By the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Awake, a beautiful coming-of-age story about deep friendship, the weight of secrets, and the healing power of nature. 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.
A Sense of the InfiniteFeatured
A few things I may not agree with, but doesn’t make it any less real.
A Sense of the Infinite is one of those books that you push through. A book that you may put off to the side for a few hours because it’s too much to handle in one sitting (kind of like trying to binge watch The Walking Dead, but not being able to handle the emotional aspect). A book that makes you feel. That takes you back.
Annabeth is a high school senior with a monster of a “secret”. And I say “secret” because it isn’t really much of a secret. It’s no one else’s business, really. More of a family issue.
But this is the least of her problems. And she broke my heart.
Noe. She is one of those characters that I didn’t like from the very beginning. Fake. Shallow.
If we’re lucky, we get rid of these toxic friends while we’re still in high school. However, it takes some of us years after graduation to leave people like this. Mostly because it’s just easier to keep them around because it’s safe and familiar.
And that’s a big part of this book. Growing up and growing away from people. Finding the ones that truly matter. Following your heart, and not your friends.
This book is real. Real issues. Real emotions. Real thoughts I had when I was Annabeth’s age. It's dark and gritty, but it is hopeful and enlightening.
A Sense of the Infinite is a beautifully written, tragically conceivable story.
This wasn't a particularly fast paced or action packed read but it was still an interesting one. There were so many little things going on throughout the book that came together to make the plot of Annabeth's growth in her senior year instead of it being one big event and everything branching out from that. It ended up being a very character focused book.
Annabeth was an interesting character. She met Noe when she really needed someone in her life and she clung to her and their friendship. She came across as very dependent on Noe and the idea of Noe leaving caused major anxiety. She was quiet and passive, usually letting other people act on her behalf and not arguing with whatever decisions were made for her. It was great to see her growing and realizing that she deserved a voice and her own future instead of following Noe and that she could see her friendship with Noe for what it had become instead of it being what was keeping her grounded. Even though she felt like Noe was the one growing and drifting from her, I thought it was more Annabeth was the one who was growing up.
The minor characters were more of a mix between interesting and maybe a little underdeveloped. Noe could be manipulative and selfish but then she could also be caring and sweet. In those times it was easy to see why Annabeth was so drawn to her. In the flashbacks, she seemed like a genuinely good person but in the present, she was more about herself. Steven was a lot of fun as a character. I liked his insistence that he and Annabeth become friends due to their mutual Noe association. He was someone Annabeth needed in her life. Her cousin Ava was almost the opposite of Noe. She'd been a selfish child but grew into someone Annabeth could really count on and talk to.
The book touched upon a lot of issues without going too deeply into any of them. Most of them were ones that were happening or had happened to people around Annabeth. We saw Annabeth's reaction and a little about how the people were handling the issues but the book stayed focused on Annabeth. It was reading high school senior year through the eyes of a very relatable character.
My favourite thing about the book was the relationship between Annabeth and her mother. It was never easy or perfect for them but it was so obvious her mother only wanted what was best for Annabeth. She had gone through so much to raise her, she was concerned about the sudden plan changes, she was always present even if some things did slip past her. It was really great to see Annabeth learning just how strong a person her mother was and coming to see her in new ways.
2. Realistic portrayal of growing out of a friendship