Title: A Sense of the Infinite
Author: Hilary T. Smith
Release Date: May 19
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: HarperCollins Children on Edelweiss (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check this book out on 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 harder 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. (Source: Goodreads)
Annabeth has a secret that’s been gnawing at her insides since the day she first heard it. She hasn’t even told her best friend, Noe. And when her relationship with Noe starts to blow apart, as the girls grow apart and into themselves, Annabeth lets her secret wear away at her. Her relationships all start to deteriorate as she tries to cope with the fact that her relationship with Noe might not last forever.
This book completely blew me away. I have adored Hilary T. Smith ever since I read Wild Awake, which was another book that completely blew me away. This book captures the anxiety of growing older, of learning that not every friendship lasts forever, that sometimes people are only in your life for as long as you need each other, and of learning to be yourself no matter who you have to leave behind. Smith perfectly captures the raw reality of Annabeth’s situation, her secret, her fears, her hopes, and really pulls you into the story. The characters were realistic and relatable. This is probably one of my top YA books for 2015 so far.
This book follows Annabeth as she learns to be herself and learns to move away from a friendship that is slowly dying. The journey is significant and important that it should be relatable to all readers. The story really deals with Annabeth’s journey to be herself so things like romance aren’t nearly as important as personal development and friendships, which are the key elements of the book. I thought this was really special and amazing because romance doesn’t need to be everything, though there is something of a romance and it’s super cute. I don’t want to go into too many details because I don’t want to spoil anything, but the experiences that Annabeth has are so special and meaningful and touching that this book left me in tears.
The characters in this book read so true and so real it’s like you know them. I adored Annabeth, I felt for her and wanted to take care of her and give her the love she was slowly losing from Noe. I loved Annabeth’s family, each character, no matter how present in the book, has a strong personality that breathes life into every page. Stephen is one of the most interesting and special characters in this book and I absolutely loved him to pieces and cared for him so deeply. I think there’s hardly a character in this book I didn’t have strong, passionate feelings about. Smith has a special skill for making memorable characters who has a big impact on you no matter their role.
I think one of my favourite moments in this book, and it really made me think of Wild Awake, is this period of absolutely insanity when Annabeth finally cracks from the anxiety and fear that she’s constantly feeling. Things just completely spiral out of control. I think Smith writes these portions of her books so well, something really powerful comes out of them, and they don’t feel out of control for the reader, you’re still sucked into this world as it rips apart, but you feel in control and like you understand what’s happening. It’s really excellent writing and captures the emotional impact of all of Annabeth’s experiences so well.
I could gush about this book for days but I think it would get overwhelmingly repetitive. I loved this book and it made me feel so strongly and sharply that I couldn’t put it down except to sob for Annabeth. I absolutely recommend this book!