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Author: Melissa Kantor

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Review: Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Better Than Perfect by Melissa KantorBetter Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor
Published by Harper Teen on 17 February 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Family, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Maybe One Day

Place(s) Traveled To: Milltown, New York // New York, New York

First Line(s): “I’m going to miss you.”

When I read Melissa Kantor’s debut novel, Maybe One Day (my review), I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it considering one of its main themes was one that I don’t like to read about much. Cancer. So it was with high hopes that I picked up her sophomore title, Better Than Perfect. I was hopeful for some of the same magic and story of friendship that Kantor captured in Maybe One Day along with a fun romance and a story that would just give me all the happy feels. Sadly, Better Than Perfect didn’t live up to my expectations and I hated that it included another trope that I don’t care for all that much, cheating. Throughout most of the story Juliet has a boyfriend and for the first portion he is away in France with his family.

During that time she meets Declan, a musician from England who recently moved to town, and they hit it off and hook up. While Juliet’s boyfriend is a bit of a dickhead and she’s better off without him I don’t like that she hooks up and leads on someone else while dealing with her issues. Issues of which she has plenty all while she trys to maintain an outward appearance of perfection even as her entire world is falling apart. For me, Juliet was a really hard character to like and I didn’t care for the fact that the bulk of this book was told through her inner monologue. I am a dialogue girl at heart and I think that if she’d had more conversations with people then maybe I would have liked this one a little better because there would have been a little less of her and more of others to break things up a bit. I just found Juliet to be selfish and superficial and I really don’t know what Declan saw in her as she never showed her real self to anyone.

Better Than Perfect Quote

Better Than Perfect was a quick(ish) read and it was well paced and written but it just didn’t have the same magic for me as Kantor’s debut. I missed the easy friendship that the characters in that book had and just thought that Juliet was too stiff and standoffish to really get to know. Even though we spent the entire book in her head it still didn’t feel as though we ever got to know the real her. She was still just the girl that she thought others wanted her to be. In all honesty, I don’t know what Declan saw in Juliet and I often felt bad for him because of how Juliet treated him. I get that she was going through some things but that didn’t mean that she had the right to jerk the poor boy around.

I am still a fan of Melissa Kantor and plan on reading her next book as I enjoy her writing style. There were just things about this one that I just didn’t care for and it kept me from fully enjoying the story. Overall though I do like Kantor’s world building and her writing as well as most of her characters. I wish that I had liked this one more as I do think that parts of it were better written than Maybe One Day and if it wasn’t for Juliet and the cheating than I may have liked this one a little more as well.

irishdarkblue

IR- Better Than Perfect

Add The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aquirre to Goodreads (my review)

Add Welcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell to Goodreads (review coming soon)

three-stars
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Audio Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa KantorMaybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Narrator: Shannon McManus
Published by Harper Audio on 18 February 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 8 hours 40 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Better Than Perfect

Place(s) Traveled To: Wamasset, New Jersey // Newark, New Jersey // New York, New York

First Line(s):“I realize this is upsetting news,” said Ms. Daniels, watching me and Olivia across her enormous wooden desk.

Why I was planning on avoiding Maybe One Day. Its a cancer book.

Why I’m glad that I decided to read Maybe One Day. Because its so much more than a cancer book.

My friend Andi, over at AndiABCs, has been telling me that I needed to read this book since she read it but I resisted. But I had an ARC of it and I had used one of my audible credits to download the audio. Then one day I was looking for a new audio to listen to and I handed my iPod to a co-worker and she selected Maybe One Day. So I decided to listen to it, after all if I didn’t like it then I could always stop listening, right? Only I never wanted to stop listening. Shannon McManus did a great job with the narration and it was partially because of her that I didn’t want to stop with this one. But it was mostly because of the characters that Melissa Kantor created.

The friendship between Zoe and Olivia is so wonderful to see on the page. All too often books are filled with false best friends and that wasn’t the case here. They were more like sisters than anything else and were almost too close at times because they were so wrapped up in each other and in there dancing. This was fine initially but when the dancing stopped and Olivia got sick Zoe was left at a crossroads. She became a before and an after and she had to learn how to be the new her. But she’s not alone as she learns to deal with Olivia’s diagnosis, there is Olivia and Olivia’s brother, girls at school, and Calvin to help her put the pieces of herself back together.

Maybe One Day Quote

One thing I really liked about Maybe One Day was how it was told from Zoe’s point of view as it gives a new perspective to the cancer storyline. I also loved, like seriously loved, Zoe and Calvin’s romance. My only real regret with this book is that there wasn’t more Zoe and Calvin. Oh how those two made my heart ache!! And all those feels on top of the sad heart aches of what was happening with Zoe and Olivia. *sighs* This book was just a roller coaster of emotion from page one all the way until the end. If I had been reading this one instead of listened I totally would have binged on it.

So yes, Maybe One Day is a cancer book but even more than that its a friendship book. I fell in love with this story and I can’t believe that I ever resisted the idea of it. Sometimes you just need to set aside your preconceived notions and give something outside of your comfort zone a shot. I have no regrets with this book an I am eagerly awaiting Kantor’s next book, Better Than Perfect.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Maybe One Day
five-stars
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