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.
Design – Cara E. Petrus Art – Joana Kruse
This doesn’t strike me as a very memorable cover, but I do think it’s a good cover for this story. I like how stormy the weather and the water look, like a storm is coming while the girls face it together. That sounds cheesy, but this book is about Zoe and Olivia’s friendship during Olivia’s illness and I like the way the cover hints at that in an abstract way. I also like the way the title is written, with none of the words lining up.
Maybe One Day is a story of two best friends and how they cope and keep up their friendship when one of them gets cancer. I hate the trend of “sick-lit” that people say is hitting YA due to the popularity of The Fault in Our Stars, as I really dislike when people compare books. This story centers on Zoe’s life during Olivia’s illness, as she tries to deal with her own problems in addition to supporting Olivia.
- Calvin – Calvin is a close friend of Olivia’s brother, Jake, as well as the guy Olivia likes. He’s around a lot while Olivia’s sick, hanging out with jake and driving him to the hospital to visit Olivia. Calvin is an authentically nice guy who thinks of Zoe and asks her how she’s handling everything. he’s just an easy-going person who is really helpful to Olivia’s family and Zoe while they’re dealing with Olivia being sick.
- ups + downs – Olivia’s cancer shows up suddenly. Olivia has mild symptoms – just a fever – when her cancer is discovered. When she starts her chemotherapy treatments, Olivia’s body reacts well at first. Some days she’s just sleepy, other days she’s nauseous, but everything points to her getting better. Then things don’t look so good, but they find a bone marrow match for Olivia. I think the ups and downs are the most realistic things about an illness. Some days it seems like Olivia isn’t sick at all, but other days are so bad it seems impossible for her to recover.
- friendship – I really like that this book is so focused on Zoe and Olivia’s friendship, instead of solely on cancer. Yes, Olivia is very ill, but the girls still communicate constantly and really support each other during this weird and unexpected time. They still argue, and they don’t pull punches just because one of them is sick. It’s great the lengths that Zoe goes to in order to make Olivia feel more comfortable, and I love that Olivia is patient with Zoe.
- cheerleaders – The cheerleaders were just annoying characters in my opinion. They are new friends of Olivia, but when she gets sick, they all are suddenly Olivia’s very best friends in the world. A few times their enthusiasm for helping Olivia is useful, but it’s overwhelming and seems like they just want to appear like they’re closer to Olivia than they really are.
- teaching ballet – Zoe takes over teaching Olivia’s ballet class for young under-privileged girls. The boss, Mrs. Jones, is harshly critical of Zoe, despite knowing that the circumstances make it either Zoe or no one as the teacher. She doesn’t tell Zoe anything about the girls, then scolds her for not realizing the crappy home situations they may come from. Zoe lets her lingering anger and disappointment at being rejected by her ballet school take over when she’s teaching the class that’s meant to be fun for the girls.
“I spent all that time having a gay boyfriend. I should have realized this might happen.”
“You should have realized you could get leukemia?”
I was being sarcastic, but she nodded. “If you realize life is short, you break up with your gay boyfriend and get a real boyfriend.” She laughed.
So did I. “That’s exactly the kind of thing you really wish they’d put on a greeting card but they never do.”
– Olivia + Zoe pg. 302
I thought of how hard it must have been to be Jake’s best friend this year. I remembered that first day in the hospital, how I’d wished it had been Jake instead of Olivia who’d gotten sick. Like death didn’t touch you if you were a couple of degrees removed from it.
– Zoe pg. 383
Acquired: bought (ebook)