Publication Date: June 26th, 2012
"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 Opposites, One Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)
I had very mixed feelings while reading this book, and I really didn't form a solid opinion of it until the very end. One Moment is a YA Contemporary Romance that tries very hard to be a Mystery, but never quite pulls it off. It was just way too predictable from the beginning. I saw each "big" reveal coming a mile away and was always disappointed when I realized that was right. I kind of felt like Kristina McBride wasn't giving her readers enough credit, dropping way too many clues and hints, revealing too much, too soon for it to legitimately fall into the Mystery genre. That said, I kept turning the pages anyway, hoping that I would be surprised, and I did get a small one in the end, and that sweet surprise at the end was what saved this book for me, but honestly, it wasn't enough...
Another problem for me was that it was so similar to another book that I recently read called Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf (read my review HERE). Now,if you haven't read Breaking Beautiful, you can just skip this part of the review, because this problem would not be relevant to you, but if you have this is important! I don't fault the author, because obviously, she wouldn't have had any idea that such a similar book would be published just two months before hers, but the similarities between the two books nagged at me the entire time I was reading One Moment. A girl witnesses boyfriend's tragic accident, represses memories so that she has no clue what happened, finds out boyfriend had secrets, wants to remember but knows that there is something that is making her subconscious not want to remember, etc. There were some differences, sure, but I still spent the whole book comparing the two, and finding that I liked Breaking Beautiful better. I just never connected with the protagonist, Maggie, or most of her little group of friends, and although I really liked one character, there were a couple who I outright despised, and as I've said in other reviews, I have a difficult time with books that have characters I don't like.
Now, you may think, from reading what I've written so far, that I didn't like this book, and that isn't true. I actually thought it was pretty well written if you overlook the predictability, and it was certainly a page-turner (I read it in under 24 hours), it just didn't go where I would have hoped it would. It was a quick, engaging read, and I thought it was great for reading by the pool during the summer. Sometimes it's nice to read something that doesn't force you to think very much. Like I mentioned above, I did like the ending a lot; it was sweet and it made sense. It also was the only thing I didn't call way ahead of time. I wouldn't say that this book was disappointing, I just think it was trying too hard to be something it wasn't, and would have been better off just being what it is, a YA Contemporary Romance.
Overall, I would say this... If you are a fan of Contemporary YA authors like Lauren Barnholdt, Sarah Dessen, Deb Calletti, and Jennifer Echols, then you will probably like this book. If you're looking for a great YA Mystery, then I think you will be disappointed. If you've already read Breaking Beautiful, then skip this one altogether because you will spend a lot of time thinking that you've already read this book...
My Rating: ★ ★ ★
Grade Level Recommendation: There's lots of teen drinking and some sex, but nothing graphic. I would say this book is fine for grades 8 and up (ages 13+).