The Infinite Noise
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)

The Infinite Noise Details

TitleThe Infinite Noise
Author
ReleaseSep 24th, 2019
PublisherTor Teen
ISBN-139781250297518
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, LGBT, Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance

The Infinite Noise Review

  • Alice Oseman
    January 1, 1970
    The Bright Sessions is one of my favourite audio dramas and I was so excited to read one of its many sub-plots in novel form!! You don't need to have listened to TBS to enjoy this story, though. Such a fun, sweet, gentle romance with a superpower twist. If you're looking for something to read that'll just put a smile on your face, this is it!
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  • Benjamin
    January 1, 1970
    At this point in my life I will read anything with queer representation and a colorful cover.
  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I rounded up.Sixteen-year-old Caleb Michaels is handsome, popular, and athletic, running back on his high school football team. But lately he's been struggling emotionally and he can't figure out why. It's almost as if he is drowning in so many emotions all at once and he doesn't know where they're coming from, but he's finding it harder and harder to take.When an encounter with a classmate turns violent and he doesn't even remember the situation escalating, Caleb I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I rounded up.Sixteen-year-old Caleb Michaels is handsome, popular, and athletic, running back on his high school football team. But lately he's been struggling emotionally and he can't figure out why. It's almost as if he is drowning in so many emotions all at once and he doesn't know where they're coming from, but he's finding it harder and harder to take.When an encounter with a classmate turns violent and he doesn't even remember the situation escalating, Caleb begins counseling. Through therapy he discovers there's a reason for his mood swings—Caleb is an Atypical, a person with enhanced abilities, and his ability is extreme empathy, meaning he feels the emotions of everyone else around him. While that is a difficult enough challenge for anyone, being an empath in high school is harder than anything, because what more is high school than a hotbed of emotions?As he tries to navigate through the challenges posed by this newly discovered ability, Caleb keeps noticing that he's being consumed more and more by the emotions of one classmate in particular, Adam. Adam is smart, sensitive, a loner, who tries to keep to himself to avoid being bullied, yet he doesn't quite understand that doing so keeps him isolated from those who might be his friend. Even though Adam thinks Caleb would never want to be his friend, he does recognize elements of a kindred spirit that he hopes could someday blossom into something special.In an effort to understand why Adam's emotions in particular affect him so, Caleb's therapist encourages him to become Adam's friend. This opens up both boys to more vulnerability than they're prepared for, and they realize that they have more in common than they could imagine. But at the same time, it also illustrates to Caleb that there's a danger in feeling too much, especially when you're in high school, where to survive, emotions need to be hidden more than anything else.Lauren Shippen's debut novel, The Infinite Noise , is based on her popular podcast series, "The Bright Sessions." I'd never heard of that before but apparently Caleb and Adam's characters appear in that, although I didn't feel like I was missing anything when I read this. I loved the concept behind this book very much and found it tremendously creative.I've said a number of times that I tend to be drawn to books that make me feel, so certainly a book about an empath would fit the bill! There was so much I enjoyed about the book, and I thought Shippen captured the emotional quagmire that is high school so perfectly. Her characters weren't too erudite or witty to be believed and their relationships felt natural.The one challenge in reading a book in which so much emotion is expressed is that at times the pacing dragged a bit, because you tended to see the same things happen again and again. There were only so many times I wanted to see bullying and the characters being cruel and Caleb struggling with how to react. But other than that, and despite the somewhat-fantastical nature of this book, much of it felt truly genuine, particularly the interactions between Caleb and Adam.NetGalley and Tor Teen gave me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!This book will publish September 24, 2019. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. This is a story that is centered on human emotion, and we all know that teenagers have a lot of them as they are struggling to figure out who they are and where they belong and who is a friend and an enemy. This book brought me back to being a high school student and unsure of anything but still trying hard to find myself and stand out from the crowd. Caleb and Adam are two such young souls who need guidance and whose presence helps the other tremendously. Watching them grow closer ma 3.5 stars. This is a story that is centered on human emotion, and we all know that teenagers have a lot of them as they are struggling to figure out who they are and where they belong and who is a friend and an enemy. This book brought me back to being a high school student and unsure of anything but still trying hard to find myself and stand out from the crowd. Caleb and Adam are two such young souls who need guidance and whose presence helps the other tremendously. Watching them grow closer made me very happy.But this isn’t your typical YA contemporary romance. Caleb is an Atypical. That means he has a special ability typical humans don’t. He can feel/read anyone’s emotions, which affect him tremendously. So if you feel anger and you’re close to him, he will not only recognize that emotions in you but also feel it burning inside himself. I found that element really interesting and unique. Most superpowers make me curious but what I liked most about this particular one was how realistic it seemed, which made this story even more believable.I do have to mention though that while I enjoyed the relationships being developed here and Caleb learning more about his ability, I strongly think this story could have used some more action. Because emotions are highlighted and basically put on a podium in this storyline, actual events matter much less. And those that do occur are repetitive, such as Adam’s bully picking on him over and over. This means that it took me longer to read this than the usual book I am having fun with, but I do still believe it’s a solid start to what promises to be an intriguing series. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Tara ☽
    January 1, 1970
    Everybody go right now and listen to the podcast this book will be based on, The Bright Sessions. I promise you won't regret it. It's literally just about people with superpowers going to therapy and I love it with all my heart. It features LGBTQ+ rep, mental health rep and characters you can't help but fall in love with. Also the superpowers. What more could you ask for?
