Four of the most pivotal years in a person’s life are chronicled within the pages of Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler, a beautiful and raw look at the interconnecting lives of five teenagers, and how much can change during the course of 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.
The real beauty of this book is how Mackler follows the teens throughout significant moments over their four years of high school. It’s truly a coming of age story told unlike any other. Those four years a teen spends in high school are so critical and so formative in who a person becomes; Infinite in Between really captures that process and shows how it’s moments both big and small that contribute to the process.
I was initially wary of a book that promised to cover so much — not just four years of high school, but the lives of five different characters. And yet, Mackler managed to pluck out just the most significant moments from each characters’ lives and each year of school to really beautifully capture their transition from childhood to adulthood. Because even though we all do a lot of maturing and growing up after high school, it’s during those four years that much of our adult selves begin to take shape. We define who we want to be as individuals; what impact we want to have on the world; what we want to do with our lives.
And that’s what Infinite in Between captures so beautifully: the journey to these realizations.
Infinite in Between is in stores September 1st.