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?

I resisted reading One Moment for quite a few weeks. Now, I wish I hadn’t waited so long. Once I started, I was so caught up in this story that I read the whole book in less than 8 hours. Despite the overall serious theme, One Moment is a quick, easy read and one that will stick with you in some way as you consider everything you’ve read and learned.

Death is a subject that many find uncomfortable, and rightfully so. It’s scary, the unknown. Losing someone you love is never easy, and this is doubly hard when you’re young, like Maggie and her friends. I felt so horrible for Maggie when Joey died. Not only was the emotional trauma almost unbearable, but she also experienced memory loss that rendered her unable to truly cope with losing the first boy she ever loved.

Through Maggie’s flashbacks of Joey, it was clear that she loved him and that they had a picture perfect relationship. However, we all know that most of what we see in someone is just the surface and it takes quite a bit of digging to reach something of substance. As inconsistencies in the aftermath of Joey’s death began to emerge, Maggie’s memory slowly returned to her. She realized that her closest friends, even Joey, had been keeping secrets from her; secrets that could change her life and sever friendships forever.

One Moment was pretty predictable. I knew within the first 5 pages who the protagonist (of sorts) would be and within the first 10-15 pages how certain things would ultimately play out for this group of friends. This is not because the story is bad or poorly plotted, but mostly because I’ve studied human behavior for a long time and I like to “read between the lines”, so to speak.

Despite the predictability of the story, One Moment was a truly great read because of what matters. To me, that is the characters and being able to connect with them on some level. It’s hard to discuss anything in depth without spoiling the story, but I will say that I enjoyed (most of) the characters, the setting, the pacing, and the story itself. There’s a love story within a love story, mystery, deception, and self-discovery. While there are some funny moments that will make you laugh, there are also some touching moments that will bring a tear to your eye. I love books that make me feel!

The story that unfolds in One Moment reminds us of several important things:

1. Death is not the end. Our memories keep those we’ve loved and lost alive.
2. No one is perfect. Even our closest friends and family members will disappoint us.
3. Everyone has secrets. We’ll never know everything about those we love.
4. Putting someone on a pedestal does not serve them -or you- well. Allow your loved ones to be falliable.

One Moment  is a story that will pull at your heartstrings, make you laugh, and above all, remind you to take the time to truly appreciate the ones you love. It’s not a perfect book, but it doesn’t have to be, and I think it’s more than fitting that it’s not. I hope you’ll give it a read and let me know what you think.

*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.