Title: A Sense of the Infinite
Author: Hilary T. Smith
Genre: Contemporary YA Fiction
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
How did I get this book: review copy
Format: bound ARC
What made me want to read it: I liked the blurb and the cover.
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.
A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith is a coming-of-age story about self-identity, family, and friendship. A thought-provoking read, this quiet novel slowly explores the uncertainty of impending adulthood and touches on social issues such as depression, rape, abortion, eating disorders, and self-destructive behavior. Smith’s writing is beautiful and her characters are easy to relate to and realistic.
The friendship between Annabeth and Noe was definitely a symbiotic relationship. Annabeth immerses herself so completely within Noe’s life that she loses her own identity. Annabeth’s need for Noe’s friendship borders on obsession. Her jealousy over any attention Noe gives to other people exposes how scared Annabeth is of losing her friend.
The plot was very ambitous in my opinion. There are a lot of issues that were tackled in this book, depression, rape, eating disorders, and self-harm to name a few. Although, I do think Smith does a beautiful job of handling the way the issues are addressed, I do think that it made the plot a bit choppy.In this case, I think less would have been more.
Overall, A Sense of the Infinite was a beautifully written powerful read. A story of friendship and self-discovery this novel is captivating and compelling. Although, I found the plot a bit ambitious and choppy, Smith’s writing is lovely and lyrical. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys contemporary YA.
**A review copy was provided by Katherine Tegen Books in exchange for an honest review.