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Saturday, February 20, 2016

REVIEW: Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler

The Infinite in Between chronicles the lives of five teens from the beginning of high school through graduation. Readers experience the highs, lows, triumphs, heartbreaks and everything in between.

Zoe feels like she'll never out shadow her famous mother.  Sent to live with her aunt, Zoe has to shoulder yet another one of her mother's rehab stints and attempt to fit in at a new school and claim an identity that is hers alone.

High school is never easy, but for Jake, starting out as openly gay proves challenging, especially with the now awkward relationship between him and his former best friend.  Luckily, Jake has family support as he struggles to find the right connections in friendship and love.

Mia comes across as the strange loner.  She keeps trying on new identities hoping to find the one that fits. Mia feels liberated and finds happiness when she discovers that she doesn't have to be just one thing.

Whitney is the popular girl who seems to have the perfect family and friends.  However, when her world appears to crumble around her she learns what and who matters.

Gregor begins high school believing that he wants to be more than a band geek. Oh, and to declare his love for Whitney.  However, when unexpected loss hits his family, through pain and regret Gregor finds he just might be able to do both.

With significant echoes of The Breakfast Club, readers will be intrigued by the lives of these five teens and how their separate stories touch each others lives.  I enjoyed this book.  It is a fast, easy read with compelling characters and situations.  I wasn't always a fan of the transitions, but overall, these flaws are minute when compared to the overall concept of the story. The characters and situations are relevant for contemporary teen readers and the themes and story construction feel timeless.

A word of caution if you are recommending this as YA reader's advisory, based on the themes, language and situations this book is for a mature teen--ages 14 and up.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @carolynmackler

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