From the moment I read the synopsis for One Moment, and gazed adoringly at the cover, I was sure that this story would break my heart. And it did, on several levels, but unfortunately, it also left me aching for something...more. Kristina McBride's story of first love and first heartache is definitely a poignant addition to my bookshelf - from the start, I sympathized with Maggie, the main character, and I think that was largely due to McBride's clear, yet lovely writing style. Maggie is just one of those characters - the girl that you knew in high school and were friends with, but always wanted to get to know better.
For the majority of One Moment, I wanted to put an arm around her, or hug her. She definitely went through a lot, and for the most part, she handled the trauma of Joey's death, and the aftermath, about as well as could be expected, with the help of her tight-knit group of friends. I liked Pete, Adam, and the rest of Maggie's friends, but I felt like McBride could have - and should have - developed the characters more thoroughly. Just because they all knew one another inside out, doesn't mean the reader does. While that sense of them all being best friends carried across really well, it also left me feeling somewhat shut out from their world, so I had trouble connecting. And I basically felt like the characters were flat - Shannon was the "bitch" who said what everyone else was thinking, but had little depth otherwise; Pete was the "artsy" friend who didn't add much to the story, and so on.
One Moment is a fascinating look at the aftermath of a tragedy, and how in a different light, everything you thought you knew can unravel quickly. I felt bad for Maggie as she began to weave her way through the web of secrets Joey and others had spun around her. It was painful and heart-breaking, watching her dig deeper beneath the surface, and seeing her get hurt, along the way, yet I also thought that in some ways, Maggie was very naive. The mystery aspect of One Moment was way too predictable - I had an idea of what was going on way before Maggie did; Kristina McBride definitely could have done that in a less obvious way.
I was also very bothered by the romances in One Moment. I won't go too into details, since I don't want to spoil anyone, but the way a certain romantic element was handled felt absolutely cheesy and tacked-on as an afterthought, or a failed attempt to add further depth to the story. At times I was confused about what the story really was - a mystery, or a flawed character study. There wasn't enough of either aspect to tip the balance in either direction, and the romance was just really unbelievable - another instance of an author telling us, but not showing us, that these two certain characters are in love. That's all well and good, but I want to BELIEVE that they're in love, not just swallow what I'm spoon-fed.
Even though I quite enjoyed several aspects of One Moment, it was too predictable, and lacked that something special that I was so hoping it would have. I liked it okay enough to finish it, but I didn't have the emotional response that I wanted to have.