Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Release Date: February 18, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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.

I received this one a while ago and it took me a really long time to finally read it. SO MANY REGRETS. While I dislike the fact that it’s compared to The Fault in Our Stars (I think nothing can really compare to John Green’s novel), I loved this book. I actually went in thinking I would hate it because of some reviews that I’d read, but thankfully it was the complete opposite. Maybe One Day was full of heart and I couldn’t stop reading once I’d started it.

Truth be told, Zoe’s character pissed me off now and then. Especially at the start of the book.  She seemed to constantly make it all about her when her friend was sick. I mean, come on. Yes, it’s absolutely tragic that your best friend has cancer, and OF COURSE you’re going to freak out and feel sad at the prospect of losing her. But making it about you? Not cool. There was also the whole language thing. I’m not one to shy away from f-bombs. But when it becomes part of your vocabulary and you put it in every sentence then it becomes a problem. It’s not shocking, which is the impact it should have–it’s just annoying. Thankfully, Olivia’s character was so much better. Zoe’s did get better later on but it was a constant pain having to read some of things she does. However, what I did absolutely love was their friendship: the funny moments between them as well as the really sad, gut-wrenching ones. There’s no denying that their friendship was the best part of this book.

I stood on the edge of the lawn, the phone still pressed to my ear. Cars pulled in and out of the parking lot, and kids rumbled from the building, taking the stairs two at a time as they raced into the liberty of the afternoon. The sky over my head was almost painful blue, the grass a bright and vivid green. It was a crisp, beautiful, perfect fall day.
All that beauty was completely wrong. The sky should have been black, the grass withered, the students wailing with grief. Olivia is sick! I wanted to howl. What are you people doing? My friend is sick! It was impossible–the sky, the cars, the kids walking around as if it were a day like any other day. Nothing made any sense.
–p. 42, ARC*
*text is subject to change in the final version

The author must have really done some research on this book. It was integrated so seamlessly into the book that it just felt natural learning about it through Zoe’s perspective. As Olivia’s cancer goes through various ups and downs the pain that is conveyed was so tangible. Kantor’s writing is fantastic in essence but it was a punch to the stomach with the emotions that it brings up. As a reader you can really see the ups and downs that not only Olivia goes through but also Zoe. While I still didn’t really like her character, going through denial, loss, hope, acceptance, ignorance was quite the rollercoaster.

I found it difficult to start writing this review because this book was all over the place and I couldn’t really piece together how I really felt about it, despite really loving the book once I’d finished it. In one word, Maybe One Day is powerful. Beautifully written, make sure you have tissues on hand when reading this book: Melissa Kantor’s amazing story of friendship will be sure to bring tears.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan from HarperCollins International for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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Waiting on Wednesday – Week 142

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

August 25, 2015 ● Goodreads

Um, AN ALEXANDER THE GREAT RETELLING??!?!?!?! YES PLEASE. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now, and I can’t WAIT to get my hands on it. And it’s gonna be a series *SQUEEEEE*!

What are you waiting on?

Summer Reading #1

It’s the summer holidays and I’m looking forward to a few months relaxing, hanging out with friends, and of course, READING.

Here are the books that I read in the past one and a half weeks!

For the next few weeks, like this past week and a half, I’ll be trying to read more ARCs and books I received that I didn’t get to read before. Hopefully, though, I’ll be able to slip in some more recent books!

Maybe One Day by Melissa Cantor ••• Goodreads •••
(Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn ••• Goodreads •••
Survival Colony 9 by Joshua David Bellin ••• Goodreads •••
The Rain by Virginia Bergin ••• Goodreads •••
Fleeced! by Julia Wills ••• My Review Goodreads •••
My Family and Other Freaks by Carol Midgley ••• Goodreads •••
Boys for Beginners by Lil Chase ••• Goodreads •••

 Here are the books I read on my Kindle:

City Love by Susane Colasanti ••• My ReviewGoodreads •••
Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp ••• My ReviewGoodreads •••
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley ••• Goodreads •••

Most of the reviews for these books have been scheduled and will be coming out in the next few weeks :)

Any good books you’ve read recently?

Rabiah’s Recommendations: Historical YA #1

Many of you have probably seen the awesome The Age of YA: A Timeline of Historical Fiction on Epic Reads. It’s WAY too big to upload onto my blog, but definitely go check it out because it’s all kinds of awesomeness. Anyway, I thought that I’d do a series of posts based on some of the time periods in the timeline and give my own recommendations in addition to those featured on the timeline.

