The Infinite Pieces of Us by Rebekah Crane
Amazon Kindle genres:
#14 in Teen & Young Adult Coming of Age Fiction eBooks
#13 in Teen & Young Adult Romantic Comedy eBooks
#9 in Teen & Young Adult Romantic Comedy
Publication Date: November 1, 2018
Author I Haven’t Previously Read
Quote: “I’m not sure why I ask this guy anything. He keeps canaries in a cage. Everyone knows why the caged bird sings.”
It’s interesting that I should read a book with that passage this month when the #WEP challenge theme is Caged Bird.
This was an enjoyable book to read, though also heartbreaking. I wouldn’t call it a romance book, though there are love-story subplots. It’s more of a contemporary YA with social and religious issues. There’s a good amount of diversity (lesbian, gay, poverty, pregnant teen, psychic, Christian group, and a mentioned character who might be Muslim or Jewish judging by the surname Kahn). It’s interesting how Esther’s emotions and mental dealings are revealed layer by layer. There’s a mystery mixed in. The relationship between the sisters is more vital to the plot than any “romance.” The focus is on the bonds of friendship and healing from emotional trauma.
I’d recommend it to those who enjoy a YA book about ordinary teenagers. Also to anyone researching a debate on teen pregnancy or adoption, and the small town gossip that goes with those choices. Or, if you like math jokes, this book has those! I don’t read much in the contemporary YA genre, but this was a Kindle first-reads. I read it cover to cover because the mystery of what would happen next kept me hooked.
This realistic fiction is somewhat controversial. The story is complex. The author’s voice is a strong one.
I learned about the name of a real place. “Originally named Hot Springs, the city changed its name to “Truth or Consequences”, the title of a popular NBC Radio program.” (Wikipedia, and mentioned in the book.)
“Life is simply better on coffee.” I love that quote and the role coffee plays in the book.
“I’ll feel around for her, touching my belly, and all I’ll find is loose flesh.” This is sort of raw, emotional punch this book delivers.
Esther’s list of fears in Chapter 24 is fantastic. There’s a bit of pop-culture mixed in that not everyone will get.
“And the strangest thing happens in the middle of my happiness — I worry it will all go away.” Wow. That’s such a powerful line to me.
A possible trigger for some people, there’s a portion that questions Christianity and the Bible.
I deeply loved the part about men creating borders, not nature. How the lines are arbitrary, they don’t actually exist outside of the minds of people.
The cover is a setting in the book, something only someone who has read the book could appreciate. The title is a reference to her love of math. It’s a well-edited book.
The universal life lesson seems to be not to underestimate someone, or make assumptions without facts. Everyone has a secret. I could relate to Jesus, so he’s my favorite character in the book. Hannah reminded me of someone I knew long ago, but to say why would be a huge spoiler, so I’ll just say my one-time-friend had the same kind of plot-twist with someone that Hannah did.
Obstacles in the book seem easier for the other characters. So it seems that the real obstacle is the need to cope with something that has been shoved under the rug instead of faced.
It holds up a mirror up to the society of small towns that gossip about teenagers, and to those who pretend life-altering events didn’t happen instead of seeking therapy to help deal with reality. The book also presents the reality of inadequate sexual education and how shaming safe-sex also has consequences. (Interestingly, even if the consequence breaks the heart and mind, it still doesn’t always become a deterrent.)
There are multiple scenes where females characters have conversations that are not about males. There are also scenes where mixed genders don’t hook up with each other, but rather form friendships. #Bechdel