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The Aussie Zombie

Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.

Maybe One Day

Maybe One Day - Melissa Kantor

Books about serious illnesses have a weird pull for me.  I know they will be difficult and emotional for me to read, but I also like to push myself to confront the things in books that I find very hard to talk about in real life.  This is why I read books such as Maybe One Day - I know they will hit close to home and make me reflect upon things in my own life, but using them as a catalyst helps me work through my own personal emotions.

Olivia and Zoe have a once-in-a-lifetime kind of friendship.  Their personalities are very different, but they compliment each other, and their lifelong obsession with dance binds them even closer together, and this relationship is what I loved most about this book - their relationship feels very real, and the emotions that Zoe goes through during Olivia's illness are very realistically portrayed. Although the story is told from Zoe's perspective, her interactions with Olivia, Olivia's family and her own family tell their story too - and all their reactions felt very real and emotional.

However, I did have one issue with Zoe's character - and it's when she makes a rather nasty generalisation about a group of kids at her school, and then just a few pages later states that she hates gender generalisations.  It's a small moment, but it really bugged me, and I found it more difficult to connect with Zoe from then on.

What I did like is that Cantor pulls no punches when it comes to Zoe's emotional reactions to the situation - she moves through different stages of anger, sadness and acceptance, whilst still standing by her best friend's side.

The synopsis hints heavily at a relationship, but it actually plays a very small part in the story - this book is much more focused on friendship and the emotions of having someone you love being diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening illness.  Zoe shows real strength as a character in putting Olivia's needs before her own, and making her the number one priority in her life.

Apart from my one issue with Zoe, this is a book that had a huge emotional impact on me - in fact I forgot to take notes whilst I was reading, but everything came flooding back once I re-read the synopsis.  It's a story about friendship and growing up, learning to accept things that cannot be changed and making the most of every moment.