The Selective Collective reads THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by LAUREN MYRACLE
The Selective Collective features THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by LAUREN MYRACLE provided to us by Amulet Books for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!
For my part in this Selective Collective post, I got to ask some questions to the ladies of the Selective Collective and we talked about some main themes of THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US!
Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:
Publishing Info: August 27th 2013 by Amulet Books
Source: Physical ARC provided to us by Amulet Books for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions
Book Synopsis: For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now… not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?
Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.
And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them… — From Goodreads.com
ROUND TABLE: Chatting with The Selective Collective about THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US!
Wren loves both of her parents but they have extremely high expectations for her and she struggles to stand up for herself or to put herself first. Was there ever a time that you had to step out of your comfort zone to stand up for something you truly believed was best for yourself?
[Kristina – Gone Pecan] “Honestly I’m 31 and still trying to force myself to step out of my comfort zone and put myself first. I think growing up in the VERY family oriented setting like I did was both a blessing and a curse. I always think of them and stand up for my family (unless I’m fighting with them) and will bend over backwards to help before I do anything for myself. So with that being said, I really don’t have a strong memory of breaking that hold they have on me but I’m still working on it!”
Wren and Charlie happen to connect and the stars align. Do you believe in soul mates or that two people can be meant for each other?
[Sandie – Teen Lit Rocks] “Wren and Charlie happen to connect and the stars align. Do you believe in soul mates or that two people can be meant for each other? The short answer is “No.” I believe two people can have an instant connection — an overwhelming chemistry that they can both feel intensely, or a set of circumstances that threw them together in ways they wouldn’t have had they been a minute earlier or later on a given day, but I don’t think that is the only pathway to love. The idea that there is only one person “out there” for you is not something I believe. I think love is more than a feeling; it’s a choice. You can “feel” in love with lots of people before you commit to someone for the rest of your life. Most of my married friends have stories about the “one who got away” or a “big love” that occurred before they were ready for it, so they didn’t end up with the person. That doesn’t belittle the love those people share with their eventual spouses or partners, but it just shows that you can feel “meant for” another person, and things still don’t work out. When it comes to YA novels, I appreciate both the Forever Love stories, and the This Person, This Love Changed My Life, But it Will Probably End in College stories — because the latter is even likelier than the former.”
[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] Hmmm. I think there was a time when I liked the idea of soul mates and two people who were just meant for each other, but after thinking about it, I can’t possibly imagine that there is only just one person for you and you have to find that person. Not to be cheesy, but this quote from Friends honestly and truly sums up my feelings on it: “I don’t believe in soulmates, and I don’t think that you & I were destined to end up together. What I do believe is that we fell in love & that we work hard for our relationship.” (Monica Gellar on Friends)
Wren has never been a bad or disobedient daughter. Do you think there’s a reason (maybe not revealed to the readers) why her parents are so hard on her?
[Diana – Teen Lit Rocks] “I think that Wren’s parents are the types of parents who project their own dreams onto their children. Since Wren is an only child she gets a double dose of it. It’s not to say that all parents of only children are overly strict, but since there are no other children in the family, there is no one else to deflect some of their attention and expectations. Wren has been an obedient child and an excellent student, so her parents had no reason to ever expect anything other than compliance from her. I think that’s why they are totally shocked by what they feel is a total betrayal of everything they have taught her.
Her parent are also controlling, however I don’t think we really know why. It could be because there is no other child or maybe that’s just their personality. After all, parents with multiple children could also be equally controlling of what their kids do.
As a parent of two teens I can honestly say that I would be in total shock if I found out over the summer that my child had turned down a full scholarship to a prestigious university. I would be so disappointed; after all that’s what I hope, that my kids will go far in this world. We all want our kids to excel in something. Whether it’s academics, the arts, or sports, it’s a natural desire for parents. So, while I did feel that Wren’s parents should’ve been more supportive, I could kind of understand where they were coming from.”
Charlie has a complicated… “relationship” with Starrla which often causes a rift between him and Wren. Do you think he was justified in the way he handled their complicated history? If you were Charlie, was there anything you would have done differently?
