Infinity (Pocket Money Puffins) by Sarah Dessen
|Infinity (Pocket Money Puffins) by Sarah Dessen|
|Reviewer: Zoe Page|
|Summary: A 30 page book that drags a little? It's not a good start, and it doesn't get much better but the previews of the author's full length works are worth a look.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 112||Date: April 2010|
Infinity's heroine does not have a name but since the heroine sounds rather fusty or formal, and entirely unfitting for a 30 page teen short story, I've decided to call her Girl.
Girl is a teen from small town America. We don't know where exactly, but it's somewhere people drive (which rules out the likes of NYC) and it's somewhere that has a roundabout. Most of America doesn't have these – instead they have much more sensible crossings and lights and T-junctions – so it's a source of intrigue for many of the town's residents. For new driver Girl the roundabout is joint top on her List Of Things To Master, along with sleeping with her boyfriend Anthony. They might seem entirely unrelated to the likes of you and me, but to Girl the links are clear. They're both things she will have to deal with for a first time eventually, but she still can't decide whether to rush ahead in order to get them out of the way quickly, or put them off for just a little longer.
This is the second Pocket Money Puffin I have read recently, but could not be more different from its predecessor. Vamoose was a quirky story that sucked you in at the beginning and spat you out at the end, while in contrast Infinity never really got going. It was a very strange read – not to mention very short at just 30 small pages. It wasn't unpleasant it was just a little odd, and disappointing since I've enjoyed other items from Dessen's back catalogue.
It seems strange to say so, but this story rambled on a bit. I felt it needed something else to justify a whole story, albeit a short one, as the roundabout issue was blown out of all proportion and seemed like it was being stretched out to fill the pages, when really it could have been done and dusted in half a dozen short paragraphs. It's also not all that applicable to a British audience who (a) cannot learn to drive at age 16 and (b) are unlikely to have trouble with roundabouts when they do. This story was originally published in the USA in an anthology dedicated to the landmark 16th birthday and I feel it might have worked better in this setting, as on its own it's just a smidge too random.
If you can get past the distinct but rather uninteresting plot, you're left with a lively book that is, at least, over in less than half an hour. It's not the best advert for Dessen's other books, but if it's your first encounter with her work, and, despite what I've said, you don't think it's that bad, I would certainly recommend her full length novels. Even though they do take a bit more effort, the reward is a much more satisfying, juicy read, whichever title you start with. Following Infinity readers are treated to excerpts from two such books, which may whet your appetite more than the story itself does.
Thanks go to the publishers for sending this book.
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