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Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler
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Infinite in Between

by Carolyn Mackler

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RGG: Sure to appeal, but really just CW literature. Very explicit sexual behaviors although no actual sex. A little bit of drinking. Reading Interest: YA.
  rgruberhighschool | Oct 3, 2016 |
RGG: Sure to appeal, but really just CW literature. Very explicit sexual behaviors although no actual sex. A little bit of drinking. Reading Interest: YA.
  rgruberexcel | Oct 3, 2016 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A unique coming of age novel that I connected with.

Opening Sentence: In the beginning the five of them made a promise.

The Review:

The Infinite In Between follow five characters: Zoe, Jake, Gregor, Mia, and Whitney. All live drastically different lives. Zoe is daughter of an alcoholic movie star. She doesn’t know her father and her mother’s PR problem is beginning to affect her. Jake is coming to terms with the fact that he’s gay and is trying to find himself. Mia is shy, too shy to interact with the people she observes. She watches from a distance but is never a part of anything. And Whitney is bubbly, popular, and beautiful – from the outside, her life is great. If only they knew what she’s been going through. Gregor is falling in love from afar, and then his life changes when he is overcome by a loss. These very different people meet at freshman orientation and promise to meet up after graduation. Little do they know the ways their lives will connect and develop over the next years.

The Infinite In Between is not a contemporary for those who enjoy focuses on trauma, tragedy, or huge romances. Don’t get me wrong – it has its fair share of those three things – but more than anything, its a coming of age novel. All five characters are growing into who they are throughout the four years of high school. Its a cool story because you really get a glimpse into the connections that bind us unconsciously. For me, going through high school and dealing with the stresses of social life, I did enjoy, and academics, this book struck a nerve in certain areas. It helped to remind me that feelings that have been overwhelming me are not taking place in me alone. It helped me to look at others with a different eye, because the book revealed that everyone has more depth than the surface reveals.

The characters were all very different and very complex. Take Mia, the shy one of the group, the observer. She’s polar opposites from bubbly, popular Whitney, but they share so many similar emotions despite their lives being dramatically different. I liked that throughout the story you could see these people evolving. Because the story moves through three years, the chapters are often months apart, and in a way you see a time lapse of what is going on. In this way, you can see the subtle changes develop into whole different people, and you see how different the character that emerges on the other side has become.

As for romances, they did vary, which helped to convey a nice array of perspectives. None of the romances or relationships eclipsed each other, and all the characters were equally looked upon by the reader. There was a gay relationship, and I enjoyed that addition, and the contribution to diversity in YA books. None of these romances were easy and they ranged from a couple chapters to a storyline that covered the entire plot. That’s one of the things that made The Infinite In Between so unique – the variety. The book really covered a lot of characters and lifestyles and revealed a lot about human nature.

Altogether, I enjoyed this novel. It wasn’t the writing style, which was basic but easy to follow, that made it special, nor was it the romances. I think the characters and the degrees of lifestyles that were showcased in this coming of age book were what made it stand out among so many other contemporaries in the aisles. The book came full circle by the end, with the whole idea of freshman orientation group coming back together, and realizing how tangled their lives had become and the connections they never were conscious of. I did enjoy this novel and I would recommend it to contemporary lovers, although fans of science fiction and fantasy could find it a little dull.

Notable Scene:

“Hey, I wish we’d hung out more in high school. Why didn’t we?”

“I was hiding,” said Jake thoughtfully.

“Me too.”

“You?”

“In my own way.”

Hearing that made Jake wonder if they’d all been in hiding, if he hadn’t been the only one who’d felt alone for so much of high school.

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Infinite in Between. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jul 2, 2016 |
I suspect that the visual appeal of the cover and the title of this book is what initially appealed to me the most. I'd also read a previous novel by Carolyn Mackler (The Future of Us) which was an okay book. And I suppose that's how I'd ultimately rate this one: an okay book.

Think Breakfast Club. Basically, five teenagers are randomly grouped together on their first day of their freshman year of high school, where they have to do a get-to-know-you type of activity. They choose to write letters to their future selves, and then agree to meet again on graduation day to re-read their letters. The story then covers their four years of high school, alternating chapters from each point of view. One is the daughter of a famous movie star. One is a biracial popular girl. One is a sort-of band geek who instantly develops a crush on aforementioned popular girl. One is a girl who's a little odd & a brainiac but who undergoes a transformation. And one is a previous jock who likes guys.

This would probably be more appealing to a teen reader than to a 40-something such as myself. It wasn't a bad read and it kept my interest, but it's a subject that's been done before. Ultimately, it'll probably fall under the category of the more forgettable books that I've read. The title of the book remains my favorite part. ( )
  indygo88 | May 14, 2016 |
5 lives will not be forever changed after writing cheesy “Dear future me” letters during their high school freshmen orientation. They will go on with their lives and live with whatever challenges they face and deal with it as well as they can. Doesn’t sound very appealing? Well it should be because that’s just how real life works.
Gregor Lombard starts his high school career talking to his friend Dinky about what they expect to come out of it, little do they know the ups and the downs, the heartbreaks, the losses and everything in between. I remember doing something similar as I approached HS at that age. One thing for sure is that he is really attracted to the beautiful and unattainable Whitney Montaine. A scrawny, looks-like-a-6th-grader, orchestra nerd like him would never have a shot with her…
Whitney has this idea of high school that involves her best friend Kyra toughing it out together. She imagines she‘ll breeze through it just like her older sister Alicia. Little does she know about the identity crisis we all seem to have at some point, or the change of personalities that some of us undergo, or the different people we meet and become attached to. Popularity does not mean anything is for certain.
Mia Flint will always feel attached to her group 18 orientation group. In her own little way she’s looking out for them making sure they’re happy. But she won’t always have to rely on the drama in the lives of others to spice up her own life. Everyone grows into their life at some point.
Zoe Laybourne’s life always revolves around her superstar actress mom who even when she’s not mentioned by name she is always present in a conversation. It’s hard to feel secure about oneself when all anyone wants from her is to get to know someone else. It’s even harder when all anyone seems to care about anymore are the obvious flaws in her mother. High school is great because it’s one of the first waves of self-discovery, finally asking the right questions, and getting those answers.
Jake Rodriguez is gay and came to terms with it slower than his own parents did. The one person he wishes would understand him pushed him away and he’s forced to start over in all his social circles from before. He quickly finds his refuge in art and goes on with his life patiently waiting for the day his best friend Teddy finally responds to his confession from that summer.
There was a nostalgic feeling I got from my first three favorites, in the order listed. Feelings I had once felt, moments I experienced, problems I had to solve. I loved how the author followed them all and made them real with the new hopes and dreams, new personalities, new friends. It’s just the way of real life. Nothing felt forced it all flowed like a nice stream coasting along facing whatever rock was thrown in it. Not that the last two were bad but they didn’t interest me as much. I didn’t have anything in common with them at all and I didn’t find Zoe or Jake to have much depth other than the daughter of a celebrity and the gay kid waiting for his friend to come out. They changed but it wasn’t as subtle and compelling like Gregor, Whitney, and Mia.
But please don’t skip anyone’s story they’re all special in their own little way. ( )
  Jessika.C | Feb 15, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061731072, Hardcover)

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.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:03:33 -0400)

Five students who meet in freshman orientation agree to write notes to their future selves and promise to reunite in exactly four years when they are ready to graduate from high school.

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