Estelle: The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren MyracleThe Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 336
Target audience: Mature young adult
Keywords: high school graduation, summer before college, sex, friendships, secrets
Format read: ARC Paperback from BEA via Elena at Novel Sounds!

Summary: Post-graduation life brings Wren and Charlie together the summer before each of them go off in separate directions. Wren is wrestling with making a choice that (for once) her parent’s did not make for her, and Charlie isn’t sure he’ll ever be able to move on from his past and put himself and his needs first. It’s a summer of first love, discovery, heartbreak before a new life journey begins for each. Will their relationship survive?

The summer before I left for college was pretty intense. Between getting used to the idea of leaving my childhood home for college and falling pretty desperately in love with someone who was not going with me, it was quite a summer.

The Infinite Moment of Us really encapsulated so many of those emotions I remember feeling. Fear of moving forward (with a little bit of excitement thrown in), how difficult it was to break away from my parents (and vice versa), and most prominently, how addicting and all-consuming falling in love for the first time could be.

Wren and Charlie come from totally different worlds, and have led vastly different lives up until the moment events seem to naturally fall together and they become inseparable. Suddenly, Wren has someone to share her dreams with, someone who will encourage and support her without laying down the rules for her, and Charlie has someone in his life who truly truly cares for him and makes him feel loved. Their relationship couldn’t happen at a better (and worst) time, really. Throughout my reading, I kept wondering how it would all end in three months. Would they go in their own directions or would their love for each other cause them to realign their futures so they could be together?

Myracle’s writing style is so unique in this book; it seesaws between beautiful euphoric passages and the rawness of sexuality. But she relies on telling the reader most of these characters’ feelings, instead of showing them and those missing pieces made it hard for me to connect with Wren and Charlie’s story sometimes. It felt a little convenient, a bit too easy and romanticized and I know in my reading I really like my relationships to feel grounded. Wren and Charlie’s story felt so dreamlike; I kept losing my grip on it.

What I absolutely loved was watching a main character unleash her sexuality. Wren felt so brave because of Charlie’s attraction and his feelings for her, and I loved watching this other part of her come free. It was so uncomfortably relatable and I could feel just how powerful Wren’s passion for Charlie made her. She was truly discovering a new part of herself that summer and it was really moving to see them bring their relationship to a whole new level. (Though the use of the word “cock” from Charlie’s perspective was so jarring. Why is that word so harsh?)

While certain plotlines (Charlie’s ex, in particular) and the exclusivity of Wren and Charlie’s love bubble left me a little bit torn over The Infinite Moment of Us, it was really the nostalgia factor that I liked most. Even when it meant remembering some of my own embarrassing and over-the-top experiences and all the blunders that came along with them. Plus I really enjoyed Wren’s best friend, Tess, and her boyfriend, P.G. Seperately they had so much personality, and together, well, they had the kind of relationship I wished I could have had when I was 18.

I think P.G. actually sums up The Infinite Moment of Us best at one point: “Leave the poor kids alone. They’re young and in love. What more do you need to know?” rather be reading borrow from the library icon

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Estelle: Let it Snow (Three Holiday Romances)

Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, Lauren Myracle
Pages: 368
Release Date: September 11, 2008
Publisher: Speak
Target Audience: Young Adult
Format: Paperback from the Library
Why I picked it up: Saw it all around the blogosphere and had to get my hands on it!

Summary: A romantical (and coincidental) collection of short stories that center around one crazy blizzard.

Hear me out. Let it Snow is dubbed as “three HOLIDAY romances” and as my husband keeps telling me, the holiday is over. I’m still giving it another week. But really, who cares? We read summer books when it’s not summer so why not read holiday books when the holidays are over?  I’m kind of impressed with how I justified that one.

If you live in a place like I do (New York) that is known to get a lot of snow (so excited we have been spared so far), you know the evil of these storms. The sore backs, the badly iced roads, the slipping, the sliding. Sure, it’s pretty and sometimes you get a school day or are able to stay home from work. But it can be downright awful. In Let It Snow, it is one of these annoying storms that creates complications for its characters but also causes them to meet new people, better understand themselves, and discover love.

Each short has been written by an author I’ve read previously – Maureen Johnson (13 Blue Envelopes), John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson) and Lauren Myracle (Love, Peace & Baby Ducks). For the most part, I thought each story was well developed (even though they run about 100 pages each) and did a clever job of expanding on some of the details in the other stories. I loved Maureen’s Jubilee Express and John’s A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle best and felt that Lauren’s The Patron Saint of Pigs fell short. There, the main character, Addie, was reeling from a breakup with her boyfriend Jeb (who we first meet in Jubilee Express). The story was set up like a modern day Christmas Carol where the main character has to undergo some kind of personality change. To me, the transformation was just not believable. I didn’t see her work for it.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a short story, and I think this might be my first time reading YA short stories. I was just completely impressed with how much was packed into 100 pages, and best of all, how real the characters were. Each story managed to feature many different characters yet I never felt like someone was left out or that I didn’t understand why they were there. Plus I never knew so much excitement could take place in proximity of a Waffle House.

I definitely think Let It Snow is a must-read. It’s also a great chance for readers who haven’t experienced these authors yet to be introduced to them. It’s heartwarming without being corny and cheesy, and it’s pretty telling when you care so much about characters that you don’t spend a full novel with.

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