Maybe One Day

Maybe One Day

4.5 21
by Melissa Kantor

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Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had Big Plans: They'll tour the world as prima ballerinas and live in a swanky Manhattan apartment (where they'll hang out with their fabulous boyfriends, of course). But when they're cut from the ballet company, their plans for the future evaporate. Suddenly, Zoe's dodging cheerleaders who want her and Olivia to go

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Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had Big Plans: They'll tour the world as prima ballerinas and live in a swanky Manhattan apartment (where they'll hang out with their fabulous boyfriends, of course). But when they're cut from the ballet company, their plans for the future evaporate. Suddenly, Zoe's dodging cheerleaders who want her and Olivia to go out for the squad, and Olivia's got a crush on Calvin Taylor, who Zoe can't stand. 

Zoe can't imagine anything worse happening . . . until Olivia gets sick. Really sick. Suddenly, not being able to dance is the least of their problems.

Olivia has always been the nice one, the happy-go-lucky one. Zoe has always been the snarky one, the look-on-the-dark-side one. But when your best friend is in the hospital, you better learn to step up fast. Now Zoe needs to put on a brave face and be the positive one. Even when Zoe isn't sure what to say. Even when Olivia misses months of school. Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this thing, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for Zoe to even imagine.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Zoe and her best friend Olivia are cut from the elite New York City ballet school that has been their life for five years, Zoe is certain that “this is the worst thing that will happen to us in our entire lives.” Her prediction proves wrong when Olivia gets leukemia during their junior year. Kantor (the Darlings books) affectingly depicts Zoe’s feelings and struggles, as well as those of Olivia’s family and friends, as they try to support her through her chemotherapy and its effects while carrying on with their own lives, to whatever degree possible. For Zoe, this includes half-hearted attempts to fill the hole that dance has left and her guilt at her growing attraction to Olivia’s crush. Eschewing melodrama and sentimentality, Kantor is on solid ground with every aspect of the novel: the community that surrounds these close friends, the strength of their own bond, the daily ups and downs of fighting cancer (“Olivia’s illness is a marathon, not a sprint,” Zoe’s father tells her), and the emotional roller coaster experienced by everybody in Olivia’s sphere. Ages 13–up. (Feb.)
Lauren Barnholdt
A beautiful, heartbreaking story about friendship, loss, and what it means to truly live. I loved it.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Barbara Fecteau
If Kantor had just set out to write a book about two teenagers who spend their young lives in the world of dance and earn places in a prestigious company only to have their dreams dashed when they are asked to leave, it would have been enough of a story to keep the reader entertained. In addition to all that, however, in this title she ups the ante by having the sweeter of the girls diagnosed with leukemia. In the hands of a lesser writer this would be overkill, but Kantor has so beautifully and realistically drawn these girls and their world that even the obligatory teen romance subplot rings true. Zoe, the narrator, is bitter about her experience and has refused to dance at all. Olivia has begun teaching at-risk girls dance at a community center until she has to leave to undergo treatment and leaves Zoe “the mean one” to take her place. The girls have a friendship that is unusually strong because of their former commitment to dance, but it is not perfect. The cracks do not show up where you would expect. The uncomfortableness of being the best friend of the “cancer girl” is realistic and the details of navigating this terrain of disease will be recognizable to anyone who has gone through it. Kantor does an impressive job of fleshing out secondary characters, particularly Olivia's family, with a minimum of description; their actions define them. She also adds flashes of humor, particularly in the dialog between Zoe and Olivia. The only “weak link” is the romance between two of the characters. While it is beautifully rendered, the realistic teenage indecision is going to disappoint those looking for a straight-out love story. Altogether, this is a moving story that will stay with the reader long after the last page. Reviewer: Barbara Fecteau; Ages 15 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
A classic, youthful lament--"Why is this happening to me…? It's so unfair"--avoids the maudlin and banal in the very capable hands of Kantor (The Darlings in Love, 2012, etc.). For rising juniors and lifelong friends Zoe and Olivia, the first shake-up--no more elite ballet company for them--was bad enough. But when leukemia strikes, a recalibration of the "worst thing that will ever happen" scale is required. Mirroring the harsh reality of modern-day cancer, hopes for Olivia rise and fall right along with blood counts, and a complete cure feels like it's always just one procedure or experimental drug away. For Zoe, normal life goes on, with fundraising car washes, ditzy cheerleaders and a potential boyfriend distracting and complicating her days. How can she fall for Olivia's crush? Should she tell her? Hit the party or the hospital? This high school drama goes well below the surface; faith is explored, and well-developed family members, friends and teachers play strong roles. These teens are not navigating life alone but are part of a supportive community. Readers just in it for the plot risk missing the poignant moments where Kantor's strong, graceful writing captures the innocence and sophistication of youth and the hopes and the fears of the girls and their families. Teens, heartache and acute illness: The tears will flow. (Fiction. 13 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In the fall of junior year, Olivia and Zoe are dealing with typical issues: school, family, and trying to figure out how to channel the energy and passion that had previously gone to pre-professional ballet studies. The teens are perfect complements to each other ("salt and pepper" due to their opposite personalities and hair colors) and have been inseparable since they met as children in a local New Jersey ballet class. As a team, they now face the ultimate challenge-Olivia's surprising and aggressive leukemia. As she struggles with her illness and the devastating treatments, Zoe also strives to figure out how to be "normal" without her other half. Kantor expertly creates a balanced novel that conveys heartfelt emotion without veering toward the maudlin. When Olivia's illness reaches its sad conclusion in the spring of junior year, readers' inevitable tears will be organic and unforced. The dialogue is fresh and authentic, and Zoe is a layered narrator in Kantor's hands-she is at once angry, sad, optimistic, and confused. Her best friend is less complex and more beatific, but given that she is depicted through the eyes of her biggest fan, it makes sense and doesn't detract from the power of the story. While there is a sweet and appropriately complicated subplot about first love in this novel, the real love story is between Olivia and Zoe-their deep friendship of mutual understanding is one to be cherished. While this novel will certainly appeal to teens seeking a good cry along the lines of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012) or Jenny Downham's Before I Die (Random, 2007), Maybe One Day will also resonate with those looking for a faithful portrayal of female friendship.—Susannah Goldstein, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 4.20(d)
HL770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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