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  • Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
    January 1, 1970
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...The BuzzAfter reading an excerpt I loved the idea of atypical abilities and having to deal with them through therapy. And Caleb is such a sweetheart. It became clear really early this is a queer story.The cover art isn't quite to me taste BUT it totally fits The Infinite Noise! I loved how Caleb was yellow and Adam blue. That was run through the entire story! And you totally get what The Infinite Noise meant from the cover once you get a little Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...The BuzzAfter reading an excerpt I loved the idea of atypical abilities and having to deal with them through therapy. And Caleb is such a sweetheart. It became clear really early this is a queer story.The cover art isn't quite to me taste BUT it totally fits The Infinite Noise! I loved how Caleb was yellow and Adam blue. That was run through the entire story! And you totally get what The Infinite Noise meant from the cover once you get a little ways in. The title is mentioned in the story which is something I always appreciate. It's neat when an author and publishing company connect over a title and pull it right from the story.The PremiseCaleb has been having some trouble controlling his anger... turns out its not because of hormones at all! Nope, according to his new therapist it's because he's a hyper empath. He literally feels the emotions of everyone around him. And what a neat ability this is!! Well for me to read about anyway. Lauren Shippen goes out of her way to describe the empathetic exchange Caleb feels so accurately as to how it might happen that you feel like you sink into Caleb's skin. It's THE best way I've ever read hyper empathy to be like. And this is a topic I seek out whenever I can!!Then we have Adam. Clearly a queer boy with a crush, his emotions seem to fit Caleb's and help him deal. This is the start of a friendship that yearns to become more. I really related to Adam so much!! First Adam deals with extreme depression. Like the worst kind ever! It felt real and the description of it was a powerful teacher for others to understand what it feels like. There was also a merging of social anxiety that was present in a supernatural way with Caleb and a normal way with Adam. I deal with this everyday and was so, so accurate!!I adored Dr. Bright and how well she controlled her emotions around Caleb. This is the kind of therapy positivity that we need more of!! She really shows readers how a therapist can help someone who really considers what the doctor suggests and tries to see how their suggestions can fit in their like. As a therapy book The Infinite Noise rocks! As a queer romance The Infinite Noise rocks!But in the premise we get hints that there is more to the atypical world... "his therapist—who seems to know a lot more than she lets on—and just how dangerous being an Atypical can be." So there is that word dangerous... *shakes head* There is no danger in this novel. I was quite underwhelmed with any plot to do with other Atypicals and the Atypical world was very... bare. While I would certainly read more Bright Session novels to learn about other Atypicals they seem to be centered firmly around that book's Atypical experiences (which for Caleb are extremely limited).My ExperienceI loved and adored The Infinite Noise up to the last 100 pages. I was writing questions for my review and loving on Caleb and Adam hardcore. Then we hit paydirt about their relationship and the story fell apart. Basically the therapy and romance were closely intertwined. The plot was the romance. The therapy activities were the romance. So once the romance tied up there wasn't any story. So an end was tacked on. At least that is how it felt.This is what I said when I was done with the last 27% of The Infinite Noise... "Woah that was amazingly boring and drawn out! The little bit that the other Atypicals spent in the story was so minor. Nothing happened! I wish they had been spread out from the beginning and the mystery about them worked into the boys' budding relationship. To tack it on the end... yeah it didn’t work well."Then there is the fact this is based on a podcast by the same author. The book didn’t make me want to check out the podcast. Sure Caleb’s ability made the romance different and rather special but ultimately this was just a contemporary M/M romance. Is that what the podcast is about a gay romance? This was confusing to me. There should have been plot to mine from the podcast for the story in The Infinite Noise! Thus there was a disconnect between The Infinite Noise and the podcast.Questions to ask yourself as you read The Infinite Noise-Caleb's Ability to Capture Emotions.Have you ever felt “That free, high-soaring feeling when you’re laughing with someone, doubled over, abs aching” that Caleb feels with his mom? Does remembering these moments of feeling light, strong and untouchable help you get through your problems? Conversely we learn Adam feels a dark pit of nothingness that scares him and yet he also feels like it would be a relief to cease to exist. How can we combat these feelings? How does Caleb help him? -Social Anxiety and the Effect of Others.Adam says he’s good at talking... “if it’s in front of a class or an auditorium and not the terrifying one-on-one conversations where you’re expected to have a normal emotional response and give normal social and emotional cues.” Do you ever feel you don’t have the right feelings? Can you relate to the numb, pressed down feeling that Adam feels at times? Are you like Caleb before his atypical ability popped able to shake off what others say to you or are you like Adam who is pierced through but the negativity of others?-An Atypical Ability.Would you like to have an atypical ability like Caleb? What would it be? What would be the negative side effect (similar to him being swamped by other’s emotions)? Do you sometimes lose sight of your emotions due to all the opinions and emotions of those around you? How do you touch base with them again? Do you feel others emotions and thoughts over power you at times? Is it an abuse of power to use your ability to sense other’s emotions to connect with them? Do you think of Caleb's ability as a gift or a curse?-Powerful Emotion Descriptions.The Infinite Noise has some stellar descriptions of emotions. They are quite specific and detailed and I instantly related to them. Did you relate to any of these descriptions? Were they the positive or negative emotions or both? Which descriptions were related to mental health? Could you relate to Adam's depression? Do you ever shut down in big groups like Caleb did?-The Strength of Therapy.What did you think about Dr. Bright? Could you appreciate how she helped Caleb deal with his atypical ability? What do you think about Caleb's technique for dealing with all the emotions that don't belong to him? What did you think about her and his parents asking him to keep it a secret? Should he have told Adam sooner? Would you be scared to tell close friends and loved ones? The Infinite Noise is a stellar queer M/M romance that comes together through an atypical therapy suggestion due to a jock's extreme ability as a... hyper empath! We experience a friendship, dark mental health and a boy exploring his sexuality. We get a look at all the emotions... and it's a beautiful thing. ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ World BuildingA- Cover & Title gradeThanks to BookishFirst and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. Read my special perspective under the typewriter on my reviews...Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!
