Publisher: Amulet Books
Published: August 27, 2013
Genres: YA, romance, contemporary
My Rating: 3 Stars
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 enjoyed this book. However, there were some unfinished storylines and some problematic issues that I had that keeps this book from being four stars from me. It had so much potential, but I feel like it fell flat in many spots where it could have really shined.
It reminds me of Judy Blume’s Forever, only not quite as good. I mean, Forever is probably the best sex and relationship YA book ever to exist. The Infinite Moment of Us tries, and to be honest, it does hit notes of a teenage relationship in mid-2010’s, but not enough of them.
There is a fair amount of slut shaming. There’s a character named Starla, she’s promiscuous and has a rough past. I felt reading the book that both narrators, Charlie and Wren, looked upon Starla as something to be pitied. Wren and her best friend both discussed how Wren was much better than Starla because Starla was known to get around whereas Wren was clean and pure and wholesome and from a good family. I know this is a thing that happens in high school. It’s how girls talk to and about each other, but because of other elements of this book the Starla is dirty and Wren is bright and clean aspect of it is very unhealthy and gives the wrong impression to a reader about what is and isn’t acceptable.
There are some anti-feminist things, which doesn’t bother me, except compounded with the virgin/whore dynamic between Wren and Starla. Wren’s best friend, Tessa, talks to Charlie about how “girls like to have sex.” I saw it as more how Wren would want a sexual relationship, but it can be read both ways. Some of the reviews if this book that I read on GoodReads talked about how weird this was, for the boyfriend to go to the best friend. However, in my experience, girls talk to each other about this kind of stuff in a way that they don’t with significant others. Charlie is just trying to learn about Wren, so he goes the source, the best friend. Is it super weird, yes, but still teenage girls talk to their girlfriends about a lot of things. I would imagine if someone wanted to know more about me, they would go to Jen or my other close friends. I would assume it would be to find out what kind of food I like and what items of Harry Potter and Supernatural merchandise I already own so they can buy me a present and not about positions, but who knows?
Tessa talks about a male dominated, male aggressive kind of relationship where the girl is submissive and does what the guy wants. Your sex life if up to you, but to think that there is only one way to have this kind of relationship isn’t okay. In Starla’s relationship with Charlie, Starla is in charge. It was very clear that Starla set the rules for the relationship. This to me plays a little into the “good and bad” relationship that is woven throughout the book. Tessa’s description of the kind of relationship that Wren would want makes Charlie believe that everything he and Starla were was wrong and even dirtier. Girls shouldn’t be like Starla, they should be like Wren. Girls can be both.
There are some, it’s not graphic, but its detailed, depictions of sex acts, and the only part of that that really bothers me is that Wren wants to have unprotected sex. It’s made to seem like a good and understandable decision. These characters are 18 years old and graduate high school at the beginning of the book. Unprotected sex probably isn’t a good choice. This is a Young Adult book, and is obviously targeted to older teens, but just say yes to condoms.
There are some storylines that don’t have a resolution, Starla’s in particular. There was so much more that could have been done with Starla. I left the book wanting to know more about what happens to her, how she comes out of these events. I feel so bad for her. I wanted to protect her, which I really don’t feel was the point of her character, but nonetheless is how I felt walking away from the story. I feel like there is a potential for a second book which would wrap this up, but as of right now there isn’t. There are so many loose ends that it would make sense to have a follow-up.
I feel like there is a potential for a second book which would wrap this up, but as of right now there isn’t. There are so many loose ends that it would make sense to have a follow-up. There was a complete story but it read like (this is going be the weirdest analogy ever) during the writers strike when most TV shows had shortened seasons. Storylines were introduced in the first half of the season, then the strike happened, so those storylines weren’t picked up again and forgotten. There are just a lot of loose ends.
All in all, I did enjoy this book. I like the way Lauren Myracle writes, but there were pieces of this books that just don’t sit right with me after thinking about it for a few days. I mean if I didn’t hyper-analyze it to write a blog post about it I may have enjoyed it more, but thinking about book critically was something I was doing before I wrote about them online. It felt like there was a much bigger book planned and pieces got cut out but that whole storyline wasn’t removed, does that make sense?
I felt slightly let down by this book, I didn’t have the highest of hopes because of the mixed reviews on GoodReads, but I still think there was a greater potential than what ended up happening.
Until next time Internet,