Love Times Infinity
– Lane Clarke –
Published 26 July 2022
Growing up is hard and it’s harder still when society (and college applications) want you to have a clear sense of your identity. It’s made even harder still for Michie, who questions her very existence. Love Times Infinity is a delightful YA novel about family, love and finding yourself and your voice.
Michie has always known her story. She knows why her mother decided to give her to Michie’s grandmother to raise. She just doesn’t know how to reconcile her feelings of unworthiness or not belonging with the person she wants to be. Fortunately, she has her support group on her side and Derek de la Rosa, new boy at her school, seems determined to show her just how much he likes her. But when her mother reaches out and wants to reunite with Michie, Michie must decide how much of her past will determine her future.
Love Times Infinity is a really strong, powerful novel and yet comes across as light, funny and delightful.
I was really enjoying this book until I got to the page where the library is described as completely empty and the librarian an old, scary woman in glasses. Serious. I am so over books describing libraries and librarians as outdated and irrelevant. I know that some schools are in this situation. That’s only under poor leadership guidance. Look at any school library run by a passionate school librarian – it will be busy, noisy, welcoming and amazing. And if YA authors cannot be bothered to find this out and include it in their books, how on earth are we librarians meant to fight against these stigmas and prejudice to fight for our students and libraries? How on earth do they think teenagers are going to get their hands on this book or love reading? So, while this book is certainly not the only one to have painted school libraries and librarians in this light, I complete hit my limit and intolerance for this ignorance and could hardly convince myself to pick the book back up. But I did, because I’m a librarian and I know I want empowering, beautiful, diverse YA fiction on my shelves and in the hands of my readers. And, overall, Love Times Infinity, is exactly that.
Thankfully, I really enjoyed the rest of this book. The story of Michie becoming stronger and prouder of her identity is a beautiful one. What I really loved, though, was the representation of therapy and Michie’s therapy group. Each character brings so much to the story and their individual stories bring such power to the story.
Love Times Infinity is a powerful and timely novel. When we are bombarded with so many narratives and “rights” and “wrongs” about abortion and sexual assault, I love that Love Times Infinity comes from Michie’s perspective. This book isn’t about offering a choice to the reader, simply another perspective and a story with so much heart.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Genre: Realistic fiction, sport fiction.
Themes: Anxiety and depression, sexual assault, abortion, therapy, grief, identity, romance, friendship.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Frequent coarse language, f*** (12), sh** (38), wh*** (1), bi*** (6), pi** (3), di** (4). References to sexual assault, abortion, alcohol use, alcoholism, parent abandonment, death.
Published: 26 July 2022 by Poppy.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 368 pages.