Friday, June 22, 2012

One Moment by Kristina McBride (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Publication.Date  June 26th 2012
Published By:  Egmont USA | 
WebsiteKristina McBride 

One Moment - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC received from Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:

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. (Goodreads)

I looked straight at the sun, the burning, spiralling sun, and hated every wave of its energy. If only it had hidden behind a thick batch of storm clouds today, we never would have gone to the gorge. If not for that faraway star, Joey would still be alive.
"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."
"We are not us anymore," Adam said. "It's like all we have in common right now is the most fucked-up thing that's ever happened in any of our lives."

     One Moment by Kristina McBride was a good read. While I can't say that it was a life-changing one, and it definitely didn't blow me away, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. Featuring difficult subjects such as dealing with the loss of a friend/loved one, post-traumatic memory loss, infidelity, and coming to terms with one's feelings, One Moment was both captivating and entertaining. It had it's thrilling moments, as well as moving ones, and even though it wasn't as harrowing and emotionally devastating as I expected it to be, I still had a lot of fun with it, and came out of reading it mostly satisfied

     The premise was brilliant, although not fully explored. As much as it intrigued me to follow the unfolding mystery and observe the consequences of the tragic accident that took place at the beginning of the story, I thought the emotional response from the characters lacked conviction. The story kicked off with a total jaw-dropper. A group of life-long friends was celebrating the beginning of the summer at a gorge, drinking, dancing, joking.. One moment they were having the time of their lives, and then next thing you know one of them fell from the cliff and ended up dead, and the only person that was with him at the time of the accident - his girlfriend, Maggie - has no recollection what-so-ever of the events leading up to his fall. Unfortunate accident? Or something more? I was absolutely intrigued by the premise of this book. I love books dealing with memory loss. I find it very exciting and thrilling to be able to uncover the mystery of some tragic event by slowly putting together flashbacks and scattered pieces of information. I also thought the construction of the plot was excellent, and I quickly found myself immersed in the story and frantically turning pages. But as much as I appreciated all that, I couldn't ignore all the flaws. First of all, the mystery part wasn't all that mysterious. I actually had it all figured out 20 pages into the story. I kept on pushing through, hoping for some big fat shocking plot twist that would knock my socks off, but that never happened. I actually figured out exactly what happened on top of the cliff, as they were still standing there, and I also knew where the story would go from there, who was the person Joey was secretly meeting behind Maggie's back, and who Maggie would hook up with in the end. All the clues that Kristina scattered throughout the story were just a tiny bit too obvious, and instead of spiking up my interest and making me wreck my brain to connect the dots, they gave away everything right away. That's not to say that the plot line was a total failure, because despite its predictability, it offered quite a well-thought-out and intriguing story. I just wished the mystery part would be more, well, mysterious. 

     The characters were a little bit too stereotypical for my taste, but that did not stop me from having fun following their adventures. While I can't say that I connected with them on some deep emotional level, I can definitely tell you that they were well drawn and likeable. Well, most of them were. I did not really care for them, but that's because they didn't seem to care for themselves either. Maggie claimed to love Joey, and the way their relationship was described had me under the impression that they were really close together. After Joey died Maggie was most certainly shocked and in pain, but I didn't feel the downpour of heart-breaking emotions that I anticipated. In fact, I didn't get that from any of the characters, including Joey's family. You'd expect them to be devastated, lost, broken, drowning in grief and struggling to accept the reality, but all they did was moped around for a while, patted each other's back and pretty much moved on. I  think I was way more devastated when my dog died last month, honestly. 

     One thing that I really loved about this book, though, was McBride's excellent, compelling and deliciously fluid prose. It was weightless and had a fantastic natural flow to it that made reading One Moment an absolute pleasure. Ultimately, McBride's evocative descriptions and thoughtful passages really made this book for me, leaving me totally amazed.

     Overall, I wish I could say that I loved this book and that it touched my heart, but that would be saying too much. I did enjoy it, but also thought that it had the potential to be so much more than just a quick, thrilling summer read. In the end, though, all its flaws and emotional shortages aside, One Moment is a solid, entertaining and beautifully written book. I recommend you give it a try in your free time, it's worth checking out!

This review is posted as part of the Contemporary Fiction Month feature!

Click on the picture for full schedule.

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Bonnie said...

Evie, I really love this review - it is so thoughtful! Thanks for sharing. Ever since I saw the cover of this book I knew that I had to read it. I am also a complete sucker for books dealing with memory loss issues and even though the "mystery" was a bit of a giveaway I think it still sounds like a worthwhile read.

Amy said...

It's a shame that the mystery wasn't really much of a mystery and that you didn't really connect with the characters, but I'm glad you were still able to enjoy it and at least the characters were likable even though you didn't connect. Great review!!

roro said...

tnx 4 the review
think i;ll take a pass

Sana said...

I have this and I have been thinking of reading and reviewing it because it is just about to be released!

However, I really like to connect with the story and the characters in it and I am kind of disappointed that it won't be to a higher level.

Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

This sounds like a decent read and it has me intrigued. I really like the cover.

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