Historical YA #1:
Ancient Greece

Nobody’s Princess
••• My Review ● Goodreads •••
Nobody’s Prize
••• My Review ● Goodreads •••
by Esther Friesner

I read this duology way back in middle school and absolutely loved it. I was completely obsessed with Greek myths and legends back then (and still am!), so these were the PERFECT books for me. I loved reading about Helen of Troy–before she was Helen of Troy. It’s nice to read a story where she isn’t just the pretty face that cause the whole war, but instead is a complete badass.

Dark of the Moon 
by Tracy Barrett
••• My Review Goodreads •••

An absolutely fabulous take on the Theseus myth! I read this one ages ago as well, but I remember loving it so much, especially after reading the Nobody’s Princess series. Another badass heroine that’s been completely overshadowed in the myth, the story is told from Ariadne’s perspective. Well, it actually alternates between Theseus and Ariadne. But definitely preferred this Ariadne than the Ariadne from the myth.

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ 

I’m sad that there aren’t too many young adult or middle grade books actually based in Ancient Greece, despite the huge amount of books based on Greek mythology. Epic Read’s timeline actually doesn’t feature any books from Ancient Greece, surprisingly! Other than the three I’d featured I would say that beyond YA or MG there are two more books–or rather, plays–worthy of mention: Antigone by Sophocles and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Both are set in Ancient Greece (the former was actually written during this time period). Definitely worth the read if you don’t mind the format and stage directions now and then.

Do you have any recommendations for books set in Ancient Greece?

Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Release Date: April 21, 2015
Illustrated by: Iacopo Bruno
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Series: Ivy Pocket, Book 1
Rated: MG 11+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads  Website

Ivy Pocket is a twelve-year-old maid of no importance, with a very lofty opinion of herself. Dumped in Paris by the Countess Carbunkle, who would rather run away to South America than continue in Ivy's companionship, our young heroine (of sorts) finds herself with no money and no home to go to ... until she is summoned to the bedside of the dying Duchess of Trinity.

For the princely sum of £500 (enough to buy a carriage, and possibly a monkey), Ivy agrees to courier the Duchess's most precious possession – the Clock Diamond – to England, and to put it around the neck of the revolting Matilda Butterfield on her twelfth birthday. It's not long before Ivy finds herself at the heart of a conspiracy involving mischief, mayhem and murder.

Illustrated in humorous gothic detail by Iacopo Bruno, Anyone But Ivy Pocket is just the beginning of one girl's deadly comic journey to discover who she really is...

When I first read the synopsis, Ivy Pocket’s character sounded a lot like Amelia Bedelia from the Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish. However, what really drew me to the book was the illustration on the front cover. It looked quite gothic and kind of reminded me of Tim Burton’s stop-motion films, so I knew I had to give this one a try. I don’t often laugh out loud when it comes to reading books but when I was reading Anyone But Ivy Pocket it was a common occurrence. This book is HILARIOUS. Honestly, I found myself chuckling every few pages–that’s how funny this book is. I know that it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but I found it absolutely delightful.

I’d read a few reviews for this book, and what I found is that people either love and hate Ivy Pocket’s character. After reading this book I can see why. Ivy Pocket is completely enamoured with herself and infuriates those around her. It’s sometimes a little bit incredible to believe she’s only 12 years old because of all the things she says and the manner in which she conducts herself. She tends to think very highly of herself and thinks she knows what’s best. Sometimes you feel like ripping out your hair whenever Ivy says something or is completely oblivious to what is obvious to everyone else, but her comments made me laugh most of the time. She's got a sharp edge of humor that reminds me of A Series of Unfortunate Events–you either get it and laugh or you don’t and end up hating the book.

I was just a little sad because the eGalley didn’t include some of the gorgeous illustrations. The whole experience of a children’s book sometimes comes from the fact that there are illustrations present and not being able to see them I felt took away from the experience. But that’s maybe just me–it wasn’t a picture book so luckily it didn’t take away too much.

I enjoy dark books and I enjoy funny books, and Anyone But Ivy Pocket was the perfect blend of the two. I didn’t really expect this book to take a supernatural turn, but it just goes to show that there’s so much more to follow, and I can’t wait to read more of this series. A bundle of laughs weaved into murder and mystery, do yourself a favour and READ THIS BOOK.

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