Published by Tor Teen on September 24, 2019
Lauren Shippen's The Infinite Noise is a stunning, original debut novel based on her wildly popular and award-winning podcast The Bright Sessions.
Caleb Michaels is a sixteen-year-old champion running back. Other than that his life is pretty normal. But when Caleb starts experiencing mood swings that are out of the ordinary for even a teenager, his life moves beyond “typical.”
Caleb is an Atypical, an individual with enhanced abilities. Which sounds pretty cool except Caleb's ability is extreme empathy—he feels the emotions of everyone around him. Being an empath in high school would be hard enough, but Caleb's life becomes even more complicated when he keeps getting pulled into the emotional orbit of one of his classmates, Adam. Adam's feelings are big and all-consuming, but they fit together with Caleb's feelings in a way that he can't quite understand.
Caleb's therapist, Dr. Bright, encourages Caleb to explore this connection by befriending Adam. As he and Adam grow closer, Caleb learns more about his ability, himself, his therapist—who seems to know a lot more than she lets on—and just how dangerous being an Atypical can be.
"What if the X-Men, instead of becoming superheroes, decided to spend some time in therapy?" (Vox on The Bright Sessions)
Wow I don’t know if I can even put into words how much I adored this book. The concept alone is hella interesting and I swear it’s so well written that at times I felt like I was Caleb and was feeling everyone’s emotions at once. I think my favorite visuals were when Adam’s emotions were described as the ocean and I could see them in my mind like that.
Adam I could definitely relate to as I also struggle with depression and self harm. While I haven’t cut in many many years the impulse to do so is always a semi present ache just waiting under the surface. Some days are worst than others and I really loved how well explained that feeling was in this book. You could tell the author really understood this deep in their soul to be able to write about it in such an authentic way.
I love the relationship dynamic between the two guys and I found myself laughing and screaming in frustration at their more obtuse moments.
Verdict: But all in all I had an amazing time with this book and am looking forward to the sequel. I do also plan to check out the audio drama because I am so obsessed. 5/5.