When We Were Infinite

S. & S. Mar. 2021. 368p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781534468214.
Gr 9 Up–High school senior Beth’s group of friends is the most important part of her life. Sunny, Grace, Brandon, Jason, and Beth are all part of the Bay Area Youth Symphony and spend almost all their time together, communicating via text messages when they are apart. When Beth and Brandon witness an act of domestic violence in Jason’s house, the four friends make a pact to attend the college he wants to go to so they can continue to be there for him. Beth’s father left when she little, and because of that she feels like she must always be whatever other people need her to be, so they won’t leave her. Thus, when her friend group starts to grow apart, she feels it the most deeply and tries the hardest to fight the changes. Many high school students will relate to the important role of friendship in Beth’s life. The story is written from Beth’s perspective as she looks back on the events of senior year, and sometimes the shift from the present moment high school narration to Beth’s reflection is disconcerting. Suicide, abuse, racism, mental health, and microaggressions are frankly and thoughtfully discussed. The back matter includes a resource section for readers who might be struggling with mental health issues. Beth’s friends are Chinese, and she is biracial (white and Chinese).
VERDICT This quiet, introspective book deftly captures the range of emotions and challenges that come with growing up coming into your own.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing