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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.

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January 6, 2014 • Cee • Reviews

Hilary T Smith - Wild AwakeWild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
May 28, 2013
Katherine Tegen Books
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In Wild Awake, Hilary T. Smith’s exhilarating and heart-wrenching YA debut novel, seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd has big plans for her summer without parents. She intends to devote herself to her music and win the Battle of the Bands with her bandmate and best friend, Lukas. Perhaps then, in the excitement of victory, he will finally realize she’s the girl of his dreams.

But a phone call from a stranger shatters Kiri’s plans. He says he has her sister Sukey’s stuff—her sister Sukey, who died five years ago. This call throws Kiri into a spiral of chaos that opens old wounds and new mysteries.

Both exhilarating and wrenching, Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel captures the messy glory of being alive, as seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd discovers love, loss, chaos, and murder woven into a summer of music, madness, piercing heartbreak, and intoxicating joy.


First sentence: “It’s the first day of summer, and I know three things: One, I am happy. Two, I am stoned. Three, if Lukas Malcywyck’s T-shirt was any redder I would lean over and bites it like an apple.”

Why didn’t anything happen in you, Wild Awake? I wanted you to be good, but unfortunately, you were not because nothing happened and goddamn, your main character and the prose was cringe-worthy.

Yes, that’s right, my dear friends. Nothing really happen. Yeah, Wild Awake seemed true to everyday life since life doesn’t have an overarching plot, and I would’ve enjoyed it if I hadn’t disliked the main character. It is a mess (albeit, somewhat fitting to the main character’s state of mind). When I was a few chapters into the book, I thought it’ll be about Kiri Bryd, dealing with her grief over the death of her sister, but it is only to an extent? In a way, you can say that her inability to do so leads her in this weird, stream of consciousness story about her entire summer that was full of obsessive piano playing, lusting over her close friend Lukas, traipsing around the dark in a very bad neighborhood on a bike, and hanging out with semi-unsavory folks. Other than that, all the characters fall short of making me actually care for them and the content, which is a shame.

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