Infinite Noise is a YA Contemporary Sci-Fi story that follows a 16-year-old high school football player named Caleb Michaels. But lately, he hasn’t been his usual self. Whenever he’s around a group of people such as in class or at a party, he feels overwhelmed to such a point that he fears passing out. He’s also noticed that his moods swing back and forth to extremes of the spectrum without explanation or cause, sometimes even culminating with him violently lashing out in anger.
Upon receiving therapy, it’s determined that Caleb is in fact what the book called an “Atypical” — a powerful empath who feels and experiences the moods of everyone around him, which can be pretty intense if one is in a room full of teenagers whose moods are often extreme and ever-changing. But there’s one person who seems to help Caleb deal with the overwhelm, and that is Adam, an introverted gay teen who suffers from severe depression.
Though Adam’s emotions are often extreme and tend toward the dark side, they seem to “fit” with Caleb’s, and when Adam is around, Caleb finds it much easier to control the crushing, overwhelm that he experiences when Adam is not around. So in this way, Adam’s presence is calming to Caleb. Because of this, Caleb’s therapist encourages him to befriend Adam, and so the two of them form a unique friendship. In the process, they discover they have more in common than they’d initially thought.
Eventually, their friendship evolves into something more, which poses an entirely different set of challenges for our two main characters. There’s also the danger of others finding out about Caleb’s ability (there was even mention of a nefarious organization), which also added a bit of compelling intrigue to the narrative.
I love stories about people who possess superpowers and/or enhanced abilities so it was fun to journey along with Caleb as he struggled to understand and control that part of himself. The story was told from both Caleb and Adam’s alternating points of view, which really helped the reader understand the emotions and motivations of the characters. The dual perspectives worked exceptionally well in the book as both characters’ voices were so distinct that there was little danger of confusing them.
The book also had phenomenal descriptions of emotions, and I thought the author especially nailed it when describing Adam’s depression from Caleb’s point of view. I found the use of colors and physical sensations in describing emotions to be especially effective.
All in all, this is is a delightfully moving character-driven coming-of-age love story that was also a journey of self-discovery for our two highly complex protagonists. It’s an exceptional novel with lovable characters that teaches us to find solace in the special friendships that we forge and to trust those who love us.
I do believe this is going to be a series. I do hope so as I’d definitely love to delve more deeply into the world that the author has created here. The author also briefly introduced a couple of other Atypicals in the story, so hopefully, we’ll be seeing them in future books.
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