May 13, 2015 • Cee • Reviews

a sense of infiniteA Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith
May 19, 2015
Balzer + Bray
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* E-ARC courtesy of Edelweiss + HarperCollins

By the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Awake, a beautiful coming-of-age story about deep friendship, the weight of secrets, and the healing power of nature.

It’s senior year of high school, and Annabeth is ready—ready for everything she and her best friend, Noe, have been planning and dreaming. But there are some things Annabeth isn’t prepared for, like the constant presence of Noe’s new boyfriend. Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. And like the way the secret she’s been keeping hidden deep inside her for years has started clawing at her insides, making it hard to eat or even breathe.

But most especially, she isn’t prepared to lose Noe.

For years, Noe has anchored Annabeth and set their joint path. Now Noe is drifting in another direction, making new plans and dreams that don’t involve Annabeth. Without Noe’s constant companionship, Annabeth’s world begins to crumble. But as a chain of events pulls Annabeth further and further away from Noe, she finds herself closer and closer to discovering who she’s really meant to be—with her best friend or without.


I received this book for free from Edelweiss + HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “On the first day of Noe, the raspberries are aways ripe.”

Have you ever felt like you and your best friend are drifting away like two logs bounded for opposite directions? It’s a feeling that everybody will encounter in their life.

A Sense of the Infinite explores what happens when a friendship begins to fracture—problems come bubbling to the surface, plans made about the future are but a distant dream and the thought of losing one’s best friend makes it hard to function. That is what Annabeth, the main character, experiences. It’s senior year of high school, and Annabeth has to deal with a best friend who’s never around anymore, a mom who constantly worries about her, and a secret that is tearing her apart. These problems will teach Annabeth about herself and the people around her, and encourages her to be who she wants to be.

Things You Will Find in A Sense of the Infinite

  • Annabeth, the main character, tries to deal with her drifting relationship with her best friend, which everybody has experienced.

Who hasn’t dealt with drifting friendships? I bet you have. I know I have. It’s something that everybody will face in their lives.

Noe has always been Annabeth’s pillar of strength. As long as Annabeth has Noe in her life, everything will be okay, but what happens when Noe isn’t there anymore? Annabeth has to deal with the changes to their friendship like how Noe is never around anymore and how plans made about their future are just mere dreams.

She also begins to learn about things she didn’t realize like how annoying it is to always do what Noe wants; how Noe always walks all over her; and how Annabeth is treating into herself because she’s been making decisions based on her best friend. Everything that Annabeth is faced with is painfully relatable. (I have experienced my share of shitty friends.)

  • The similes and metaphors are plentiful.

Expect those similes and metaphors!

It’s noticeable once you take note of them. It isn’t as excessive or annoying as Wild Awake (Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel), but you can surely expect Smith to create great similes and metaphors about Annabeth’s feelings of her best friend drifting away from her and the state of her mind about other life-changing news.

  • You won’t find any focus on romance.

No siree!

You might see a romance in it, but it’s not Annabeth’s. This book is simply about Annabeth trying to deal with the many changes in her life without her best friend, and she doesn’t deal with it by having a boyfriend or getting romantically entangled. It’s absolutely refreshing to see that this book is really about the friendships.

  • Pee sisters are forever!

If you read the book, you will understand. (It’s not as gross as it sounds. I promise!)

It’s one of the best scenes in the book, where Annabeth and Noe’s boyfriend, Steven, bond. Although Annabeth never gets close to any of Noe’s boyfriend, she manages to gain him as a friend. The way their friendship developed was so wonderful. Steven is someone who Annabeth needs in her life (as well as vice versa). New friendships can arise when you aren’t looking.

  • Scenes were shortened down—sometimes summarized—creating snippets of Annabeth’s life that showed how much she isn’t living the life she wants.

Each chapter are relatively short, showcasing an entire year of Annabeth’s life as a senior in high school. Because of the short chapters, A Sense of th Infinite sometimes feels a bit scattered; there wasn’t a big focus on one incident, but showed important and seemingly unimportant day-to-day scenes, which explored the themes (like change and friendship) that Annabeth is facing. Readers will see scenes of Annabeth tackling life changing news without her best friend, and although it will throw readers through a loop of “what the hell,” it’s a means to exploring Annabeth.

I didn’t quite like the summarizing bits and the writing, but I reasoned it was just showing how much she’s not taking charge of her life and not doing the things she loves.


Although I wasn’t a big fan of the writing or certain scenes which made me confused why they were included, I thought A Sense of the Infinite was an okay book—full of similes and characters who are faced with relatable problems like threats to friendships. I like that it made me reflect on my own friendships and made me thankful for them. Even though my friends are so far away, I’m not worried about them drifting away from me because I know they’ll always be there for me no matter what. I’ll clutch them close to my heart!

If you’re looking for a book about friendships with a character trying to do to deal the changes she’s faced with in her senior year and with no romance, A Sense of the Infinite is the book for you.


One Response to “(ARC) REVIEW | Things You Will Find in A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith”

  1. Rachel says:

    Aww, I’m sorry you didn’t like this one more! I haven’t read it yet, but if the writing is anything like Wild Awake, I can kind of see where you’re coming from (I adored that one, but so many people had a difficult time with the way she wrote). This definitely sounds like a story that I’d love/relate to.

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