This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.
Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?
As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?
The latest novel from the author of The Tension of Opposites, One Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.
**Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
When I began reading One Moment, I didn’t know whether I found Maggie more tragic/sympathetic or more annoying. In a lot of ways she was both. She had been dealt an absolutely awful hand by life and it made you truly feel for her. On the other hand, her tendency toward self-involved behavior made her pretty difficult to get too attached to. That said, her grief certainly rang true and that’s a credit to Kristina McBride’s writing, because often a grieving character can seem more melodramatic and prone to histrionics than sad. It’s a difficult line to walk.
As I read this I was reminded of another book I finished recently, Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf. Both had female main characters dealing with memory loss issues after the mysterious deaths of their boyfriends. That said, they were both strong books and didn’t feel derivative in any way despite reading them so close together. While Wolf’s book was more of a mystery-driven novel, McBride’s is more of a character driven novel. In some ways this also reminded me of a modern, more sophisticated Christopher Pike. I wish I could articulate why but it’s just a feeling that I had.
One Moment was sort of like an onion. It starts off whole and as the layers are peeled away, more and more is revealed. In seemingly healthy and functional relationships there can be so many lies, secrets, backstabbings, etc. It was kind of fascinating to see all of the twists and turns unfold. It sort of reminded me of a quote from Paper Towns by John Green – “What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.” I can say with total honesty that I would have never guessed what actually happened to Joey and it was a really, really great twist. I was kept guessing the entire time and my attention never wavered. In fact, I started reading faster as I got toward the end of the book because I couldn’t wait to see what happened.
It’s a short-ish book at under 300 pages and a really fast read. Definitely worth a go if you’re into contemporary YA.