LOVE TIMES INFINITY by LANE CLARKE
A REVIEW by ALEXA DUNCAN
Before we get started, I want to once again preface this review by saying I know Lane personally. She’s a lovely person and a wonderfully talented author. However, this in no way influenced my review. Everything you read here are my true feelings.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about Love Times Infinity. LTI follows high school junior Michie (short for Michelle), who is struggling to write her college admissions essay. Michie lives with her grandmother and is estranged from her birth mother. But when her birth mother reaches out for the first time in years, Michie’s carefully curated life comes crashing down. Not only that, there’s a new boy in school–Derek de la Rosa–who shows her that love doesn’t need to be conditional. She just has to let him in first.
Love Times Infinity is a quiet book. It’s about Michie’s life and her struggles with her family. She attends group therapy–all the kids in this group are delightful, by the way–and spends almost all of her free time with her cool best friend, JoJo. While there isn’t much in the way of plot, I still really enjoyed this book on the strength of the characters alone. Michie is kind and warm despite the challenges she’s faced. She’s also wonderfully flawed and has a hard time accepting kindness from others/ I found myself deeply relating to Michie throughout the story and she makes for a sympathetic narrator. Aside from Michie, I really enjoyed her grandmother, whose bond with Michie is strong and very supportive. Derek is a flawed character, yet his love for Michie is undeniable. I loved how Michie and JoJo never have a “friend breakup” in the book and remain important to one another from page one.
If you’re looking for a rom-com, however, this isn’t the book for you. LTI is not a rom=com, rather a straight-up contemporary story full of heart and emotion. This book deals heavily with themes of trauma and abuse and can often be painful to read. The good thing about this pain is that the other characters are around to help heal it. Michie is never alone in her journey and I really appreciated that. There’s also a lot of nuance in this book–about trauma, about love, about self-acceptance. LTI is, in a word, tender. It’s like a warm hug, and I loved it.
You can pick up Love Times Infinity at the Oreana library today!