An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes is a beautiful story about love, acceptance, and what it means to have real friends that will be there for you no matter what.
“The point is how you live, not how you die. And if you ask me, the way to live is to surround yourself with those you love.”
The end of summer is closing in, and four friends are about to enter their senior year of high school. These four best friends all have their own lives, with problems that they all must face and deal with, but every week they gather together to play Dungeons and Dragons and spend a few hours lost in a game that makes them temporarily forget about everything else in their lives that is causing them stress.
We have Sam, who is the oldest of the group, at eighteen. He’s the darker, more careless of the four, and he is hopelessly in love with his girlfriend, Sarah. While Sarah isn’t exactly part of the group, Sam has been with her for quite some time, so they even include her in their weekly Dungeons and Dragons game. Sarah has her own group of friends, and she doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the group.
Next we have Mari, who loves to write stories, and is the one who makes up the stories for their Dungeons and Dragons games. Mari often feels out of place in her family, since she’s adopted and her family is white, and she isn’t, but for the most part, she is happy with it. When her mother tells her she needs to contact her biological mother, and gives her the reason why she feels it is important, Mari is faced with confusion and uncertainty.
Dante is tall and everyone is confused as to why he isn’t a typical jock. He lives with his religions grandparents, who don’t know about his secret just yet: Dante is gay. He hasn’t come out to anyone yet, not even his friends, and he wants to come out to them on his own terms. But things don’t always work out the way we plan them to.
Finally, we have Archie. Archie has had feelings for Mari for a long time, but hasn’t been able to act on them for fear of rejection. So he secretly longs for her, spending every chance he can get with her. Archie’s parents have recently split up, because his father came out and told him and his mother that he’s gay, so while Archie’s mother has accepted it, Archie holds a grudge against him.
While the four friends deal with their personal lives, they live for their weekly game nights where they can get together, play, and forget about their problems for a little while. Until one night, when Sam and Sarah don’t show up for their game, and no one hears from them. It turns out that Sarah is moving across the country, and Sam is devastated, mainly because she hadn’t even told him until he found out the night before she was leaving. So he decides that in order to convince her to give them a chance to stay together despite the distance, he wants to travel across the country to see her. Sam convinces the rest of his friends to join in on the road trip, and the four of them set off across the country together. During the trip they discover things about themselves, each other, and how to deal with the problems that they face at home.
I absolutely adored this book from the very first page, and when it was over I found myself longing for more. This book definitely gave me a book hangover! The beginning of the book takes us through each person (Sam, Archie, Mari, and Dante) over the course of the same week. Each section recounts each person’s week, and at the end of the week and the start of the trip, the book breaks into regular chapters. It was an interesting format, and I found it enjoyable to read it that way. The characters were so easy to get attached to, and I loved each one. A lot of books have a problem of coming up with different personalities for multiple characters, but that wasn’t the case here. Each character’s voice was different and unique, and it was easy to tell them apart without even checking to see who I was reading about.
I honestly can’t recommend this book enough. Between the writing style, the amazing character development, and the multiple storylines present in this book, it made for an fantastic reading experience that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.