A Sense of the Infinite
Author: Hilary T. Smith
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 3 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s senior year of high school, and Annabeth is ready—ready for everything she and her best friend, Noe, have been planning and dreaming. But there are some things Annabeth isn’t prepared for, like the constant presence of Noe’s new boyfriend. Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. And like the way the secret she’s been keeping hidden deep inside her for years has started clawing at her insides, making it hard to eat or even breathe.
But most especially, she isn’t prepared to lose Noe.For years, Noe has anchored Annabeth and set their joint path. Now Noe is drifting in another direction, making new plans and dreams that don’t involve Annabeth. Without Noe’s constant companionship, Annabeth’s world begins to crumble. But as a chain of events pulls Annabeth further and further away from Noe, she finds herself closer and closer to discovering who she’s really meant to be—with her best friend or without.
Hilary T. Smith’s second novel is a gorgeously written meditation on identity, loss, and the bonds of friendship.
So I haven’t read Hilary’s first book, Wild Awake
, but I’ve heard amazing things about it so I was really excited to read this one. And I liked it, but I found it a bit lackluster. I actually thought it was a bit slow and boring at times. I didn’t really dislike the main character, but I didn’t really like her either. She was… boring. She didn’t have much of a personality and I understood that part of that was everything she was going through, but even so, she just seemed so flat to me. She’s not very memorable.
What I did enjoy was the writing. There is no doubt that Hilary can write. I highlighted several sections in my Kindle while reading because the quotes were beautiful. I loved the focus on nature and the way she painted a picture with the most unique words and comparisons. I will say that sometimes it came across like she was trying too hard, but I ignored it because it was just too beautiful to care.
Another thing I really enjoyed was Steven, one of the secondary characters. Steven had such a unique personality. He was goofy and weird. He wasn’t afraid to be himself. He was complicated and messy. He was there for Annabeth in a way that no one else was. And I loved that they were platonic friends.
Noe on the other hand, I didn’t like. I didn’t think she was a very good friend to Annabeth. She was very self-absorbed and just constantly focused on the material things in life. She never got deeper and she really just annoyed me the whole book.
That being said, I don’t think she stifled Annabeth like some people may think or even as the book leads you to believe. I think the only person that held Annabeth back was herself. I was mad at her for being so self-degrading. I was mad at her mom for not realizing how severe it was. I was mad at Noe for not noticing. But I was mostly mad at Annabeth.
I did enjoy watching her slowly come to the realization that she is her own person. That she can make her own decisions. She can like things that Noe doesn’t like. She can want things that Noe doesn’t want. It was quite a journey, one that would’ve had more of an impact on me had I liked Annabeth a bit better. I think if you’re a fan of Hilary T. Smith, you should definitely give this book a chance. I’m definitely still reading Wild Awake and if that one works out, I will certainly read more of her books in the future.
Have you read this one yet? What did you think? If you’ve read Wild Awake did you like this one better? Just as much?