by Angela Maria Hart
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle is a phenomenal young adult, YA, book. I immensely enjoyed it. In my opinion, The Infinite Moment of Us is a more modern take on Forever by Judy Bloom. While I think Forever is a great book that has become a pillar amongst the YA bookshelf, The Infinite Moment of Us has secondary storylines and more details than Forever included to some degree. Forever is a more direct story while The Infinite Moment of Us has a few additional underlying elements pertaining to the romance such as the family dynamics and past relationships.
Charlie and Wren were a really fun couple to read about. I found it fascinating and enjoyable that two people who went to the same high school, for all four years, could have vastly different experiences and never cross paths until graduation. Wren lived a very sheltered life, working hard to fulfill her parents’ goals and dreams for her. She was accepted to Emory University and has her future all mapped out. Charlie, on the other hand, has had a tough life and no clear career goals or college plans. When Charlie finally finds a family, his adopted younger brother is in a wheelchair and he must assist his foster parents in paying bills. The pair could not be more different. Charlie always thought of Wren as untouchable and developed a crush on her from a far, but never acted on his feelings. It is not until a graduation party that he realizes he will not have another chance. This summary may sound similar to the 1989 classic film Say Anything starring John Cusack and Ione Skye, but the stories progress differently.
I particularly enjoyed the fact that the characters were realistic and their emotions were relatable. For instance, Wren meet Charlie’s ex-girlfriend, Starla, and she was not comfortable with Starla’s presence in Charlie’s life. As his love interest, why would she be comfortable with his ex-girlfriend? As a reader, Wren’s concerns were valid because it is awkward to see the person you like with someone else or strange to know that there was a previous relationship before yours. By Wren vocalizing this, she becomes a multidimensional character for the reader and a person with whom they could relate to and understand more in-depth.
On a side note, when I was on Goodreads, I came across a negative review of this book and was very upset by the write-up. The user cited Charlie and Wren’s relationship as antifeminist or portraying stereotypical gender roles. As someone who has taken numerous gender studies classes, in addition to studying gender roles in many genres, politics, films, and literature, I did not find that to be the case in the novel. Rather than think of Wren as a stereotypical girl, I found her disposition to be reminiscent of someone who is meek and new to the world, having been sheltered her entire life. I thought it made sense she turned to Charlie or her friend for explanations. Taking into account that Charlie had an unconventional upbringing, he is more worldly to some degree. That personality trait is not him being a stereotypical man but a well-written character. The pair are opposites in many ways, which is why the reader is interested in their relationship.
In the end, I highly recommend this novel for readers interested in young adult romance. Five out of five stars. While The Infinite Moment of Us focuses on a love story, there are many other details to entertain the reader such as fun secondary characters, witty dialogue, emotional elements, and some suspense.