Here's a quick-fire review for The Infinite Moment of Us!
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Amulet Books
Format read: Hardcover (owned)
Because of the cover and the synopsis, I expected the romance to be something of a stereotypical one, where two people from the opposite sides of the tracks end up falling for each other - with all of the chaos, angst and romantic drama that typically follow.
However, Myracle's Wren and Charlie were anything but typical. While they were definitely from opposite sides of the tracks - Wren's from a well-educated upper middle-class family, while Charlie has spent the majority of his life in the foster system - they actually have far more in common than it initially may seem.
We find out early on that Wren has spent the majority of her life having her wishes and desires being dictated by her parents, to the point where they will tell her what food to like, and what she should be pursuing as a career choice.
Even though she doesn't like it, Wren also hasn't fought it until now. Despite being accepted to a prestigious university, Wren opts to defer admissions so she can join a Peace Corps-style program.
At the same time, Charlie has grown up in the foster system, and often feels that his opinions and desires - especially his crush on Wren - are things that he can't pursue. His insecurity in actually going after he wants is only exacerbated by a past relationship that has undermined his confidence and his desires even more.
So when Wren and Charlie finally get together, it's not just an average teenaged romance. It’s a question of two people who have been undervalued their entire lives, finding that one another person who values them above all else.
Their relationship is intense, loving and supportive, but it’s not without its darker moments. Charlie, in particular, has a past that will threaten to tear them apart. I think readers will absolutely love Myracle’s frank depictions of what it to be in love, and the sacrifices and challenges that come hand-in-hand with being in a relationship.
This is the type of YA romance novel that absolutely doesn't idealize what it is to be in a relationship and in love, but shows you the challenges, ups and downs, and even the respective baggage that respective partners might bring to a relationship.
However, if you're looking for a Twilight-esque romance or a romance novel, this probably isn't the book for you.
Also, for any parents and educators: there are some fairly explicit scenes throughout the book, between Wren and Charlie. Myracle handles them in an thoughtful, intelligent matter that only contributes to the depth of the story, but this may be something you might want to keep in mind before purchasing or checking the book out.