Review: One Moment

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: One MomentOne Moment by Kristina McBride
Published by EgmontUSA on June 26, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-stars

Following on the heels of her "must read" debut novel (New York Times best-selling author Jay Asher) One Moment is perfect for fans of Sara Zarr and Gayle Forman .

This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.

Maggie remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party. She remembers climbing the trail 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 OppositesOne Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.

First Sentence: “‘So you’re gonna do it?'”

Review:
In all honesty, I was not expecting to like this book. In fact, I would never have requested it on NetGalley were it not for the fact that EgmontUSA temporarily marked all their galleys READ NOW, which, for some reason, is pretty much impossible for me to pass up. I’ve seen reviews come in, both high, middle and low. There was little doubt in my mind that I would be on the low end of the spectrum and I was fully prepared to read a chapter and then DNF it. Dudes, I was WRONG.

The first chapter, both the writing style and the dramatic cliffhanger (literally) at the end of it, convinced me that I needed to read this book in its entirety. I’m not sure what had me set against this book. Maybe the cover, which I don’t much care for even though it is very apt for the novel. Maybe it was that the author clearly spells her name incorrectly (everyone knows Christina is spelled with a CH). I’m so glad I didn’t decline this and that I kept reading. Here’s why.

Like I do with most books, I went into this one blind. I had no clue what it was about, so I was a bit surprised to be reading about the popular kids having a party. I did like the narrative voice, though, and the group dynamic. Then I hit the end of that first chapter, which is one of the best hooks I’ve read. I defy you to read to the end of that chapter and not NEED to know what comes next. Of course, the blurb will tell you what’s going on, so I guess I’ll talk about it too, but still, going in with no clue, it was epic. (If you don’t want to know, probs skip to the end of the review).

So, yeah, here’s what happens in the opening of this novel: Joey jumps, Joey dies, and Maggie doesn’t remember what she happened in the first chapter, because of some sort of amnesia. Grieving, she faces cops, friends and Joey’s family members, all wanting to know what happened, and she would like to know too. In the process of sorting out her memories and her feelings, she learns a lot of things she never knew, things about Joey and about her friends. I really enjoyed this, but I will say that I had all of the big revelations figured out  within 20 pages. Reading how they happened and learning the details was still fun though.

What drove this book, though, were the characters. Although they definitely are not going onto my mental list of best characters ever, they worked. This group had a real and believable dynamic. Actually, my only concern about them as a friend group is that all 6 of them were friends from childhood. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a group of friends from childhood that all stayed that close through high school. Obviously, things will be changing for them now, but I don’t know. Maybe that happens, but I’ve only seen it in pop culture. Most of the people I know only talk to a couple of people from high school any more, let alone elementary school.

The funny thing is that, in other circumstances, I would have hated these people. Joey and his crew are the popular kids at the school. They party every week, they do fun things, they drink a lot, and are generally admired by everyone. Had this not been about a serious crisis, carrying about their dramas would have left me cold. Even so, I don’t like Joey. Even early on before everything came out, I didn’t care for Joey: he’s reckless and cocky. No thanks.

Maggie is better and I did like her voice. She had a real feel to her, although one I have trouble reconciling with her usual social status. It’s really hard to say if she was like that all the time or if this was a weird side of her. I rather suspect the latter, because she was never comfortable in this book. Even in the opening scenes before tragedy struck, she was paralyzed by her fear of heights, worried, concerned and afraid of judgment. Only a the end did I see a slight vision into what she might normally be when confident and happy, but I’m still not sure.

One Moment is a wonderful contemporary that makes you think about the power of a moment and about how well we actually know even our very best friends. There will definitely be more Kristina McBride in my future!

Favorite Quote:

“‘Fear about what, exactly?’
‘Everything,’ I said. ‘But mostly just the realization that all it takes is one moment for your entire world to turn upside down. One wrong decision, and it’s over.'”

