Thank you to Feiwel & Friends for a copy of The Other Side of Infinity in exchange for an honest review.
It was supposed to be an ordinary day at the pool, but when lifeguard Nick hesitates during a save, seventeen-year-old December uses her gift of foreknowledge to rescue the drowning man instead. The action comes at a cost. Not only will Nick and December fall in love, but also, she envisions that his own life is now at risk. The other problem? They’re basically strangers.
December embarks on a mission to save Nick’s life, and to experience what it feels like to fall in love — something she’d formerly known she’d never do. Nick, battling the shame of screwing up the rescue when he’s heralded as a community hero, resolves to make up for his inaction by doing December a major solid and searching for her mother, who went missing nine years ago.
As they grow closer, December’s gift starts playing tricks, and Nick’s family gets closer to an ugly truth about him. They both must learn what it really means to be a hero before time runs out. — From the publisher
I like to think I have a pretty strong suspension of disbelief when it comes to fiction. I’m not picky about rolling with magic systems and out-of-this-world scenarios — provided they have an internal logic. Unfortunately, Joan F. Smith’s The Other Side of Infinity lacks that internal logic. Without giving anything away, even the “explanation” of December’s gift at the end doesn’t clarify its somewhat haphazard rules.
That’s not to say I hated the book. While December’s chapters aggravated me, I quite enjoyed Nick’s storyline, particularly the exploration of his dyslexia. Not enough books (or media in general) dig into the problems in the US education system concerning learning differences and alternative education. Smith does a great job there. I adored this. I’d gladly read a whole book of Nick fighting against mainstream education.
I do want to put out there that I picked this book up because Feiwel & Friends (an imprint of MacMillan Children’s) is the publisher, and its books have never done me wrong before. The Other Side of Infinity is not necessarily something I’d choose on my own (stretching out of my comfort is something I love about getting to review books).
The Other Side of Infinity is out on April 25, 2023.