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jenryland

jenryland

The Infinite Moment of Us - Lauren Myracle The Infinite Moment of Us is about a summer romance between two recent high school graduates, Charlie and Wren.This sounded like the kind of character-driven realistic fiction I love, but a lack of character growth and some issues I had with the dynamic of the romantic relationship made this book a bit of a miss for me. Wren's been accepted early decision to Emory and won a merit scholarship, but doesn't want any of that, because that's what her overbearing parents want her to do. So she lies to her parents and turns Emory down and applies for a volunteer program in Guatemala. But before she runs off and shows her parents that they are Not The Boss of Her, she decides she wants to get to know -- and lose her virginity to-- --Charlie. Charlie has real problems. His working class foster parents are short on money, his handicapped younger foster brother gets bullied, and he has a crazy ex-girlfriend who wants him back. It seemed to me like the last thing Charlie needed was some clingy, self-centered girl like Wren who wants to use him for her summer rebellion plan. So Charlie and Wren get together. I have no problem with sex in YA books, even explicit sex, but I never felt emotionally invested in this relationship because Wren came off to me as so needy and manipulative, while poor Charlie got stuck in a melodramatic tug-of-war between Wren and his troubled ex, Starrla. When the end of the story offered an opportunity for both Charlie and Wren to finally show some real maturity and emotional growth, I was so excited …. and then so disappointed that the story went in another direction.I was all ready for Wren to say goodbye to Charlie and get on the plane. This is what Wren says she wants: independence. To be her own person. Meanwhile, Charlie has plans to go college and make a better life for himself. To my complete dismay, the book ends with him leaving his foster family and throwing some stuff in a suitcase and running to the airport to follow Wren to Guatemala. What???? If a female character had postponed her college plans to chase after some boy she'd been sleeping with for a couple of months, I'd be outraged, and I felt the same way about a male character making that questionable decision. This story might have redeemed itself for me if the two had gone their separate ways and then reconnected later in an epilogue. Maybe I'd have liked Wren better after her time in Guatemala. This story seemed to want to be a coming of age story, but never took that last step. I didn't feel like Wren's character grew at all through the course of the story, except for becoming more sexually experienced, and that disappointed me. All that said, other readers may completely disagree. As a library volunteer, I know how popular Myracle's middle grade books are with the 9-12 set. I've also heard amazing things about her YA novel Shine and would love to try it, but, sadly, Infinite Moment just wasn't my cup of YA tea.Received this book as an ARC giveaway at BEA