Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Infinite Moment of Us, Lauren Myracle

The Infinite Moment of UsIt was all ending: high school. It was all beginning: everything that came next. This was true for every senior at Atlanta's Southview High School, not just Wren. And every senior would be setting off on his or her own path, and every senior's path would be different, so there were no earth-shattering surprises there, either. Still, Wren's situation was unusual, or at least she suspected it was.

Summary from Goodreads: "For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now... not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are? Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be. And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them...Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers."

Despite others' criticisms, I really enjoyed The Infinite Moment of Us. It was just what I needed to recover from the shocking, disturbing Crown of Midnight, which was not at all what I was expecting. Lauren Myracle's latest novel is light, but still pretty moving and insightful. It came out on August 27th, and I received a review copy from Amulet Books in exchange for an honest review.

The book isn't fluff though, just basically about a summer romance, unlike My Life Next Door, which had pretensions to being serious but wasn't, really. Nothing as earth-shattering as the event in My Life Next Door happens, but the characters are all grappling with serious problems and fears; Wren feels like she's never really lived her life, and Charlie feels that he's not good enough, that he'll never fit in. I think Lauren Myracle did a good job narrating Charlie's sections, but I still preferred Wren's, mainly because her issues were more interesting to me. The Infinite Moment of Us really, really resonated with me in terms of its themes, and it felt true, somehow, and certainly deeply moving. The portrayal of Starrla didn't bother me as much as it did other people; yeah, she was kind of a cliche and the way she was portrayed wasn't great, but what's more important are the two main characters and their fears. I would hope that other teen readers are smart enough to realize that a person like Starrla isn't realistic, and she's not a really bad person either. Besides, that one issue isn't enough for me to significantly drop my rating of The Infinite Moment of Us, and I loved the writing and the plot. 

The cover was gorgeous, but it also housed a great, fun, thought-provoking summer read. The first 100 pages or so, were, I think the best. I realized that the romance kind of  (just a little bit) felt like insta-love, and that was annoying. Not on Charlie's part, perhaps, but on Wren's. Still, as it developed it felt less and less like that and more like something very sweet. I also loved their conversations about whether humans have souls, what it means to be human, and whether who we are is defined solely by our DNA, by chemicals, by a "hard drive", if you will. Those were really great to read about, particularly as I think that's something I've been thinking about lately. And what Wren says about there being mysteries and not always being able to package them up into neat little boxes; that was great. The whole conversation from page 108 to 113 was great. 

I also loved how the book was so honest about desire and other related things that come with the rush of hormones. Be warned: The Infinite Moment of Us is pretty graphic, and I suppose it's marketed to 16+ or something like that. But we all know those age parameters are stupid. Us mature teens can handle it, right? I just thought I should mention it though. 

I enjoyed The Infinite Moment of Us, which I think really captured first love, and I enjoyed many other aspects of it too. I would definitely recommend Lauren Myracle's latest novel for a light, but not too light, summer read. 

316 pages (in the ARC). 

Rating: ****

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