Welcome 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!
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… (Goodreads)
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.
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.
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.