Sunday, 11 August 2013

Review: The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

Title: The Infinite Moment of Us
Author: Lauren Myracle
Release date: August 27th 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC
Pages: 316
Source: ALA 2013 (thanks Rabiah for getting this for me!)

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.

The Infinite Moment of Us is supposed to be YA, but I'd recommend this only for 15+, because there's some mature stuff in here. Lauren Myracle does explain this in an author's note at the beginning, so make sure to read it! Anyway, I really wanted to love this book, but I found myself just liking it on a basic level. The writing was amazing, but other things let me down a little.

This book focuses on Wren and Charlie, two eighteen-year-olds just out of high school who fall in love and realize what it's like to fall for someone at a time where everything's changing. It's in dual POV, which I liked, but it's also in third person. I think a dual POV would have worked better in first person because to me that's more personal, and sometimes you have to read a little bit to figure out who's POV the chapter is in. Yes, it's alternating, but when you're really into a book you don't pay attention to who's turn it is to narrate. And I did get quite into this book, because the writing just draws you in. And the premise is great too. It's just the characterization I had a problem with. I did like the philosophical sort of take on the book. Wren and Charlie discussed stuff like that, and they're obviously very intelligent. Some of their conversations reminded me of John Green novels. Mostly The Fault in Our Stars, with all the talk of 'infinity' and souls.

I wanted to like Wren's character, I really did. But I just couldn't. I think it's cool that she's following her dreams, but I feel like she doesn't appreciate what she already has, and just takes it for granted. So many people would kill to be in her place but she just wants to throw it all away? She got into Emory University, her dad got her a car, she's practically perfect.. I admire her will and decisions, but I can't seem to understand her. Also, I didn't like how jealous she becomes of Charlie's family when she's with him. She expects Charlie to just drop everything for her, and even if there's an emergency with Charlie's wheelchair-bound little brother, she gets pissed because Charlie runs off to take care of it. At least Wren realizes she's being a selfish jerk, but that doesn't make me like her any better. She even expects Charlie to leave his family and go with her to Guatemala? How crazy is that? Okay I know I'm ranting but I really couldn't bring myself to like Wren, and that's the only reason for the 3 stars. Her parents really pissed me off too, so that brought me over to her side for a while. I get where she's coming from, but she seriously has to stop complaining about her life when it's so freaking perfect compared to Charlie's.

Charlie, on the other hand, I loved. He's so sweet and gentle, and I felt for him so much on account of his past. He's been through so much, and the fact that he's still a good guy with no hate in him shows how strong he is. Charlie's an all-round good guy, and I loved that. There are too many arrogant, self-absorbed bad-boy YA heros out there. Not that I don't love them too, but Charlie is a nice change. He totally redeemed this book for me. The love he has for his foster brother and parents is amazing. He has this compulsion to care for people no matter what, and that's why he still cares for Starrla, his ex who's also had a really troubled past. Oh, and there was this part that got me so excited - Wren asks Charlie to name five places he'd like to live, and one of the places he names is Singapore! I was like OMG YAYY when I read that! And of course it made me love Charlie more.

I found myself really liking a couple of the secondary characters, too. Tessa, Wren's best friend, is great. And so is her boyfriend, P.G. They're both awesome and made the book that much better. Tessa's really bubbly and cool, and definitely has a better fashion sense than Wren! I didn't like P.G. that much initially, but once we get to know him, he's actually really sweet. And you can see how much he cares about Tessa. Plus, he brought the girls to a shooting range, which is pretty awesome!

Wren and Charlie have quite a few ups and downs, serious ones, and obviously Wren's fault.  (I'm sorry but I really don't like her!) She ends up having to apologize, and Charlie, being the sweet amazing guy he is, forgives her. Oh, and there's a sex scene and it's pretty awkward. I guess it was meant to be, so kudos to Lauren for portraying it realistically instead of perfectly, like most other authors would. I could really identify with a few things Wren and Charlie were going through, about what's going to happen post-high school. Because I'll be in their place in less than a year, and I have all the same fears. I think high schoolers can really connect with this book, like I did. This book really is great, and like I said, the only reason I decided to give it 3 stars is because of Wren's character.

I did feel the ending was a little abrupt, though. I want to know what happens next! It didn't feel like it should have ended there. I mean, are they going to Guatemala? Are they not? I don't want to leave it up to my imagination but I guess I'll have to. Anyway, The Infinite Moment of Us is beautifully written, and there's this pretty intense scene towards the end that I really wasn't expecting! So that was pretty cool, since it was so unpredictable. I think you guys should definitely check this one out, because I know people who've really loved this. And if you're a Lauren Myracle fan, you have to read this! It gives you a really different feel. Different from most YA books, I mean. I really liked that unique feel to it, and I'd recommend this to contemporary lovers and any fellow teens out there.

Rating: 3/5

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