Oh, The Infinite Moment of Us. *SIGH* Since Shine's publication, all I've heard is how amazing Lauren Myracle is, so when Infinite Moment was available on NetGalley, I was excited to be approved. Right away though, I realized Lauren's book and I weren't getting along - and unfortunately, we never did.
I had three main issues: the writing style, the characters, and the dialogue. Lauren's writing in The Infinite Moment of Us is a lot of "tell" and not nearly enough "show" for me, and at times the sentence structure was so basic. As an example, a paragraph might read like this:
Jody said hello as Sara walked into the building. Jody was in the same grade as Sara. Jody had brown hair. Jody wore her hair in a braid. (Totally made-up example.)
There's only so much of that you can read and still retain your sanity. I mean, it's fine to have a few shorter sentences interspersed within more detailed ones, but not EVERY sentence. And mixing in the choppy sentences with the bland way of "telling" us things about the characters... no. A few BETTER way of getting the information across in the example would be:
As Sara walked into the building, Jody, a senior like Sara, said hello. Jody's dark brown hair slid over her shoulder as she waved, and Jody moved her braid out of the way. (Again, totally made up, in a few seconds. And it's STILL awkward because I'm tired, but dammit, it's BETTER.)
The characters. SIGH. Charlie was alright I suppose, just frank, and I think he thought with his downstairs brain a little too often - I mean, I know both males and females DO that sometimes, and more so at various times in your life, but oy VEY, Charlie. I wanted to rent some porn for him so he'd stop hovering over Wren, waiting for her to have sex with him. I mean, he comes into the hospital, injured, and he's fighting the urge not to worry about how badly hurt he is, but to look down her shirt? Charlie, really, don't make me get the hose.
And Wren. MY GOODNESS, NO. On one hand, I remember being a little like Wren - being in my firt serious relationship as a teen, and being awkward and scared, and making some really shitty decisions. And I mean, you don't have to be a teenager to go down that road, but I got what Myracle was doing there. But Wren. No, babe, just no. She made some of THE MOST dumbass moves of any character I've ever come across. Demanding that Charlie pick her over his family, when there was NOTHING TO CHOOSE? Getting pissed off when he had to end their phone call? Shutting down emotionally on him FOR NO REASON? Oh Wren. I wanted to have a come-to-Jesus talk with her so many times. She was so immature and SO selfish, and I was really hoping to see her GROW over the course of The Infinite Moment of Us, but...that didn't happen. *sigh*
My final issue was the dialogue. And maybe - MAYBE it, and the writing will be cleaned up in final edits? The dialogue honestly read to me like something out of the cheesiest romance novel I could imagine. Charlie and Wren would say and think things like, "I'm a man. I'm YOUR man," and "I feel like your woman when I'm with you," and other just REALLY cheesy things (even worse than what I just listed.) There was one point where Charlie thought about how she was "moving her body, wordlessly imploring Charlie to have his way with her." Yeah, um...no.
Once I got past all of that, the story DID sort of grow on me. I liked seeing Charlie and Wren's relationship progress, and I REALLY really liked that their first sexual encounters weren't glossy, Hollywood perfect. It was awkward, and they learned about each other, and thank GOODNESS safe sex was brought up in a normal, non-embarassing way. There needs to be more of this in upper YA. Please.
Otherwise... oh man, oh man. The pacing and plot just weren't good for me at all. There was so much uncessary drama, especially toward the end. The one thing I liked about the conclusion was that it was happy but a tad but open ended, and I applaud that.
Final thoughts: The Infinite Moment of Us let me down in a lot ways. The characters, especially Wren, made some really bad calls, and the dialogue and writing seemed really immature to me. I never clicked at all with the characters, and this one just left me feeling "meh."