A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Infinite iIn Between by Printz Honor author Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) follows five teens (two outsiders, a popular girl, a boy exploring his sexuality, and the daughter of a movie star) from their first meeting at freshman orientation through to their high school graduation. For some, their paths will cross again in fleeting ways; for others, their lives will become bound together. Using alternating narratives of the five teens, Mackler creates deftly written, relatable characters, and compelling story lines that should keep the reader's interest through the book's hefty 480 pages. There's occasional strong language including "f--k," same- and opposite-sex kissing, one brief, non-graphic sex scene, some teen drinking and pot smoking, and a mother's battle with alcoholism.
What's the story?
In INFINITE IN BETWEEN, Whitney (the popular girl), Gregor (the cello-playing nerd), Mia (the math whiz), Jake (who's in the closet), and Zoe (the daughter of a movie star) are randomly assigned to a small group during freshman orientation. As part of a "break the ice" activity, they write notes to themselves about what they hope for in their futures, hide them in the school basement, and vow to meet again after graduation to open the letters. Then they go what they all assume will be very separate ways. But two will become an unlikely couple and others close friends. By high school graduation, they will have faced some daunting personal and family challenges, including divorce, sexual identity, alcoholism, and more. And the letters they wrote as freshmen prove to be prophetic.
Is it any good?
This is a compulsively readable story of five teens who meet by chance and then find their lives intersecting in unexpected and surprising ways over the four years of high school. Unlike books in which sex and drugs play a leading role, author Carolyn Mackler has chosen a quieter path for her characters, concentrating instead on the challenges so many teens face: self-discovery, unrequited love, friends who prove not to be friends, family conflicts, and the pressures of applying to college.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teens wanting to reinvent themselves during high school. If you could reinvent yourself, what kind of person would you become?
How did you feel about having the narration spread out among five characters? Does it help you understand each one better?
Zoe's mother -- and her mother's problems -- are constantly in the tabloids and on social media. If you were a celebrity, how far would you go to protect your privacy?
- Author: Carolyn Mackler
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, High School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- Publication date: September 1, 2015
- Number of pages: 480
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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