Never judge a book by its cover: never has this statement been more true than when it’s applied to YA literature. Numerous YA novels have beautiful covers masking lackluster stories inside.
Unfortunately, The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle is one such story. There’s no question about it that the cover is drop dead gorgeous, even the feel of the book cover is oh so nice – #booknerdalert. Myracle’s dual POV novel revolves around soon-to-be love birds Wren and Charlie during the summer after their high school graduation. Novels such as these are not my usual YA of choice i.e. december book club book pick. There wasn’t one defining characteristic contributing to my dislike of the book. In the beginning, I kind of liked the book (Wren is my new favorite girl name thanks to FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell). Things went downhill about a third of the way through the book. While I enjoyed that the romance didn’t take the entire book, I didn’t necessarily believe how quickly things escalated. I’ve never been sold on stories featuring the guy from the wrong side of the tracks and the rich, naive girl swooping in to save the day. I also don’t particularly like whiney white suburban girls complaining about their lives.
Interestingly, I enjoyed Just One Day by Gayle Forman which also featured a well-to-do teen trying to break free of her parents’ privileged restraints. I think I like Forman’s novel (and not Myracle’s) because of the side characters. For me, Wren’s parents and Tessa didn’t leap off the page and P.G. had potential to be a well rounded character but I kept being told how great he was without being shown any actions. I did like Charlie’s family (Chris, Pamela, and Dev) but not his sob story or Starrla’s, his ‘ex-girlfriend’. The moment I put a fork in this novel was when Wren and Charlie had sex for the first time in a park. I too live in Atlanta, and what park are you having sex in where the police aren’t arresting you?! I am all for real, honest teen sexuality in novels but the passages containing sex in this book just made me feel awkward and I actively cringed in my seat. The final fight/climax felt forced and I actually exclaimed ‘no way!’ Icing on the cake: an open ending with the possibility of a sequel, I think I’ll pass…
January Book Club: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson