling the story from the point of view of a best friend rather than a sibling or other close relative; although it may have been nice to hear the story from Olivia’s point of view at times as the patient, not frequently, but once in a while. The other reason I decided to read this book is because I usually develop a hypothesis about one or more parts of the book and want to see if my hypothesis (sometimes hypotheses) is (are) correct and/or if they change as I read through the book. In this case, my hypothesis was regarding the illness and I was correct in that regard; I also predicted the ending and was dead wrong about that. I would recommend the book to any reader that likes young adult novels, contemporary fiction and who enjoy reading about medical-themed or real-life themed literature.
I grabbed a copy at a library book sale – this book sale is the best deal on books in town; the book sale lasts three days, they give you a doubled up paper grocery bag and you can fill it up with as many books as you can fit. The first day each bag costs only $25, the second day it’s $15 per bag and on the final day of the sale each bag is only $10. You can’t beat it and I have walked away with over anywhere from 50-60 books, all age groups, genres and was able to get some series. Some books were brand new or in brand new condition and the condition of the remainder of the books ranged from good to excellent. It’s a total steal and I recommend it to anybody who loves to read and wants to buy some books on the cheap. There may be a copy of this book at your local public library, but no guarantees so I definitely recommend checking your library’s catalogue (or calling) before heading over there. However, if you don’t feel like waiting, don’t want to head to your public library yet or simply wish to purchase a new copy, Barnes and Noble is selling hardcovers for $17.99 and reprints of the paperbacks for $9.99.
Thanks for stopping by my blog to read a book review! I try to publish a new book review each Friday, but sometimes life gets busy and I’m not able to read as often as needed to accommodate that schedule, therefore, I think it’s a good idea and time to amend the publishing schedule from every Friday to every other Friday beginning in July 2021. Either way, I do recommend checking anytime you have a spare moment and feel like reading about books you may not have heard of, or books you have heard of, or books you’ve read or books you want to read. If you have time now and want to read some more book reviews, just head to this page and enjoy!