Wren Gray and Charlie Parker “connect” (their eyes meet) across the high school parking lot on the last day of class. She, a product of domineering parents, has secretly withdrawn her acceptance at Emory, where her mother works, to join Project Unity and teach English to underprivileged Guatemalan children. He is the product of multiple foster families and an unhealthy liaison with Starrla, a very disturbed student. Their eyes meet once more across the field at graduation and they finally really meet (although they were in some of the same classes) at a graduation party. The attraction, both physical and emotional, is immediate and the bond and love they form seems ideal. However, Wren must deal with disappointing her parents when she tells them about her change in plans as well as Charlie’s total devotion to his disabled brother, sometimes breaking dates, abruptly ending phone conversations, etc., while Charlie must distance himself from Starrla, who becomes more and more jealous, needy and violent. In addition, the inexperienced Wren and the somewhat experienced Charlie grapple with their sexual desires and initial sexual encounter.
Wren’s and Charlie’s insecurities about a new relationship and sexual desires are real. While Myracle’s portrayal of overbearing, domineering parents is right on point, the ancillary characters of Wren’s best friend Tessa and her new boyfriend PG, are just too good (read sugary sweet) to be believable. Finally, I did not find the story line compelling and I admit I was skimming the last third of the book.
In the advanced copy of the book, Ms. Myracle includes a letter stating that there is sex in the book. While this is not unusual in teen books, it might be a tad more graphic (only a tad, though) than in most teen books. Not something I would have warned the reader about, but, hey, that’s my humble opinion.
Bottom line? Despite some bright spots, The Infinite Moment of Us was a disappointment.