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.
Order your copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US today!
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…
I’m NOT a big reader of Young Adult Romance…it might have something to do with the fact that I teach high school and see the angsty drama firsthand, but I tend to read more NA or contemporary adult romances. But when one of my favorite authors writes a Mature YA, I HAVE TO read it, and I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young, and even though my heart broke for the trials and pain these young characters had to endure and the loneliness they felt due to the secrets that they chose to keep, my heart is also full because by the time I was done reading India’s story, I felt like all of the main characters’ sacrifices allowed them to truly understand what’s important in life, solidifying the bond they share and also proving that they’re not as different as they once thought.
Young’s story tackles a wide range of teen issues, illustrating India, Finn, and Eloise’s transition to adulthood and providing insight into the different ways teens handle life-changing moments that build them up as well as make them feel inferior to those around them. The old adage that “You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” is aptly illustrated on a grand scale, but it’s not done in a cliched or overdramatic way. The main as well as supporting characters are amazingly complex… they’re scarred but also hopeful…lost but also seeking to be found…afraid but also determined to live life on their terms.
India, Finn, and Eloise, despite their differences, are all trapped and powerless to society’s dictates; the social hierarchy maintained at Tobias Rochester High School as well as throughout the Boston elite neighborhood that they live are the judge and jury of all who reside there, and because of that, most teens as well as adults wear masks, refusing to allow anyone to truly see behind their presented facades. So as much as their privileged lifestyle allows them to be financially secure, keeping up appearances and climbing the social ladder demand that secrets remain hidden…that anything that makes them different stay unexposed because if that information is unveiled, everything that these teens have worked for can crumble, ostracizing them and shaming them because of who they truly are.
The secrets that the characters endure as well as work to hide can cost them so much more than their place at the top of their school’s popularity ladder, and even though the story is told solely from India’s point of view, the development of the other characters provide dense insight into what’s at stake for them as well, and while relying on oneself is extremely important finding those individuals who accept everyone for who they are is worth the risk of being misjudged or even treated differently because if people can’t be themselves, who exactly can they be and still not feel like simply a carbon copy of everyone else?
I encourage all lovers of romance, even those who might not read much YA, to one-click The Impossible Vastness of Us because even though Young uses teenagers to demonstrate key lessons about life and developing oneself, all readers have felt what these characters feel and perhaps have even gone through the trials and tribulations that are explored throughout the story, which makes it applicable to a wide audience, not just young adults.
5 Poison Apples
“This is Jay,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest in defiance at the stern look on her face.
I hated when she acted like she gave a crap.
“I don’t care who he is.” Hayley tried to fry his ass with her eyes. “You can leave.”
Jay stared back at her with as much defiance as I did, making me like him more. He turned to me and pressed a slow, intimate kiss to the corner of my mouth. “See you at school, babe.”
He laughed at the mischief in my eyes.
I waited until he’d brushed by Hayley without a word and I heard the front door close behind him. “Nice. Thanks.”
Hayley’s dark eyes narrowed into slits. “Don’t talk to me like that. I’m tired, it’s been a long day and now I come home and find my daughter being mauled by some walking hormone. Am I supposed to be happy that you’re dating some guy who looks like he’s seen the inside of prison more than once?”
“We’re not dating. We’re just fooling around.”
“Oh, well, then, why am I so upset?” She threw her hands up in exasperation.
She flinched, like she always flinched when I called her by her name (so she flinched a lot). “Don’t ‘Hayley’ me. I have a right to be upset about this.”
“Don’t be. I’m not serious about him. And I’m not getting pregnant. Anyway, you’re home early.”
“They put me on a shorter flight.” She dumped her purse on the couch as she moved farther into the room. “We’ll discuss Jay later. I need to tell you something.”
I tensed. “Yeah?”
She stared pensively at me for a few seconds before finally taking a seat by my side. “I’ve met someone.”
Dread instantly filled me.
Scrutinizing me for a reaction and getting none, Hayley smiled reassuringly. “He’s wonderful. His name is Theo and he has a daughter who’s actually your age. He lives in Boston. We met on one of my flights out there.”
My stomach churned. “How long?”
“Several months ago.”
“I knew something was going on,” I muttered.
“I’m sorry I kept it from you for so long… I just wanted to make sure it was real between us.”
“And is it?”
“Very much so. We’ve fallen in love.”
“That’s some long-distance relationship.”
“I stay with him when I fly out there. I see him as often as possible.”
I snorted. “And you think he’s faithful all the times you’re not around?”
“Don’t.” She cut a hand through the air. “Those are your trust issues, India. Not mine.”
My blood boiled with indignation. She was completely naïve if she thought for one second this guy wasn’t’ a loser. She had chosen badly before, after all. I had a right to the dread that was making me feel sick.
“I just wanted to give you a heads-up that it’s serious.”
“What does that even mean?”
“It means that if this is going where I think it’s going, then that might mean a big life change for us.”
I stared at her in horror.
Hayley sighed wearily at the expression I wasn’t even trying to conceal. “I’m going to make a cup of tea. I’m tired so we’ll talk about Jay another time.” She turned but then stopped to stare at me sadly. “Thanks for being so happy for me, by the way.”
That didn’t even deserve a response.
There was a time Hayley couldn’t give a damn about my happiness. I felt it only fair that I feel apathetic now about hers.
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About Samantha Young
Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017
Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.
Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.