Zoe has been best friends with Olivia since elementary school, spending long hours dancing ballet in an elite program and hanging out together. But when the ballet program cuts them because they’re not quite good enough, they suddenly find themselves wondering what they’ll do with the extra time. Olivia volunteers at a community center dance program until she’s diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. Without her best friend at school, Zoe is suddenly adrift, questioning who she is without Olivia and wondering how God can let a young, vibrant teen get so sick.
Zoe is right beside Olivia during her treatment, and she’s a great support to Olivia’s family too. But as the months drag on, Zoe discovers than cancer and it’s treatment take a toll on everyone who knows and loves the person fighting it.
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor delves into the difficult issues that arise when someone is being treated for a serious illness. Olivia’s parents constantly question whether they’re doing the right thing. Physicians don’t always know the best course of action. Friends on the sideline can feel helpless. Zoe struggles to find where she fits into it all. She feels like part of the family, yet there are times Olivia’s mom says no visitors, which includes her. Because Olivia is so important to her, she can’t concentrate in school and she skips classes sometimes to be at the hospital. Her grades start to slide.
Then there’s Calvin. A guy Olivia has a crush on but who grows close to Zoe in Olivia’s absence. There are also thoughts about college applications and what comes after high school in two years. It’s all a bit overwhelming, and Kantor does a great job of revealing Zoe’s conflicting emotions.
Maybe One Day is a great book for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up to read and discuss issues about friendship, what to do to support someone with an illness, religious faith during difficult times, and finding inner reserves to get through the worst situations while learning about yourself in the process.
The publisher gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.