I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.Infinite In Between by Carolyn Mackler
Published by Harper Collins on September 1, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Printz Honor author Carolyn Mackler returns with this striking new novel that chronicles the lives of five teenagers through the thrills, heartbreaks, and joys of their four years in high school. Zoe, Jake, Mia, Gregor, and Whitney meet at freshman orientation. At the end of that first day, they make a promise to reunite after graduation. So much can happen in those in-between years…. Zoe feels like she will live forever in her famous mother’s shadow. Jake struggles to find the right connections in friendship and in love. Mia keeps trying on new identities, looking for one that actually fits. Gregor thought he wanted to be more than just a band geek. And Whitney seems to have it all, until it’s all falling apart around her.
Infinite In Between sums up all that is great about YA, in that is gives the reader a story that covers so much of what every teen feels, and since we were all once teens, I think everyone can relate to at least one of the five main characters. Their triumphs, their heartbreaks, and their growth was all laid out in a way that made me think about my own teen years, while recognizing that some of these struggles follow you into adulthood. The five students are placed in a group and decide to write letters to their senior selves. As the high school years progress, the story follows each one of them as they navigate high school. What I loved is how much everyone really grew in those four years. While some changed because of tragedy, others simply became ore comfortable with who they are. The thing is, I liked all of them. They were flawed and weird and exactly the kind of people you want to root for. Zoe, the daughter of a notorious actress, was one character that I found particularly fascinating. Coming to a small town high school after a big scandal is a plot point that could have taken over the whole book, but I was pleasantly surprised at how balanced the storytelling was. The range of my emotions was as wide as the range of their experiences, meaning it broke my heart in places, asnd it made me laugh in others.
The four students didn’t really interact throughout their high school years, which kind of surprised me. While their paths sometimes crossed, they weren’t BFFs at the beginning and, for the most part, reconnected only at the end. Still, though, there was a recognition that they had been aware of each other all along and that those letters connected them in some small way. The pacing was interesting since the story flipped back and forth between each teen in the group. You would get involved in someone’s life and then have to switch gears. That sounds like it might be annoying, but it actually worked really well. I didn’t feel that one story was favored over another, and a big pat of my enjoyment was that I got to know everyone equally. Overall, I was enchanted by Infinite In Between. It was a fantastic blend of the pain and happiness that mingles together in high school. Zoe, Gregor, Whitney, Mia, and Jake all because characters that I really cared about and they will be the type of characters that you will think about after you’ve finished reading the book.
10 responses to “Infinite In Between By Carolyn Mackler”
You got me at ‘sums up everything that is great about YA’ Kate! Infinite In Between sounds fantastic! I enjoy coming of age stories, those teenage years are so important, and to read a story where the main characters don’t necessarily interact all that much really piques my interest.
Have a fantastic Friday 🙂
*Sighs loudly* I so need this book! For some reason, I have been drawn to YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction these past two years. I’m not usually fond of multiple POVs but I think I’d love this one. Great review!
It sounds like it was a great reading experience. That’s great!
I found this book recently when I was scouring Goodreads for other books by authors whose books I’ve loved. The Future of Us is one of my favorites. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this one. I need to check it out soon. I like books with multiple characters, so this one is very appealing.
You know, I own The Future of Us, but never read it!
Great to hear they are the type of characters you remember after reading.
I devoured the author’s books as a young teen, and I enjoyed them so much. I’d like to check this one out as well – ‘all that is great about YA’ is a great endorsement!
Interesting concept. I’m glad she pulled it off without letting and of the one narratives take over.
Karen @For What It’s Worth
Okay this sounds like a fantastic story, and I love that the different stories were well balanced and never felt like you didn’t care for one of the characters or wanted to skip their chapters!
This sounds like a thoughtful and well-written book. I usually struggle with multiple POVs, but I might give this one a try.