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.
This is a good summer read – and not just because it’s set IN the summer. Myracle captures that hazy summer, perfect-life feeling you get when you first fall in love and nothing matters but you, your significant other, and being together all the time. I was taken back to my first relationship and to the innocence of thinking that everything would be perfect – and that’s a beautiful thing to feel in the summertime.
No review would be complete without mentioning that this is a sexy book – there is sex in it, and there’s a lot of foreplay and all the heavy stuff that comes before that, too. While I felt that these scenes were well-written, they did occasionally feel gratuitous – but only occasionally. Mostly, I felt that the longing, desire and passion of the characters made Charlie and Wren’s first love seem all the more real.
In terms of writing, I was occasionally jarred by a little too much telling versus showing – maybe it was just the style of the alternating third-person narrators, but I felt like we were TOLD so much about how Charlie and Wren were as people, rather than actually seeing what they were themselves. Because of that lack of “showing”, I felt like the plot and theme wandered. I never felt like there was a strong throughline taking me through the story other than “will they stay together or won’t they?”, which didn’t seem to be the point that the author was trying to make.
But this isn’t a book without depth. Myracle perfectly writes some of the idiotic fights borne out of fear that happen when you first get together with a person, and the worry that you’re being too selfish or not good enough for another person when you start a relationship. Both Charlie and Wren experience this, and it makes them extremely relateable – but occasionally, also a little bit whiny.
I admire Myracle’s courage in presenting us with characters who are not entirely likeable – Wren and Charlie both have some real mess-ups during the book, and they both have some major hang-ups, but they also had moments that really made me fist-pump for them: Wren dealing with her overbearing parents, Charlie’s attempt to make their “first time” perfect – those moments felt so true to life, and they’re the ones that made this a summer read to remember.
|Photo: Phillip Salzgeber|
The Universe and Everything Else: My absolute favourite part of this book were the conversations Charlie and Wren had about biology, connectedness, fate, and the world. Not only are the conversations fascinating, but I also remember spending HOURS thinking and discussing similar ginormously huge subjects with my first boyfriend, and how much I loved how he respected and listened to me as we discussed and tried to sort out our own worldviews.
Let’s Talk About Sex: While there might have been a bit too much groping for me, I did like how much the characters actually TALKED about and thought about sex. I remember spending a LOT of time thinking about sex and discussing sex and analyzing the perfect first time before actually doing it, and yeah, Myracle got that totally right.
Kick-Ass Supporting Characters: I seriously would have read a book about Wren’s best friend, the loud-mouthed, brash-but-wise Tessa, and her boyfriend P.G. over Wren and Charlie – that’s how much I loved those characters. They totally subverted popular-kid stereotypes, and their romance was pretty cool to witness secondhand (but it would have been better first-hand!)
The Final Word:
While it’s not a perfect read or my favourite read, The Infinite Moment of Us is a beautiful snippet of that weird not-quite-here-or-there time between high school and college, and the innocence and confusion of first love.
Recommended for: Teens 15+ and adults looking for a sexy, contemporary, nostalgic summer read