Maggie Reynolds is eagerly planning the summer before her senior year, which will include hanging out with her best friends Shannon, Tanna, and Adam, and losing her virginity to Joey, her boyfriend of two years. But when daredevil Joey dies cliff-diving with Maggie and she can’t remember the moment before his fall, an investigation ensues. Initially Maggie blames herself for the accident (“What if one small thing changed? Would we all be hanging out right now, listening to music while Joey laughed at something stupid”), but when Adam refuses to answer questions about the last 24 hours of Joey’s life it becomes clear that both Adam and Joey were hiding something from her. As Maggie’s memories gradually return, she collects clues to uncover the truth.

My Thoughts:

A contemp I just wanted to hug over and over.

One Moment is sad, but not overtly so. Joey’s death is obviously a constant rain cloud hanging over the heads of the other characters, especially Maggie’s, but it isn’t overwhelmingly depressing. Each character handles Joey’s death in their own ways, but realistically. McBride’s writing then gives these realistic feelings and thoughts added beauty through imagery.

What I love most about this book is that, while it could have just focused on Maggie overcoming her boyfriend’s death, McBride actually takes it one step further. Rather than make Joey’s death a mystery, she makes Joey’s life a mystery. I enjoyed putting the pieces together, even though some were fairly predictable. There isn’t much of Joey prior to his early death, so by having to discover his secrets, it’s a way to uncover him as a character – through past and present, and from a couple perspectives. You get Maggie’s memories, but also her friends’ recollections as well, which help to piece together the puzzle.

It’s not the plot that sets this book apart from others, though. It’s the writing, and the feelings and images evoked from it. Stylistically it’s simple, but oh so comforting and subtly dazzling in its descriptions. The writing itself is what gives this story that extra oopmh. At times it reminded me of old school Sarah Dessen novels – the ones that leave you with those pensive thoughts and warm feelings.

Go read, hug and experience One Moment‘s quiet magic.

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