The Infinite Moment of Us
By: Lauren Myracle
Expected Publication: August 20th 2013 by Amulet Books
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!)
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Goodreads description--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.
I think this is one of those situations where the title drew me in more than the book cover or the description. Descriptions can be misleading, and so I don't put as much stock into them as I used to. When looking at requesting a book for review from NetGalley, I've gotten to where I always check the Goodreads overall rating before I hit the button for "request." This is just one step to prevent me from requesting something that looks good to me but might end up being a dud. By the time I was actually approved for The Infinite Moment of Us the Goodreads rating had dropped to 3.4. AH!!!! That's a sure-fire sign to run for the hills. BUT, I try to complete the books I request from publishers if at all possible, and the release date for The Infinite Moment of Us was quickly approaching.
I picked it up with pretty low expectations considering the Goodreads rating, and I pretty much read it in one sitting. I had to put it down for a couple of hours, but I still completed the read in one day. This is always a plus in my book because I really hate when a book bogs me down and is slow going. However, being a fast read isn't enough to make this book good.
I will say that it was obvious to me from the beginning that this book had "issues." There's an almost insta-love aspect and a definitely cheesiness that is hard to overcome. And this is coming from ME, I'm normally a huge fan of cheesy. Well...apparently I have a cheesy line and The Infinite Moment of Us crossed it.
"Something had passed between them. Something he couldn't explain, and it had made him forget that he didn't believe in souls. Anyway, who was he kidding? He didn't believe in love, either, but this he knew: He loved Wren Gray. He'd loved her forever, it seemed."
"I think our souls touched..."
I think enough said about cheesy and unrealistic.
Another struggle for me with The Infinite Moment of Us was the use of dialect. This book isn't inundated with it as some books are, but words and phrases like "muzzy," "supah slo-mo yo," "sumpin'," "you lookin' good," "gangstaspeak," etc are used enough to make me cringe.
Ok so let's talk characters.
Wren is described as a people pleaser, a do-gooder, a worrier, and watcher. She's followed the path that her overbearing parents have laid out for her to the point where her parents don't even know her true self. She decides to stand up for herself and take the path that she wants to take, but at times this felt more like an escape than something she actually felt driven and wanted to do. I did relate to Wren in a lot of ways, even her negative characteristics.
Charlie is currently living with foster parents, Chris and Pamela, who would love nothing more than to adopt him. He also has a disabled foster brother who he adores and would do just about anything for. Charlie's had a troubled past, and he's seeking a way to find significance. He does so by protecting his little brother, working in Chris's cabinet shop (who strangely seems to make more furniture than cabinets), and trying to reach out to his messed up, crazy ex-girlfriend Starrla.
In a lot of ways, I completely relate to this story and to Wren more than a lot of other characters I've read. I've dated the guy with the crazy ex-girlfriend. The guy who can't stop trying to help said crazy ex-girlfriend even to the detriment of our relationship. I've seen how much crazy ex-girlfriend truly needs help and have felt how selfish it is to want boyfriend to leave her in his past so that we could move forward together. I almost feel like I've lived this story--at least this part. I intimately know the guy who can't just walk away from someone who is hurting, even if that someone is hurting someone else that he loves. It's a really messed up situation and I have STRONG feelings about these types of situations. Because of that The Infinite Moment of Us brought those back out of me.
However, Wren and Charlie's relationship had an immature feeling to it to me. So much so that I literally cringe at their decision to move forward physically. These two kids are just not ready for the kinds of issues that come up when this level of physicality is involved in a relationship.
Also, The Infinite Moment of Us was another book that just ended. I won't say it was a cliffhanger, but I just felt like the ending was rushed and uncomfortable. And just over very abruptly.
While I could completely relate to a lot of aspects of The Infinite Moment of Us, the pet peeves, cheesiness, and missing pieces were enough to drag this one down in my mind. I completely understand why the ratings are so low. The best I feel I can do for The Infinite Moment of Us is to give it 3 stars. And that's quite possibly a stretch only given because of the crazy ex-girlfriend emotions that it raised for me.
Have you read The Infinite Moment of Us? What did you think? Let me know!