The Selective Collective: The Infinite Moment of Us

SCnewbannerWelcome to The Selective Collective. Together with our friends at The Book Addict’s Guide, Gone Pecan, The Grown Up YA and Teen Lit Rocks, we’ll be exploring a new release in its entirety, from review to author spotlight, to a roundtable chat, among other fun things.

This week we’re discussing The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle and I am the lucky girl who gets to review it!

InfiniteFor 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…  (Goodreads)

The Story:

With graduation looming only days away, the paths of Wren and Charlie–two people who’ve always seemed so different–converge. Charlie has always had a thing for Wren, beautiful and driven, the girl who will succeed at everything she chooses in life. Wren, on the other hand, has kept guys off her radar. She made a promise to her parents that she’d focus on school and thus, she’s never had a single boyfriend–not one date–and suddenly there’s Charlie, cute and smart, the kind of guy who’s overlooked because he hasn’t had a perfect family life, and Wren feel pulled to him.

Wren is changing. She’s always been the girl who does exactly what her parents expect. From school and grades and her personal life, to the career choice she’s made, everything is executed with thoughts about (and pressure from) her mom and dad. Now, she has a secret about something she plans to do after graduation and it’s probably going to drive a wedge in her relationship with her family–and yet she’s still doing it. As she embraces that decision, Charlie comes into her life and he encourages her to do what’s in her heart despite what may come. Charlie has had his own crosses to bear, but he’s with a great foster family now–one that treats him like their own son–and he has Wren, which feels like everything.

The Problem:

Obviously, Wren’s parents are pretty ticked she’s made a decision they feel is going to practically ruin her life.  I have to be honest, they’re pretty jerky about it. They lay on the guilt. They give her the silent treatment. They wonder when she’ll come to her senses. None of this changes Wren’s mind; it only serves to make the remaining summer she has at home feel strained.

Charlie, while essentially a good guy, has this girl in his life he can’t seem to shake. And this girl, Starrla,  is trouble. Charlie doesn’t want Starrla around anymore but she’s like a bad habit. A toxic friend (one he used to have a physical relationship with) he feels responsible for at times.  And of course, this makes Wren uncomfortable.

What I Liked:

I like the families and the conflicts that arose. Wren’s parents can come off like great people and the can come off kind of like a-holes. To me, they’re parents struggling with letting go of their one and only child. I don’t agree with thier methods, but I think Myracle did a fabulous job conveying that they were good people. They just needed a bit of a reality check.

Charlie’s foster family, oh, I wanted to hug them. His younger brother, who is disabled and is, next to Wren, the person Charlie loves most in this world, well, he just melted my heart with his cuteness. His parents, Pam and Chris, are excellent. There was so much love in that family. I liked that even though we know Charlie has been neglected and abused in the past, both my his birth mother and by other foster families, the real focus is on the family he currently has and how he fits into that dynamic.

As far as Charlie and Wren, I enjoyed how they came together. Charlie’s crush from long ago and Wren’s attraction to him really grabbed me. I believed they were falling in love with every step, and I found most of that journey to be very sweet. Myracle captured that wonderful uncertainty that comes with first love and she, by sharing their alternating perspectives, allowed me to get to know each of them and their distinct desires.

My Issues:

There were two areas I struggled with in this book. The first is with Wren’s immaturity. I understand that yes, she’s only eighteen and yes, this is her first romance, but I grew weary of her at certain points. She’s often worried that Charlie is choosing other people above her. This is a valid concern in any situation involving Starrla, but when Charlie’s younger brother or any of his family are truly in need or when he feels a sense of loyalty toward them, it seems childish and selfish for Wren to whine about it.

Also, it’s no secret this book contains sex. And let me be clear, I have no issue with sex in YA books. Certain stories really do call for it as it’s a believable evolution, the obvious next step in certain relationships. That being said, I thought this book was entirely too graphic. Myracle does address this in the foreward, stating that she does not wish to underestimate her readers’ ability to take on “content”–and I appreciate that sentiment. Still, having the ability to take it on and having the desire to are different things. For me, the graphic descriptions really took away from the romance and the physical intimacy of Charlie and Wren’s relationship. After they got hot and heavy, it was pretty much a main feature. Bye Bye picnics in the park, hello humping on the side of the road. Again, I don’t doubt these are realistic events, I just wish we could have had less detail about that alone and more of them as a whole, two people in a loving, committed, intimate relationship that spend time doing more than groping each other under the dinner table while friends sit nearby.

Crush Intensity: 3.75/5 I really enjoyed so many aspects of this book, especially the coming of age struggles these two face, but I also struggled with certain things.

Please be sure to visit my blogging partners in The Selective Collective and check out the great things they have in store:

The Book Addict’s Guide- Roundtable Discussion

Gone Pecan- Author Interview & Giveaway

The Grown Up YA- Page to Screen

Teen Lit Rocks- Freebie Post

Sincere thanks to Abrams Books for sending review copies of The Infinite Moment of Us to all of The Selective Collective.

8 thoughts on “The Selective Collective: The Infinite Moment of Us

  1. Oh I loved Charlie’s foster family!! That was just such a great story and I was so happy that he found a great home and that his foster family was just so supportive of him.
    I really liked how Wren and Charlie came together too! I think it’s so special to read about a long time crush becoming a real relationship because well…. Haven’t we all dreamed of that at some point in time?
    Great review! Excellent feelings on this one and everything very well said!

  2. I had a similar reaction to this book – I read a lot of romance novels and the sex are pretty much at that level in most of them. The novel read like a contemporary romance – but with much younger characters. I loved the depiction of Wren’s parents, too. They were nuanced, and they could be an obstacle to their daughter’s happiness without being evil.

    That being said, the portrayal of Starrla made me really, REALLY angry. They made her a sexually promiscuous, lower-class, sexually abused mess – and if she’d been developed, this wouldn’t have pissed me off. No, what pissed me off is that it seemed like the author made her this way to completely contrast her with Pure, Virginal, Only Has Sex For Love Wren. I also REALLY disliked that Starrla is depicted as the Dirty, Trashy, Slut while Charlie’s sexual choices are never questioned. Because of course all the Meaningless, Emotionless Sex they had FOR YEARS is Starrla’s fault because she’s a Dirty Tramp and poor Charlie was just lured in by her whorish wiles.

    Starrla is pretty much Slut-Shaming in human form.

    • Even though I really liked aspects/characters of the book, I’m actually really tired (as a whole) with the trope of virginal girls with more experienced guys who know exactly what to do the first time around… And I agree that it was unnecessary to “ghetto up” Starrla just to marginalize her even more when compared to Wren. A book that approached a similar dynamic in a much less stereotypical way: The Sea of Tranquility. The main guy has a friends with benefits situation, but the girl isn’t demonized in any way. Great insight!

  3. Agree on the whole Wren thing. How she was so mad that he wouldn’t drop everything for her and LEAVE but then she isn’t willing to do the same. Great review, I might have LOLed at a couple lines. 🙂

  4. Great review! I actually really enjoyed this one – read it in 4 hours! – but I think the sex really turned me off. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with it… I think that it’s just not anything new to me. It finally got to the point where it felt like all their relationship WAS was sex. While Wren’s constant whining over Charlie picking his family over her did start to grate on my nerves, I loved how clear Myracle captured a true teen’s voice – I remember my younger sister acting almost this exact same way! Minus the sexy pics and teen sex… oh please let it be minus those things!

  5. Kristina that’s what made me annoyed with Wren as well. Here the guy she loves finally has a real family and instead of understanding that and supporting him, she’s jealous of them? That made no sense.

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