Back in April, when I was generously sent an advanced readers copy (humble brag) of Lauren Shippen’s new novel The Infinite Noise, I was in another one of my routine reading slumps. Things like podcasts and audio books were my only salvation from my brain not feeling like total sludge. There was no particular reason for this. I was just having a difficult time concentrating and feared this might affect my experience with this book, despite how excited I was for it. And let me tell you guys, gals and non binary pals, it wasn’t affected at all. Not to be dramatic or anything but The Infinite Noise cured my reading slump almost instantly. I honestly can’t remember the last time I breezed through a book so quickly. Or so eagerly.
This big-hearted debut is an extension of Shippen’s hit podcast The Bright Sessions. Now, you don’t need to be caught up or familiar with this podcast to enjoy this book (although I highly recommend you giving it a listen), but I’ll give you a rundown.
Debuting in 2015, The Bright Sessions is about a group of therapy patients. But these are not your typical patients – each has a unique supernatural ability. The show documents their struggles and discoveries as well as the motivations of their mysterious therapist, Dr. Bright, who specializes in “the strange and unusual“.
The Infinite Noise is all about Dr. Bright’s patient Caleb Michael, a 16 year old football star who’s recently discovered he is an empath, which is pretty inconvenient when you’re in high school. But things get a little easier when he becomes acquainted with fellow classmate, Adam, whose emotions feel…right.
Shippen’s lyrical writing style ties this whole story together. She beautifully pays homage to anyone that feels different or that they don’t belong anywhere. And for young ‘depressed gay kids’ (as Adam refers to himself), this story will resonate loudly. I know it did for me.
Already being a fan of The Bright Sessions I knew Shippen’s talents as a writer. Seeing her weave her magic into this X-men-esque love story was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Especially since it’s an entirely new, touching and informative perspective (well, technically two) on a story I already loved so deeply.
I seriously can’t rave about this novel enough. Between the flat out great storytelling and lovable characters, what’s not to love? It’s the kind of book you might put off finishing for a while simply because you don’t want it to end. Of course that just opens the door for you to read it all over again once you finally finish it. And again. And again. Maybe one more time for good luck. Treat yourself this pride month by pre-ordering The Infinite Noise. And grab the tissues. Because if you’re a big baby like me this one is a tear jerker.