Happy Thursday, guys!
We're sharing our release week review today for Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler!
Mackler has written an intricate, elegant look at how the lives of five teens criss-cross and intersect, as they meet at the start of freshman year, and continue all the way through to their high school graduation.
This is a quiet book, but definitely should be on a fall must-read list.
Hardcover, 480 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by HarperTeen
With her melodic writing and detailed characterizations, Carolyn Mackler's book is both a testament to the high school experiencing, while also chartering how we come-of-age - with the help of those in our lives - in modern America.
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. Gregorthought 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.
Echoing aspects of John Hughes’s The Breakfast Club, Carolyn Mackler skillfully brings the stories of these five disparate teens together to create a distinct and cohesive whole—a novel about how we can all affect one another’s lives in the most unexpected and amazing ways.
Author Carolyn Mackler introduces us to Zoe, Jack, Mia, Gregor and Whitney, five young teens who meet at their freshman orientation. They each write letters to their future selves, and make the promise that they'll reunite at graduation to revisit the letters.
But in the four years in between, the five teens experience love, heartbreak, and new relationships, while finding themselves. And their paths keep crossing, until the eve of their high school graduation...
What readers should know first and foremost about Infinite in Between, is the fact that there aren't any strong character arcs or eurkea! moments for the characters. While they each begin their high school careers with baggage - Zoe, particularly - the book is more of a charting of their respective journeys, in four of the most formative years of their life.
And that's the inherent beauty of the novel. Mackler innately understands that high school doesn't always have to end with big! dramatic! moments! or life-altering events. Intstead, it's the small things, whether it's the start or end of important friendships, or the discovery that moving to a new town isn't as bad as you thought it would be, that helps each of these characters (and by proxy, the reader,) grow as people, as they continue on their path to adulthood.
While I enjoyed each of the storylines, Mackler particularly won me over with Mia's storyline. I think that any reader will understand trying to reinvent themselves as they struggle through young adulthood, and Mia's desire to escape, and also reinvent herself, are ones that I experienced myself as I went through high school. But I related strongly with each of the other characters as well, especially when it came to a study of their familial relationships.
With extradordinary writing, and beautiful plotting - seriously, you can tell that Mackler has put a considerable amount of thought into how each of these characters moved through their four years - this is a book that's not only great for fans of young adult fiction, but also really fitting for young students. I think that many, many young high school students can read Mackler's book, and realize that their experiences are actually universal, and they are not alone.
But while Zoe, Jake, Mia, Gregor and Whitney grow in leaps and bounds, their experiences are also just a stepping stone to the rest of their life. Mackler reminds all of us that high school is ultimately creating only the foundation of who we are meant to be, and it's the start of a greater and longer journey toward becoming that person.
I highly, highly recommend Infinite in Between for all readers. Mackler's book presents a complex look at how high school sets the foundation of five different character's lives, and how their ups and downs help them take on the rest of their lives.
About the author:
Carolyn Mackler is the author of the teen novels The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; The Future of Us, coauthored with Jay Asher; Tangled; Love and Other Four-Letter Words; Guyaholic; and Vegan Virgin Valentine. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons. Visit Carolyn online at www.carolynmackler.com and follow her on Twitter @carolynmackler.