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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Infinity + One by Amy Harmon

While I genuinely enjoyed this novel, I can't say it was a true favorite. I should say I'm not usually into "road trip" books, I usually don't find myself in those (especially if they have the Young Adult vibe). This one, though, was definitely a New Adult novel with the "coming of age" theme, it was fun and engaging, both main characters were interesting and the general idea of doing a sort of re-make to the "Bonnie and Clyde" theme through modern characters was original and fun to read. Yet somehow this book dragged for me and I saw I'm not the only one complaining about it. I DO think that all the adventures that our current "Bonnie and Clyde" went through had a certain meaning and couldn't really be avoided, yet it felt like too much adventures before they get to their destination. I also thought the same about the last hour or so of the book, There were a lot of details, a lot of things happening and being revealed yet it took too long to get to the "point" so to speak. 

Bonita Rae Shelby, known to everyone around her as "Bonnie Rae" is a famous successful singer. Life have been fortunate for her, she started out as poor as one could be in a small town were right about everyone were poor and miserable. Collecting their last dollars she goes with her grandmother to a talent show and wins the big pot and now at the age of 21 she is a sensation. Everybody loves Bonnie Mae and she has everything she could ever wish for yet after losing her twin sister Minnie Mae to Leukemia she falls apart. Running from the stage at the end of a performance she cuts her hair, puts on a hat to disguise herself, grabs her grandmother's hand bag (also her way to fierce manager) containing money and catches a cab to wherever. She stops the cab at a bridge and prepare to throw herself of it ending her life and misery. 

Infinity James Clyde, also known as Clyde, or just "Finn", had a horrible life. Everything that COULD have gotten wrong actually did. But now he plans on correcting his past mistakes and taking a chance at life. He has a job offer in Vegas and he is going to drive there and actually DO something with his life. Like Bonnie Mae, Finn is also one part of a twin and like her, he also lost his twin - Fisher - about 7 years ago when his brother decided to rob a convenience store and not only shot (almost to death) the owner he got shot himself and soon after died. Fleeing the scene to a near hospital Finn finds himself not only without his other half but also being prosecuted for armed robbery and is sent to 5 years in jail.  Now two years after he was released he is ready to make a change in life, not be dragged by circumstances (or his twin) but make a life of his own. Yet when he crosses a certain bridge and sees a figure standing there ready to jump he stops his car and goes toward the small figure not knowing both their lives are going to change from this point on. 

Finn has a very special ability with numbers and from what is described in the beginning it seems he also has Synesthesia - he sees numbers in colors in front of his face, like they are written on a board in front of him. This ability and affinity to numbers is Finn's only comfort. Bonnie on the other hand finds her solace in singing. While Finn sees all the numbers around them and speaks of those numbers, Bonnie sings, to herself, to people around them, to Finn and while Finn falls in love with her voice, she adores the way he sees the world and often asks him to speak to her about his numbers (even if just to loll her to sleep ;)).

"I believe in Bonnie and Clyde"

I mostly don't highlight paragraphs or sentences in books, I'm not sure why, but in this one I highlighted quite a few quotes. Even with the problems I had with this book (which I already stated above) it was beautifully written with had a lot of special moments between Bonnie and Finn showing how much they were different as day from night yet in some ways were amazingly similar. They found in each other what they lost in their twins. Bonnie the hyper active one, the one who speaks and acts is so similar to Fish and Finn, the quiet contemplating one is so similar to Minnie. 

“Do you ever feel like you’ve forgotten something, only to realize it’s not something, it’s someone . . . it’s Fisher? I feel like that all the time. Like I’ve overlooked something important—and I’ll check to make sure I haven’t left my phone, or my keys, or my purse. Then I realize it’s Minnie. I’ve lost Minnie.” 

“My mom used to say Fish and I were two sides of the same coin. Fish said he was heads, and I was the ass. Not tails, the ass. But if that’s true, I guess he won’t ever be lost—as long as I exist, so does he. You can’t lose the other side of a coin, right?”

“Finn? I’m a twin. You’re a twin. But our twins are gone. So what does that make us? Are we halves?”

There is a lot of heartache when it comes to both their twins and the way both of them deal with the loss. For Bonnie more recent than Finn. Both lost their other half somewhat abruptly leaving them searching in the dark to find what they lost. 

“What word would you have wanted, Finn?” Bonnie asked, and he could tell she was trying not to cry. “If you got one word, what would you have wanted him to say?” It was Finn’s turn to shake his head. “I don’t know, Bonnie. No matter how many words we get, there’s always going to be the last one, and one word is never enough.”

The modern "Bonnie and Clyde" begin their own adventure! While Finn is quite reluctant at the beginning, Bonnie's charming personality "gets" to him and he finds himself revocable falling in love with her. Bonnie is going through the same thing, finding she wants and needs Finn  by her side yet she sees all the little sacrifices he makes for her and in a way feels bad for dragging her problems into his already troubled life.

While they are (sort of) enjoying themselves, Bonnie's grandmother is making the whole thing look like Bonnie is being kidnapped by an ex-con, and so along the book there are news snippets of how the journey seems from the outside with a somewhat "Bonnie and Clyde" from the past feel changing what REALLY happened to them to something more adventurous, dangerous and yeah, illegal. But as they keep going, Bonnie is reluctant to speak to her grandmother, the one that made her break with how she pushes her without letting her even grieve for her sister and the only one she can turn to for help is her body guard and best friend - Bear - who helps a little as he also stumbles into trouble himself. 

Yet beside trouble they also find a lot of people on their way in need of some help and Bonnie is always ready to help with everything she can. Finn isn't a fan of all those stops along the way yet he accepts them for her and is amazed by her sweet and caring personality and the symbolic meaning she seems to find in all of it (including picking up a beggar in the middle of the road just because the sign he was carrying spoke to her). 

It was a great adventure. To them as well as for me. Both Bonnie and Finn grow up and come to terms with themselves throughout this journey. Looking at their lives, the past, and looking forward to a better future, hoping they could also have one another even if it feels so unlikely - the superstar and the ex-con.

We weren’t so different, Finn and I. Cages come in lots of different colors and shapes. Some are gilded, while others have a slamming door. But golden handcuffs are still handcuffs.

Yet here they are, together at the moment, in love, not wanting to let go, fearing what would happen when they finally arrive at their destination with all the (false) drama the media seems to through at them. But in all of it there is still the question - in the end, what this journey actually means? what would happen when it's all over? 

“I don’t want to be without you, Bonnie! Don’t you get that? I am in love with you! I’ve known you for one week. And I’m in love with you! Crazy, drive-off-a-cliff-if-you-asked-me-to, in love with you. But I don’t want to drive off a cliff! I want to live. I want to live with you! Do you want that? Or do you still think about jumping off bridges and going down in a hail of bullets?”

It was a truly beautiful and touching story. A road trip into finding out what Infinity + one actually means and not only in the mathematical sense. I enjoyed it even though I complained in the beginning and I must say, as I'm writing this review I feel like I miss Bonnie and Finn already! 

I have a another book by Amy this month - "Running Barefoot" which is also a kind of two people saving each other. Though this wasn't as good as I wanted it to be I still can't wait to put my hands on that one. 

One last thing before I go - This book is suited for younger crowds as it doesn't contain any explicit sexual scenes (besides kissing..). 

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 314 pages, 8-9 February 2015 / On GoodReads

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