Infinity by Sarah Dessen
(A Pocket Money Puffin)
ePenguin, 33 pages
Ever felt as if your life is just going round in circles? Sarah Dessen’s thought-provoking short story about moving on will resonate with teens everywhere.
Soon after Sarah Dessen posted the first chapter of her new book up on her blog, I was craving for more Dessen. It’s no secret that I’m a huge, huge Dessen fan, so as I was thinking of picking up one of her books for a reread, I saw Infinity on the Amazon Kindle store. What is this, a Dessen book that I haven’t read? Gasp! I immediately clicked on “Buy with 1-click”, not minding the price. I couldn’t wait to read it.
It turns out, Infinity is a very short story about an unnamed girl who faces two rites of passage in her life: first is driving, where she has to learn how to go through the major roundabout road in town that her mother is afraid of causing her to make all kinds of “shortcuts” around town just to avoid that part of the road. Second is whether or not she would have sex with her boyfriend for six months, Anthony.
The beautiful thing about Sarah Dessen’s works are how introspective they are. She writes in a way that really sounds like what a teenager would think without making it sound too juvenile for those reading it who are way past their teens. As with her other books, the heroine in Infinity has a strong voice that makes you feel like you were the character, or if not, the character is telling you these things in confidence. The symbolism of the roundabout and the choices that the heroine has to make may seem a bit cliche, but I thought it was beautifully executed. All dots were connected smoothly, forming a story that was already satisfying in its 33 pages.
On a personal note, I love the driving reference in this book. One of my 2011 goals is to finally drive on my own. Infinity didn’t really give me tips on how to drive (and trust me, driving in Manila is scary :P), but I found comfort in the words of the unnamed heroine as she said these words:
Even though I’d only been driving for a couple of weeks it already felt more natural. Things that before I’d had to think consciously, like switching gears and working the clutch, now happened automatically as if that part of my mind was handling it, making those decisions for me.
And I liked how that particular part was connected to decisions in real life, too. :P
I think my only gripe for this book, along with others who bought it, is its price. The book is composed of the short story, Infinity, and excerpts from Just Listen and That Summer. While I don’t mind buying an ebook of one of my favorite authors, I felt that $4 is a bit too much for the short story, even if excerpts of the other books were included, especially since I already own and read her other books. However, if you’re new to Sarah Dessen and you want to try something without the pressure of having to read an entire novel, Infinity is the perfect book to get your feet wet. :)
My copy: ebook from Amazon Kindle store