The Infinity of You & Me
J. Q. Coyle
St. Martin’s Griffin
Available November 8, 2016
Alicia’s hallucinations are only getting worse: more frequent and more intense. Despite that, she doesn’t want to give them up because the hallucinations are the only place she sees her father. Then he shows up in real life, warning Alicia of incredible danger, and suddenly everything shifts. The people Alicia trusted most have been lying to her, and now she’s on the run from them. The hallucinations are real. In them, Alicia journeys to other universes, ones where more than her life is at stake. She must find an atlas, a map to all of them and stop one critical universe from dying if she’s to save the people she loves and her own life in her home universe.
When I first started reading this book, I was worried it would be too confusing. I wasn’t really hooked by the whole hallucination bit—it seemed like asking a lot for me to invest in the most exciting parts of the story believing they were fake. But once I realized that they were real, I definitely wanted to keep reading. I loved Alicia and Hafeez. Jax, the boy from another universe that she meets, wasn’t my favorite—he’s kind of stubborn and I just didn’t really connect with him very well. I’m totally team Hafeez.
I liked how she had an opportunity to revisit the relationships in her life in other universes. Things were often different in other places than they were in her home universe, but often there was some lesson hiding in those moments or some kernel of truth she could grab onto. I also really liked the references to Sylvia Plath’s poetry and Alicia’s connection with her.
The only thing I really consistently struggled with is the fact that Alicia is so young—almost fifteen—which seems to place the story in the lower end of YA, yet there’s a LOT of profanity. I feel like aging Alicia up a little or reducing the profanity would have made it easier to recommend to readers.
The story ends with lots left unresolved, which hopefully means there will be a sequel. If you liked Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton or Life at the Speed of Us by Heather Sappenfield, you need to read this one. I think the characters are more even than Seeker, and I liked the way The Infinity of You and Me handled the multiverse better than the way it was in Life at the Speed of Us.
Alicia’s best friend Hafeez is Middle Eastern. Other characters appear to be white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used frequently.
Brief boy/girl kissing.
Alicia jumps between universes to other realities similar and different to her own.
In one reality, a man shoots Alicia and appears willing to hurt her further. Her mother discusses a surgery that could prevent Alicia from experiencing the jumps to other places. She intends to force Alicia to have the surgery without her consent.
A bully picks on Alicia and Hafeez at school. He punches Hafeez.
Alicia’s therapist tries to regulate her experiences with medication. Later, a therapist sedates her and restrains her. She believes her dad may be on drugs—maybe that’s why he’s gone from her life.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.