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?
I read this book at the suggestion of the editor and I was completely blown away. Six friends. Inseparable. Best friends for years and secrets aplenty. Maggie and Joey, the lovestruck couple of the mighty band of friends, are prepared to have the summer of their lives when a horrible accident on Memorial Day leads to Joey's death after falling off of a cliff. But Maggie can't remember the final moments of his life and what led her to run and hide. Overcome with short term amnesia/PTSD, Maggie tears herself away from life and tries to remember the love of her life, the final moments, and relive all of the beautiful ones. The snapshots that are given to clue Maggie into what happened in those final moments are so well written and so intriguing that I was immediately hooked into finding out what happened between her and Joey at the top of the cliff.
When Maggie's closest friend, Adam, seems to be keeping secrets from her and the group seems to be falling apart, Maggie comes to realize that sometimes things are not what they seem and the people you love are not always the people you wish them to be. I think that this was an excellent setting for a book about real teen relationships. Everyone knows that large groups, even when tightly knit, have their secrets and the way that these secrets unfolded throughout the book caught me by surprise several times.
As an adult, I hurt for Maggie because I experienced some of those same emotions when I was in high school. As a reader, I cheered her on because despite the complete devastation of having your boyfriend die right in front of your eyes, she remained a strong character. One of my favorite scenes (which I can’t divulge because it may blow some of the plot) was so raw and brutally honest that I wanted to stand up and applaud Maggie and I wished that I had the same courage and strength as she when I was that age.
Other than Maggie, Joey, and Adam, the other triumvirate of the six, were also strong characters. I loved that all six of the friends fit into a different mold as far as personality is concerned and I felt as if I could identify with each one of them at different points throughout the book.
Powerful and completely full of raw emotions, One Moment explores the heartbreaking summer and the consequences of secrets between friends. 5/5 stars. Great contemporary and beautiful story.
Find out more about Stephanie Wilkes on the Meet TLT page. Tell Stephanie what you think of One Moment in the comments.