Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Infinite Moment of Us - Lauren Myracle

The Infinite Moment of Us - Lauren Myracle
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Source/Format: BEA 2013 || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

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... (from Goodreads)

The Infinite Moment of Us is certainly a likeable book. It takes on the story of Charlie & Wren, who are both faced with personal obstacles that they need to overcome. It also tells of their brewing romance, a thing that is passionate and completely consuming. Put it together with a bunch of events (some real, some a bit more fantastic), and what you'll end up with is this book. It's written in a style that's engaging and smart, and sprinkled liberally with moments I loved, but still fell somewhat short of my expectations.

Wren's whole life has been dictated and guided by her parents. The fact that she finally defies them to do something she wants is really what sets the tone for her summer. She experiences so many feelings - the joy of freedom, the giddiness of a new relationship, the uncertainty that comes with making life choices, the guilt at "disappointing" her parents. She was definitely your typical teenager, struggling to figure things out and forge her own path.

Then there's Charlie, a nice guy, one who has a penchant for being needed and helping out other people. He was an interesting foil for Wren, as he is faced with a different home situation and opportunities for the future. I actually liked him more than Wren, even with the misguided choices he occasionally made.

It feels like the characters are suspended in time after their high school graduation. This summer seems different from the ones before it, marked with an ironic combination of ease and urgency. Every little decision or choice feels oh-so-important; every moment needs to be seized with reckless abandon. The story does a great job of getting these emotions across, and drawing the reader into a moment of nostalgia for this time in their lives.

Wren and Charlie's relationship, of course, is a product of this summer. It begins with a tentative attraction, followed by a full-blown relationship. They have a relationship that reminds me of what my relationship felt like when I was sixteen - like it will be forever, and that the person was the one person in the world who completely understood you.

While all these elements are done fairly well, it just failed to engage me all throughout the story. Part of that has to do with my lack of connection to either character. But a bigger part of it has to do with the shifting focus in the story - from their relationship, to Charlie's issues, to Wren's issues. It's natural for things to be like that in real life, but it just felt too disjointed to me.

The Infinite Moment of Us
tells a real, true story of romance, of growing up, of that time between being the king of your high school and starting all over again in college. While I didn't love it, it was certainly worth reading - if only to be able to indulge in that feeling of recklessness and gravity all over again.

15 comments:

  1. Great review. It does give me a really good feel for the story. I like you last sentence the best "...if only to be able to indulge in that feeling of recklessness and gravity all over again". Wow! Well put!

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  2. Hmm, I'm still not quite sure if I should read this one or not. There seems to be so many mixed thoughts on this book, you included. It seems quite mediocre, but still in a way that I should read it. Thanks for your honest thoughts though, Alexa!

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  3. Overall, this book seems kind of "meh" despite the gorrrgeous cover. I just got this one, and I'll definitely read it, but... I feel a "meh" coming on. And your excellent review perfectly summed up why! It's so short, and the fact that you said it flips between issues and feels disjointed... well, I guess I'll see. :)

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  4. YES, YES and YES!
    Great choices! I have been looking forward to this for so long!

    Anyways besides your good taste in Wow books aha, I’ve been reading for posts and I seriously put 4 books in my TBR shelve so thank you for that!

    I’m a new blogger and would really appreciate it if you would check out my WOW and followed my blog @ http://straightfromthereadersmouth.blogspot.com

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  5. I think most people have had this reaction to this book. It's GOOD... but missing something. I think you're right about the things that happen over the summer being a little too shifting. It's almost like as soon as one thing happens... they forget about everything else. I dunno... I really enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't my favorite.

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  6. I've never read anything by Lauren Myracle. Would this be the place to start you think?

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  7. Wonderful review, Alexa! I agree, I didn't quite feel a connection to these characters either... I really wanted to but I just didn't quite get there! I loved the concept and I liked where it was headed but it just didn't quite come together for me.

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  8. I have really high hopes for this one, and I still plan to read it, but I'm sorry you didn't love it :\ Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Most of the reviews I've read for this book have echoed the same points. Sorry that it fell short of your expectations slightly, but I'm glad that you still found parts of it worth reading. I think I'll probably have to lower my expectations ever so slightly to avoid disappointment. Lovely honest review, Alexa! :)

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  10. I love this review, Alexa! It seems you enjoyed it a little bit more than I did & I'm glad. I completely agree that Charlie > Wren and while I had a GREAT time with the first half of the book, it was the second half that lost me. Wren's sheer selfishness + the absurdity of Charlie's ex completely took me out of the book. It's a shame too - this was my first Myracle book and I had been hearing FANTASTIC things about her writing.

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  11. Recklessness is a perfect word to describe Charlie and Wren's relationship! Every review I've read (including my own) is very middle ground -- no one has loved it or hated it. I'm still a big fan of Lauren Myracle and will continue to read her books, but I just wasn't blown away with this one.

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  12. While this sounds all nice and dandy, it also sounds like something I would just barely like, and not at all love. I think I'll pass on this one, but good to know. Great review love!

    Vi
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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  13. I've seen a lot of reviews of this book lately, and I feel like a number of them have expressed that lack of connection to the characters/story. Thanks for the honesty! I wasn't too interested in reading in anyway, but glad to know I'm probably safe to just pass on it :)

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  14. Yeah this one just didn't do it for me. I didn't like Wren, or Charlie really. Those two events - the picture and the ex - were just so extreme and felt unresolved. I got the disjointed feeling too. Such a bummer. I know others who have related to this one more though. SO seems to be a hit or miss. Beautiful cover though. And I agree the writing style was very easy to read.

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  15. I kept sensing a "but" coming as I read that opening paragraph-most of the reviews I've seen have been similar in tone, which makes me nervous as I have it scheduled to review but I'm still going to give it a try since at least you didn't hate it.

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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