[Candice – The Grown-Up YA] “First off…. I didn’t like the way Charlie handled his relationship with Starrla period. It’s like he was just dragging her own at some points. At others, it seemed like he wouldn’t break it off completely because in an odd way she was comfortable. They had a history, yes, but it wasn’t a good one. I think he saw that but didn’t really want to cut ties because of that history. All that being said, I wish he had ended it or handled it differently. I felt like he was kind of an ass to her about it and left his ‘breaking it off’ open ended instead of a definite ‘this is over’. I know Starrla wasn’t the best character and I didn’t feel any sympathy for her (yeah I’m cold hearted), I didn’t like how Charlie treated her.”
[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] “Previous relationships that are still around as friendships can be VERY tricky to handle… But I do think Charlie could have handled it a lot differently! It’s true — he and Starrla had a connection simply because they both had complicated and traumatic childhoods. It’s something that not a lot of his friends may be able to understand… But he was also clearly putting himself out there to be with Wren and I think he needed to show a little more respect for Wren’s feelings by pushing back to Starrla and having her back off. I don’t think Wren should have the right to say ‘You can’t see her anymore at all’ but Charlie has to set those boundaries so their friendship STAYS in the friend zone and Starrla doesn’t keep making moves on him.”
Wren and Charlie both grew a lot over the course of the book. What were you most impressed with regarding their changes?
[Candice – The Grown-Up YA] “I think I was most impressed with the fact that Wren stood up for herself to her parents. I think everyone goes through this moment of ‘I have to do what’s right for me’ and was happy that she was able to do this. Yes, it hurt both her and her parents, but I think in the long run it would have hurt both parties more had she just gone along with what they wanted her to do. For Charlie, though, I think his changes were more subtle. I think he saw what toxic relationships were doing to him and, because of his relationship with Wren, he wanted to begin moving away from them. I don’t think he fully changed/grew throughout the book, but rather set up a good foundation so that he could begin to change more for the better.”
Sex can often be a touchy topic in YA novels and Lauren Myracle definitely doesn’t shy away from the sensitive subjects, but she also includes a foreword to make her readers aware of this. What do you think the general expectation is for content in young adult books? Do you think there’s a certain “protocol” that authors should abide by or procedures they should follow if content may lean more towards “taboo”?
[Kristina – Gone Pecan] “I know teens have sex. I mean, I know some of them do. . .everyone makes a personal choice so some might not be doing anything but the amount that is in books today does seem a bit much. I know “times have changed” but even the amount isn’t as bad as how descriptive it can and does get. Maybe its more because I’m an adult reading these books and it bothers me for young people to be doing these things but I also read YA to recommend them to my teenage niece and cousin so I can tell you I would feel extremely uncomfortable telling them to read books that have highly detailed scenes. Every author is different and I don’t think there really should be a protocol so to speak just give fair warning for parents that maybe want to censor what their kids are reading till they get a bit older.”
[Tee – YA Crush] “I think generally most people assume that either sex will be mentioned in YA books and that, quite possibly, there may even be main characters engaging in sexual activity. I’m not sure people expect to see explicit detail though, and so I appreciate that Myracle wrote the forward she did about the content of Infinte. At the same time, without sounding incredibly prudish, I think we need to ask ourselves why teens as young as fourteen (this book is listed as 14 and up) need such explicit sexual detail. I don’t think we should ever shy away from the subject, but I’m not sure we (at any age, really) need to know how hard someone’s nipples are or what sexual position they just tried–but maybe it’s just me. In my experience, an MC can be sexually active, it can still be a major event in her life or a regular pattern of activity for her, and that can still be portrayed in a positive light without such graphic detail. As a parent, and as an avid reader of YA, I appreciate any attempt an author or publisher makes to keep me informed about the more controversial content of a book, without confining them from sharing their story in full.”
And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US so please go visit their take on the book as well!
|Tee @ YA Crush||Review: The Infinite Moment of Us|
|Candice @ The Grown-Up YA||Taking TIMoU From Page to Screen|
|Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks||Freebie!|
|Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan||Q&A with Lauren Myracle & Giveaway!|