Some love is infinite
“Don’t have a best friend that’s a girl” — this was the advice from my older cousin. I didn’t take it. Because he followed with, “friends don’t f*ck friends. And you’ll want to f*ck her.”
It was terrible advice.
My cousin should’ve told me that being best friends with Baylee Wright — since she was twelve — would be the best and worst decision of my life.
He should have told me to protect her from what was coming.
He should have told me that when a darkness crawled towards us, there’d be no safety net.
Now I’ve signed back on to the same Vegas acrobatic show as Baylee, working together for the first time in years. And she tells me that she’s having trouble in a certain “area” of her life — because of our past.
“You can help me fix it,” she says.
And then she hands me a list.
It took me approximately 2 whole days to be able to pull myself together after reading this, just enough to write a semi-decent review that does not consist only of crying emojis and eternal screaming. The Ritchie twins have done it again; they’ve given us – and blessed the world with- another phenomenal book, one that shatters your heart into a million pieces and then stitches them back together.
I have to admit that, when I was reading Amour Amour, Luka slipped under my radar. I focused all my attention on Timo and did not find myself particularly interested in Luka. But, as I’ve said before, I will read anything these girls write, so not reading Infini was out of the question – thank god. Infini made me fall in love with Luka, generous,kind,selfless, laid back Luka, the best friend, brother or cousin anyone could ever ask for. He is just a genuinely nice guy, one that I could imagine myself being friends with in real life. His empathy, his generosity, his kindness, all pulled emotions out of me I never knew I had.
Being able to see the story develop through Luka’s eyes gave us another incredible opportunity: we got to see the bonds between the Kotovas clearer and first-hand, and let me tell you; you’re going to love them just as much as the Calloway sisters. Especially the relationship Timo, Luka and Katya have, this deeply rooted friendship of trust and unyielding loyalty is so mesmerizing it makes it extremely hard to keep yourself from crying. Young, full-of-light Timo, bright, sweet Katya and generous,kind Luka form an incredible team, sharing a bond that is not often seen in NA or YA literature.
Now, moving on to the second point of view of the book, that of Baylee Wright. I completely, utterly, 100% loved Baylee. She is sweet, she is funny, she is genuine, she is a girl I’d either want to see myself turn into or date. Her relationship with her brother, Zhen, her aunt, Luka, Dimitri, Katya and the entire Kotova family is so beautifully developed and explored I wish I could have an entire series just about her.
The second installment of the “series” also provided us with an opportunity to really get to know Dimitri, a character I despised in Amour Amour, but learned to love in Infini. His love for his family is undeniable, as is his sense of humour. Seeing him through Luka’s eyes instead of Thora’s actually helped me see Dimitri for who he really is; the family’s underdog, someone who’s been working and trying hard his whole life, and still manages to maintain a wonderful person with the person that always overshadows him.
One of the things I loved most about Infini is how mental illness was treated. Depression, bulimia, kleptomania and trauma were all explored throughout the book in Baylee and Luka’s journey and never did it feel like a plot device or an exploitation of the actual illness. Of course, I can not tell if the depiction for all of them is 100% accurate, but I didn’t notice any harmful or insulting tropes.
While reading Infini I was very happy to notice how the girls have really grown as writers since they first started publishing their books. Their Addicted series has been somewhat criticized for its lack of diversity and in Infini you can really see how they actually listened to their critics and learned from them. Baylee and her brother Brenden are biracial, Zhen (one of the side characters and Brenden’s best friend) is Chinese, John is a gay man from Columbia and Timo is also gay. I am in no way trying to say that Infini is an example of diversity and representation, but Krista and Becca’s growth is unmistakable.
I am still waiting for a Timo book.