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  1. Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

    Publish date: February 18th 2014
    Published by: HarperCollins Australia
    Page numbers: 386

    Goodreads Summary: 

    Zoe and Olivia have always been best friends. And becoming professional ballerinas has always been their goal. But when they turn sixteen the unthinkable happens as Olivia is diagnosed with leukaemia. Falling in love, coping with school and falling out with each other - everything is thrown into a whole new light. A heartbreakingly bittersweet tragedy that reveals profound truths about loss, love and the friends who mean the world to you

    I bought this book almost as soon as I saw it on the shelves in Smith's. And honestly, I read it all in two days. But if I'm going to be brutally honest here, I didn't enjoy it as much as other books of this composition such as The Fault in Our Stars, or Before I Die by Jenny Downham. And even though these are all completely different books, and it would be unfair to compare them, I feel like it has to be said. 

    I did enjoy this book. Don't get me wrong. I liked the characters and the setting and the adorable relationship between Zoe and Olivia. They have the sort of relationship that I share with my best friend, and it managed to stimulate a fond, nostalgic smile. This book has to have the best friendship there ever was. Not many friends would make so many sacrifices or drop everything at the first hint of trouble for their best friend. They say "I love you" to each other every time they say goodbye, and just generally know how the other is feeling without having to ask.

    But for me. Things got a bit predictable. It was quite obvious who the love interest was to be. And what the fate of Zoe's friend would be. But it also dealt with raw emotions that seemed to overshadow its flaws. I think I cried before I was even halfway through the book. just by their adorable relationship, and perhaps because I knew what was going to happen. Their fate sealed before they had anything to do about it. I also think that there wasn't enough emphasis on the whole ballet side of things. I'd have liked to have heard some more on that. It's something that hasn't been done before in fiction.

    And though it was cute and the relationships were wonderful. It seemed to be lacking something. That single something that would make it spectacular. That one book that would keep you up at night thinking about it. 

    Maybe One Day is about Zoe, whose best friend gets diagnosed with Leukaemia, which (yes you guessed it), quickly becomes terminal. I'm not giving away spoilers here, that's just what it says on the blurb.We all have that one friend that we would do absolutely anything for. And if we lost them. It would kill us too. For me, the end came too quickly. So quickly, that I wasn't prepared and the buckets of tears that were brewing exploded out of me at insane force.

    In all, I was quite disappointed with this book. I expected a lot more. But I need to give credit where credit is due. It's well written, with real relationships and many layered characters. It was just missing the spark that would have made it a gem. 

    Amazon/Goodreads rating: 3 stars 

  2. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

    Published By: Speak Publishing
    Publish Date: June 13th 2013
    Page Numbers: 394

    I'm quickly falling completely and hopelessly in love with Contemporary Romance. Or Contemporary Fiction as a whole. And it's all thanks to novels such as Eleanor and Park and My Life Next Door. Both books, that have taken up my spare time where I could be doing something productive. Isn't reading productive? I saw this book a lot of Booktube. Something I'm something of an avid watcher, fangirl, stalker. But it took me ages to buy it, and then when I did, it sat on my shelves for weeks,waiting in line for me to finish with my (very long) TBR list.

    My Life Next Door Next Door is a summer romance with depth. It centers around the protagonist Samantha who used to sit on her roof and watch the large, raucous family the Garretts and (subconsciously) maybe wish that she was a part of it all. Samantha is from a well off family that consists of her Mum Grace and her sister Tracy. Whereas Jase is from a family than can struggle for money, yet they are so full of fun and love that it doesn't matter. Samantha feels slightly stifled by her prim and proper mother, who seems to dislike the Garrets and wishes that she were part of a family like that. 

    Then Jase comes along and gives her a taste of what it's like to be free and happy and wild. she falls in love with Jase's massive family, just as much as she falls in love with Jase himself (and honestly, who can blame her?)

    But her happy bubble is burst when she "witnesses" something she wishes she didn't. She becomes torn by doing what is right, which will inadvertently affect her mother, or what is wrong, which will come to affect Samantha herself. This story gives a taste of what it's like to be young. To be stifled under your parents law. As this story develops, Sam slowly learns the true meaning of love, family, life and that she should always, always stick up for herself when people aim to bring her down.

    So here's a breakdown of everything I loved about this book in a neat little list.

    1. Jase and Samantha's relationship is adorable.
    2. It's family focussed. It really highlights the good sides of a good family!
    3. It has depth while still being hopelessly adorable.
    4. The little conflict. I know that a story needs some conflict, but this story. God it just worked, okay?

    And I'm being cliche here. But this gave me such a feeling of happiness reading this. It was like this big, wobbling bubble right in my chest. It was almost as if I myself had fallen in love. And in a way, I have, I've fallen in love with a book. And no matter how many times I read this, whether it's twice or ten times. I will always read it with the same fond smile that I did the first time.

    Amazon/Goodreads Rating: 5*