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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


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.

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

Product Details

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

Meet the Author

Melissa Kantor is the author of Maybe One Day; Confessions of a Not It Girl, an ALA Booklist Best Romance Novel for Youth; If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince?, a YALSA Teens Top Ten Pick; The Breakup Bible, an ALA Best Books for Young Adults nominee; Girlfriend Material, a Junior Library Guild selection; and The Darlings Are Forever and The Darlings in Love, a Junior Library Guild selection. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.

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Maybe One Day 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very predictable. Easy read.
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
Wow. Just… wow. Do you ever finish reading a book and seriously dread writing the review for it? That’s how I felt upon completing Maybe One Day. The idea of having to put my thoughts into words for a book like this seems nearly impossible. Where do I start? How do I accurately explain the powerfulness of this story? How do I put into words the impact this book left on me long after I completed it? Seems almost impossible. Nevertheless, here I am, attempting to do the impossible. Wish me luck…. As conveyed in the description, Maybe One Day centers around friendship. An amazing, awe-invoking kind of friendship that most of us can only dream about. The kind of friends that call each other constantly, never judge each other, and are ALWAYS there for each other through thick and thin. The kind of friendship I’m often very jealous of while reading about. This was the “perfect” friendship, such a strong, powerful one that was faced with life’s toughest struggles. I was so impressed with the way Melissa Kantor made these two friends and their story come to life. There was a bit of a romance in this story as well, but it was such a small part of the story. And for that, I’m very thankful. I’ve been reading many, many romances lately, and it was so refreshing to read a story that wasn’t about a guy and a girl finding love, but rather a friendship that faced life’s hardest struggles… illness. Aside from friendship, Maybe One Day also focused on other issues too that really made me think, such as teenage illnesses, God, and the afterlife. Again, Melissa Kantor took sensitive, touchy topics and addressed them with the sensitivity and sincerity that they so required. I still think about this story, and about the messages it had within it. As you can tell from the description (as well as almost any review out there for this book) this story is sad, so be sure to have the tissues handy. I think the fact that I was listening to the audiobook made it even MORE tear-jerking, as Shannon McManus did an amazing job of portraying beautifully the characters’ raw emotions. It was nearly impossible not to tear up a few times throughout this book. All the feels, I tell you, ALL THE FEELS! I can’t recommend this story enough. Yes, you’ll be sobbing like a baby, curled up in a ball on the couch, unable to function for periods of time while reading this, but trust me, it’s worth it. Such a strong, powerful story from an author I will be sure to keep my eye on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With a reference to The Fault In Our Stars in the overview, I began reading Maybe One Day with high expectations. Unfortunately, none of these expectations were even remotely met. The plot was slow moving, unrealistic, and full of cliches. Far from an emotional rollercoaster, reading this novel was more akin to riding a merry-go-round: occasional ups and downs, no forward motion, and background music attempting to dictate your mood. With minimal connections to the characters and an obvious end in sight, this book was very difficult to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
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majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
 It’s not always easy to get through the day when someone you love is hurting. Some people don’t really know what it feels like to be in pain, or even have someone they love go through pain. Others have experienced it, and have been through the emotional roller coaster that is automatically accompanied by tragedies. After having read “Maybe One Day” by Melissa Kantor, I understood the true struggle one goes through when someone close is struggling and experiencing physical and mental pain. The book is full of hope, heartache, and true friendship. Melissa Kantor had the ability to suck the readers into this world and plot from the first page. It takes a very talented writer to create characters in which the readers are able to understand and connect with, to care for and invest in them emotionally. Melissa Kantor made great usage of climatic order, slowly building up the plot of the story as it becomes more intense.“Maybe One Day” follows the story of two teenage girls, Zoe and Olivia, who spent most of their lifetime together. They both had big plans for their future, where Olivia says ”We're not going to be dancers, but one day our lives are going to be amazing, Zoe. Totally amazing.” All of that comes crashing down when Olivia is diagnosed with Leukemia. Both girls’ lives start to crumble as they start to learn how to cope with this new reality in front of them. The book shows us how these two young girls manage and learn from this experience throughout the span of one year. Melissa Kantor does not only show us how Olivia is suffering, but how Zoe is suffering as well. While Olivia suffers from her sickness, Zoe suffers from her shock, her loneliness, and how much it hurt her to see her best friend sick. As Zoe says, “Time does not care how precious it is, how hard you are working not to squander it. Time passes.” The readers are able to see how these two girls develop and grow up compared to the beginning of the book.While reading, Melissa Kantor is able to stir every emotion in you, from laughing all the way to crying. The book is written from Zoe’s point of view, which is to show and emphasize how the friend is hurting just as much as the sick person. At such a young age, it is hard and heartbreaking to see two beautiful girls having to go through what Zoe and Olivia are going through. Melissa Kantor made an excellent job in writing from a sixteen year olds’ point of view, and personally, I was able to connect really easily with the character. The pain that the characters felt, I felt. It was surreal how reading can stir up the strongest emotions in you. All the great things aside, there were a few lacking aspects in Maybe One Day. Apart from everything else, the process of Olivia’s cancer treatment felt unrealistic. Everything was rushed, and I can guarantee that it is not as simple as starting chemo the same day you are diagnosed. The book also felt a little bit depressing at times, which is understandable due to the tragic topic it covers, but I think there’s still a limit to how depressing it should be.Like “The Fault in Our Stars”, a cancer book, got a lot of the readers attention out there, Maybe One Day is most likely to follow its steps. Sometimes it’s hard to read about a tragedy that is happening to many people out there, but we do in order to understand. “Maybe One Day” will help you open up your eyes to how truly tough loss is. Whether it’s mentally or physically, it is still the same.