Friday, August 30, 2013
The Infinite Moment of Us
Amulet Books, 2013
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
I adored Myracle's Shine so it was a no-brainer to request this one. Sadly as I prepared to read this, I started seeing a lot of negative reviews, which got me anxious for my reading experience. When many of the bloggers I trust and tend to agree with dislike a book, I expect that I won't like it either. However I actually ended up enjoying myself, perhaps because of lowered expectations, perhaps because I just had such a strong connection with the author from her previous work, perhaps I just was craving a romantic contemporary although I'll admit that as the book progressed, I became more frustrated.
Let's go back to the beginning, which introduces our two protagonists. First up is Wren Grey, the only child of her parents who have pushed and tried to mold her into perfection. But as she graduates high school, she finally rebels: deferring admission and a scholarship to take a year off to give back in Guatemala. But before that, she has another rebellion by getting her first boyfriend. This boy is Charlie Parker, a foster kid with scars no one should bear, who can't believe that the gorgeous Wren is actually talking to me yet alone willing to be in a relationship with him. What kind of future do this two people have? Can they really belong together?
For the most part, I cruised along following their relationship contentedly. Because the book alternates, in third-person, between them, we get to see their thoughts pretty closely. Neither can quite believe that the other is willing to be together but are so happy that they are. Pretty soon their relationship includes a serious physical component as I mention in my content warning. I'm a veteran romance reader so I didn't bat an eye but if that matters to you, then you're going to want to skip this. I appreciated the mix of physical and emotional especially with the brief reflections of Wren's best friend and her boyfriend's relationship, which also seems to balance the physical and emotion.
Wren is not my favorite character as I sympathized with her parents' concerns over her deferment of college but even more so with her delay in telling them (a delay of months). They did not act in the way she hoped but I wish she had found the courage to let them know sooner. Still I identified with her feelings of expected to be perfect though mine were more internally imposed. Charlie, though, I adored. His early life was brutal with a poor excuse for a mother, a dad who ran, and various poor foster parents. But now Charlie has a good family and I loved them all to bits (there could have been more of them in all honesty!)
BUT the ending is where it really fell apart for me. With a different ending, this book maybe could have gotten a 4. What happens is that Charlie's ex, who has been a thorn between Wren and Charlie throughout their relationship, causes a scene that challenges the young couple and at the very end, Charlie makes what I consider to be a pretty dumb decision. And that's how the book concludes. Jen Ryland's review with spoiler captures my feelings pretty strongly. For reference, I thought the ending might be a bit more like Elana K Arnold's Burning and it is not. I don't want to say too much for fear of spoilers other than that I expected more after the brilliance of Shine.
Content Warning: A lot of underage drinking and sexual content; moderate amount of language-definitely recommended for the more mature reader.
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