Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: Love Times Infinity
Author: Lane Clarke
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Black MC who lives with grandmother, Black characters, Lesbian character, Hispanic character, Foster care character, Jewish character
Recommended For…: young adult readers, contemporary, romance, Black romance
Publication Date: July 26, 2022
Genre: YA Contemporary
Age Relevance: 16+ (roaches/bugs, sexual assault/rape, depression, psychiatric hold, anxiety, cursing, alcoholism, underage alcohol consumption, abortion, panic attack, romance)
Explanation of Above: Roaches/bugs are mentioned in the beginning of the book and not at all after that. It’s a quick mention. The book revolves around a character who is the product of rape, so rape and sexual assault are mentioned in varied vagueness to bluntness throughout the novel. Depression and anxiety are shown in the book and there is a psychiatric hold mentioned as well. There is one panic attack scene. There is a lot of cursing throughout the book. Alcoholism is mentioned and underage alcohol consumption is mentioned as well. Abortion is mentioned to a character who is pregnant. There is some romance in the book.
Synopsis: High school junior Michie is struggling to define who she is for her scholarship essays, her big shot at making it into Brown as a first-generation college student. The prompts would be hard for anyone, but Michie’s been estranged from her mother since she was seven and her concept of family has long felt murky.
Enter new kid and basketball superstar Derek de la Rosa. He is very cute, very talented, and very much has his eye on Michie, no matter how invisible she believes herself to be.
When Michie’s mother unexpectedly reaches out to make amends, and with her scholarship deadlines looming, Michie must choose whether to reopen old wounds or close the door on her past. And as she spends more time with Derek, she’ll have to decide how much of her heart she is willing to share. Because while Michie may not know who she is, she’s starting to realize who she wants to become, if only she can take a chance on Derek, on herself, and on her future.
Review: I think this is a superb read, with really thought provoking questions throughout it. I loved how the book was written and it really made me think throughout it. Usually I stay away from books where it discusses a pregnancy after a rape. I do this because when I was younger, most of the books like that were in the Christian fiction genre. In fact, when I was in high school I had a friend who loved to read Christian novels and some of the novels that she really liked and would tell me about was in the theme of about a pregnancy after a rape. And the thing that really bugged me about those books were that they all showcased that it was all sunshine and rainbows afterwards. And I thought to myself, and I still do think to myself, that It is a very stupid way of framing that unfortunate situation and obviously it was to push a certain political agenda. But the thing I love about this book is that it was very raw and honest about the aftermath of such an event. It didn’t paint the issue as “sunshine and rainbows” but rather it focused on the MC, who is a product of rape, and how they deal with that event and how their family also deals with it. It was raw and emotional and honest, and even when another character in the book got pregnant the MC not only advocated for abortion but also for the character to make a choice that best suited them. The character development was amazing and the world building was well done. The pacing was also great and overall I think this is one of those books that are well worth being read. I also loved all of the Percy Jackson mentions. This is something I think other authors could incorporate as well *hinthint*
The only issue I had with the book is that the ending was a bit sudden and I wanted to see more of the romance between the MC and the love interest, but other than that I absolutely adored this read!
Verdict: I love it! Highly recommend!