20 responses to “Review: One Moment”

  1. I agree that it shows how so much can change and hinge on one moment. I liked Maggie’s voice as well, and as broken as she was, I still pulled for her.
    thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    • Christina says:

      I loved that theme. It was so very powerful, and I think that McBride managed to pull it off without venturing into undue melodrama, which she totally deserves props for.

  2. Christina..want an awesome review, I love your before, during and after opinions and think its delightful that you enjoyed it so much. The characters sound interesting..thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Christina says:

      Thanks! I’m glad I enjoyed it! This is why I love requesting things I ordinarily wouldn’t on NetGalley, even if I have had to stop doing that now. :-/

  3. fakesteph says:

    I love reading books that you think you won’t like or will be just okay and they end up blowing you away. I actually still keep in touch with the kids I met in elementary. We were friends through sophomore year of high school when I moved away and I just saw one of them a few weeks ago. But it’s definitely different. We’re certainly not best friends anymore.

    • Christina says:

      Right? It’s such a great thing, because it totally balances out all those books you thought would be the best thing ever that ended up being DISAPPOINTMENTS. 🙂

      Oh cool, good to know. I’m not surprised that you all didn’t make to now still best friends. I guess they can make it all the way through high school, though, well, unless someone has to move. That’s so sad, though at least you didn’t die… This went somewhere creepy.

  4. Dana says:

    I keep seeing this book everywhere! I really want to read it! Great Review! The scientist is one of my favorite songs ever!

  5. Casey says:

    Yeah, I also would believe the still friends thing UNLESS they went to a super big high school. My school was small and you went to school with the same kids from kindergarten to senior year (I think something like 2/3rds of my graduating class also went to Kindergarten with me), and for the most part, friends from Kindergarten and early elem school were mostly the same kids you were still hanging out with by the time you graduated.

    Your review’s got me intrigued. Will have to see if I can track it down!

    • Christina says:

      Haha, good to know. I went to a school with 2400 students, so you didn’t necessarily have the same people in your classes in elementary school as in middle or in middle as in high school. In fact, I think I mostly had different friends in each one, and maybe even from year to year. Sounds like some schools are quite different. They weren’t IN school during the book, so I’m not sure how big it is.

    • Heather says:

      My school sounds similar to yours, Casey! Before I moved (in 8th grade), my best friend at the time and I had been best friends since preschool, and I’m sure we would’ve continued to be best buds in high school, too (actually, we were for awhile, and we are still friends to this day…haha.) My town was very small (probably less than 10,000 people, with maybe 150 in my actual class), and like you, we all went to school together forever (which was why I had such a hard time switching schools in high school, but my skating friends, who have been with me since I was about 8, definitely helped soften that blow.) It also seemed like the “popular” kids in my high school had been friends forever, but I had just moved to the new (small) town, so I could be wrong about that. Maybe it’s a small town thing? Blah blah blah, I will stop writing my life story. haha.

      Anyway…

      This book sounds really good! I’ll definitely have to check it out sometime!

    • Christina says:

      Heather, ONE person doesn’t surprise me. It was that all SIX of them were still close. That was all.

      I think you’ll probably like it, because it’s not all sunshine and puppies. :-p

  6. starryblue says:

    I loved reading One Moment. My favorite character was Adam. There was great music in the book.

  7. Erika says:

    What a great review of the book and I normally wouldn’t pick a book like this but lately I’m leaning to more contemporary stories. Thanks for convincing me to check it out soon!

  8. Hmm…I would have passed this book by as well, mainly because the cover doesn’t interest me much. But after reading your review…I think this is one book I really WOULD enjoy! I love books that teach those kind of lessons–that one moment can change everything.

  9. Jaime Lester says:

    I am happy to know that One Moment turned out to be a great read. I feel like crap because I completely passed it up on Netgalley because I just wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. Yep, feeling like an idiot about now. Sigh. Oh well, my local library has it on order, so I will definitely be rectifying that mistake. Thanks for another great review! And, by the way, what a flippin awesome song that is.

    • Christina says:

      I love this song. Oh well. It’s not like missing something on NG means missing it entirely! Except for some of the indie titles, because then the only option would be to buy them.

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