I haven’t met a Samantha Young book I haven’t loved, and her newest YA novel, The Impossible Vastness of Us is no different.
About ‘The Impossible Vastness of Us’
“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”
India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country — she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend, Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.
But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful and big enough to change them forever…
From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity and acceptance that will break your heart — and make it whole again.
‘The Impossible Vastness of Us’ book review
Going into this book, I didn’t know what to expect from a Samantha Young YA novel. I knew it would be great, because my favorite parts of her On Dublin St. series are the incredible emotional scenes chock full of development and complications, but I didn’t know what was coming. Then I read the book.
The Impossible Vastness of Us is a beautiful story of three teenagers with deep, dark secrets and just what those secrets can do to those around them. We may be reading the story from India’s point-of-view, but this is more than just her story. This book walks you through the lives of India, Finn, and Elouise, who are instrumental to each other’s high school survival, and very practiced in the art of keeping secrets.
India is a wonderful, understanding, and compassionate individual whose patience with the world allows her to see more than what meets the eye, but watching her treat others with kindness even when she’s not shown that kindness herself is what sets her apart from the thousands of characters I’ve read before.
Finn is a guarded heart, the type of male character that you ache for, and wait patiently to see open up. Finn’s journey from intensely private to soul-bearing is nothing short of remarkable throughout this book.
Elouise is possibly the character we learn most about. We get a chance to take her measure in the early parts of this novel, and then, as things progress, we learn more and more about what makes her tick, and why she does the things she does. Her growth in this novel is possibly its greatest strength. She has one hell of secret to share with the world, and her bravery to share it is the pin that holds all the pieces together.
Samantha Young surprised me time and again with not only the secrets these children were keeping, but the lengths to which they would go to keep each other’s secrets. There’s no way to escape adolescence without a few scars, and secrets are a large part of that. I could remember back to my own high school days of locker meet-ups and secret phone calls and how important keeping a secret was back then.
Everyone should read this book. It not only paints the most authentic and compelling school atmosphere I’ve read in a long time, but it tells an important story. This book takes chances and expects its reader to take them right along with it. It’s one hell of a ride, and you definitely don’t want to miss it.