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it was a good book to read, but i still don't understand the climax of the story is climax and the conflict the same thing??  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Words cannot describe how emotionally unstable this book made me. I loved it so much. Olivia and Zoe seemed to be the ideal best friends in the beginning and they did everything together. Unfortunately there is one thing nobody can or wants to do together, die. When Olivia finds out she has cancer their whole world is turned upside down. The constant sterilization for visits and chemo therapy seemed to be doing well for Olivia until one day during the time that Zoe and Olivia were bickering the Greco family found out that Olivia needed to have a BMT (bone marrow transplant). Her brother Jake was a match for her and donated. Olivia was doing fantastic then one day she got very ill and her health deteriorated. A few weeks after she died. Zoe was a mess but being with Olivia's former crush, Calvin Taylor, who Zoe developed feelings for helped keep her mind off things. Zoe decided to continue teaching Olivia's dance class at the rec center and when she found out the Grecos were selling their house her mother let her in to take anything of Olivia's she wanted. Zoe settled on one thing and one thing only, Livvie's memory box. The memory box contained pictures and tangible items commemorating Olivia and Zoe's more than 10 year friendship. Olivia had collected things in there like card and pictures even locks of hair from both Zoe and Olivia's haircuts. The two girls were inseparable all the way up until Olivia's death. I guess it goes to show that in the face of tragedy, friendship, is everything.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) 17-year-old Zoe and Olivia have been best friends since the age of four when they began taking ballet together, and even after they got kicked out of their ballet class, they still stayed just as close. Then one day Olivia phones Zoe with bad news – she has leukaemia. Now it’s a waiting game. Can Olivia recover from the leukaemia? Will she need a bone marrow transplant? And will she ever be the same again? This book was so sad, that I really just cannot stop crying. I loved both Zoe and Olivia in this story. Both loved each other so fiercely, and both were really passionate about dance, even if Zoe couldn’t admit it at times. The storyline in this was really good. The whole thing flowed so nicely, and was just so real. The emotions and the way things happened just felt so realistic and believable. This was a sad story though, a really sad story. The last 10% just killed me, and even now I can’t stop crying. I really just fell in love with the characters in this book, and couldn’t help but be upset by how this book ended. This really is a tearjerker, but it’s so good it’s worth the emotional turmoil! Overall; sad, but good. 8.5 out of 10.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
Goodness, I don't even know where to start with this one. I loved everything about this book. The writing style was amazing. The characters were even better than that. And the emotion in it was even better than that. When I began reading this, I wasn't sure what to expect and I was still suffering from my book slump, so I was thinking I wouldn't love it. But when I started reading it, I didn't want to stop. "There are some things you worry about. And then there are some things you don't worry about. You don't worry about them because they're too awful to contemplate worrying about." pg. 65 (ARC)      I absolutely LOVED the writing style in this one. For it to be about such a tough subject, it flowed and it wasn't choppy. It didn't matter where I was or what I was doing, anytime I opened this book I fell completely into the story. Zoe and Olivia had such a beautiful poetic story, it was hard not to. "I hate gender stereotypes like girls love princesses and boys like guns." pg. 112 (ARC)      With that being said, I LOVED the characters as well. This is my favorite ever "womance." They were extremely close and they always looked out for each other. Whether it was before or after Olivia got sick, they always thought of the other first. That in my mind is what makes a best friend, a best friend. And for them to have spent the majority of their life together, they were more like sisters than friends. "LaShanna and I were talking about how everybody was all worried about Olivia, but nobody was taking care of you." pg. 180 (ARC)      And that is why I LOVED the emotion in this story as well. At every part the characters gt scared or sad or happy, I found myself doing the same thing. There were times I clutched at my heart from the swons, there were times I laughed out loud, and there were times that I was BAWLING. (Because yes, this IS a tear-jerker.) But each time, I felt as if I was Zoe and not just a reader. "Let me be good enough. Let me be good enough. Let me be good enough." pg. 236 (ARC)      I loved that this played mostly on their "womance" versus the romance as well. It was so great to see these women being there for each other and standing up for them without a man mainly being around. There's even a touch of feminism in the beginning. " These are precious days. Don't squander them." pg. 337 (ARC)      I have so much love for this book. It gave me all the feels and I connected to these characters in a way I haven't with any others in a long time. This was my first book from Kantor, but if they all have the same emotion and friendships between the great characters, it won't be my last.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent finished reading this book yet and i am only on the part were Olivia finds out she has cancer. I had to stop reading there because i didnt want to think of Olivia dying bc they are just best friends and it is so sad. So i stupidly read some of the reviews and i am now afraid to read the rest of the book, but at the same time i wnt to because it is that good of a book. HELP!!! Its a basic white girl prob that i dont knoq how to solve! Eeeekkk!!!