cover image Maybe One Day

Maybe One Day

Melissa Kantor. HarperTeen, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-227920-0

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.)