Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: November 8, 2016
Source: Publisher for an honest review
Almost fifteen, Alicia is smart and funny with a deep connection to the poet Sylvia Plath, but she’s ultimately failing at life. With a laundry list of diagnoses, she hallucinates different worlds—strange, decaying, otherworldly yet undeniably real worlds that are completely unlike her own with her single mom and one true friend. In one particularly vivid hallucination, Alicia is drawn to a boy her own age named Jax who’s trapped in a dying universe. Days later, her long-lost father shows up at her birthday party, telling her that the hallucinations aren’t hallucinations, but real worlds; she and Jax are bound by a strange past and intertwining present. This leads her on a journey to find out who she is, while trying to save the people and worlds she loves.
This novel explores the ideas of choice and destiny. Baggott says, “We created a concept that explains that feeling of being haunted by the path you didn’t take, a concept that explores some natural human emotions like regret, nostalgia, a grief for the life unlived.” This concept influences the world-building within the novel, making it complex yet thoughtful.
The dynamic duo behind J.Q. Coyle make THE INFINITY OF YOU & ME a wild ride through unruly hearts and vivid worlds guaranteed to captivate. Smart and magical, this novel will catch hold of any reader, young or old.
Alicia has some issues -- she has lots of diagnoses, but that doesn't seem to help her much. Fortunately, she has one loyal friend, Hafeez, and he stands by her no matter what. Alicia is the brunt of much abuse by some of her other classmates and it seems odd why - until much later in the book. There are so many things that have been hidden from Alicia, but her fifteenth birthday is coming up and things will change quickly and drastically for her - and so many things will be revealed and then things get even more complicated for her.
I found Alicia and the story to be engaging and once the reason for all of Alicia's supposed issues is explained, the story really takes off. I found the descriptions of the multiverse and how Alicia eventually learns to travel between the different versions of the world to be one of the most fascinating aspects of the novel.
The different versions of people that Alicia knows and is related to are quite interesting as well. Actually I found the whole novel to be quite fun and intriguing. I expect that the relationship between Alicia and Jax will be quite important to the YA reading audience, but for me it was just part of the plot. Maybe I'm too old and too much of a nerd, but the travel between multiverses and the way the knowledge and abilities are used and exploited were just the most fascinating parts for me.
There is a lot to think about in the novel in regards to how our experiences shape the person we become and taking responsibility for our choices and actions.
I look forward to reading more about Alicia's adventures -- I can't believe that this one book is it for this writing duo and the worlds they have created. My daughter was practically bouncing off the walls waiting for me to finish reading the book so she could have her chance. I expect The Infinity of You & Me to be a big success.
About the Author
J.Q. COYLE is the joint pen name of Julianna Baggott and Quinn Dalton. Quinn is an acclaimed writer who has published two short story collections and two novels. Julianna is the author of over twenty novels, including Pure, a New York Times Notable (2012).