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  • Hollis
    January 1, 1970
    There's a lot to love in THE INFINITE NOISE. Representation-wise, we have a protagonist who is Jewish and gay and plagued by depressive episodes, another who is.. well, we're never given his orientation on page, and also an empath who struggles with the overflow of emotions and lashes out in rage. There's also a ton of therapy. Positive therapy.This world is based on a podcast where, as the book's blurb says, “What if the X-Men, instead of becoming superheroes, decided to spend some time in ther There's a lot to love in THE INFINITE NOISE. Representation-wise, we have a protagonist who is Jewish and gay and plagued by depressive episodes, another who is.. well, we're never given his orientation on page, and also an empath who struggles with the overflow of emotions and lashes out in rage. There's also a ton of therapy. Positive therapy.This world is based on a podcast where, as the book's blurb says, “What if the X-Men, instead of becoming superheroes, decided to spend some time in therapy?” In this world, though, the people with powers, or extraordinary abilities, are Atypicals. And we learn of their existence through Caleb discovering his own abilities, that he's an empath, with the help of Dr Bright.The majority of this book is spent with Caleb trying to sort through and also keep from being overwhelmed by the emotions of his classmates and family. His mood swings, culminating in a fight, are a result from processing things he didn't understand, couldn't understand, and the aftermath is learning to deal. There's a lot of talking through of emotions, as represented by colours, and trying to block out the infinite noise of it all. Which only seems to work when he's alone or with Adam.I get a moment of enjoying the silence before something inside of me tries to make itself known. Oh. Right. I have my own feelings. I sort of forgot about those.Adam, who is lonely, alone, and depressed. Who has a hopeless crush on the big jock in his class. Who knows, as a tentative friendship begins, that Caleb is hiding something. But then again.. so is he.Thinking about Adam makes me feel a little less like a sponge that doesn't get a say in what it soaks up.While I did like both characters, I'm not sure I liked either one all the time. They both make questionable decisions, both hide things for too long (and as of the end of this book, one is still hiding things), and.. I don't know. I loved so much of them, but. Maybe I loved the idea of them a bit more than the reality of them sometimes.Knowing someone's feelings doesn't give me a guidebook on how to respond to them. That I have to make up as I go along.The back and forth between these two was tough. On the one hand, there's a lot of baggage, uncertainty, and angst involved. On the other, I’'m not even sure how Caleb identifies but while it took quite some time before he blinked and realized he wanted to kiss Adam, date Adam, there wasn't much issue coming to terms with that. Nor for his family, either. With exception to a few slurs, there wasn't really any conflict surrounding their characters' sexualities. The real angst, beyond being sixteen and struggling with depression, with school, with the future, was surrounding an organization who targets Atypicals and who might be working for them; and how keeping Caleb's secret was paramount.I think, for all the good, what keeps this book from being great is the pacing. The latter half of the book changes a lot in both tone and scope and after all the big build-up of who is hiding what, I'm not really sure where we are in the end of it all. I know more books are to come (three, it looks like) but the summaries indicate they are to focus on other characters, so. If that's true, I'm even less satisfied by this ending. At least for how it wraps for this pair.I love the concept, therapy for superheroes, and it's a very creative way to ease into the transition of adapting to new powers, but I guess I wanted a tighter focus on these two soft boys.. but also less time spent getting them together, if future books weren't going to focus on them, and also an ending that was.. more. I don't know that I'm explaining this well, but. That said, I would read on. I like this world. I love the unique perspective. I just hope book two, and subsequent books, are stronger.** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **---This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
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  • robbie p.
    January 1, 1970
    HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT.Absolutely one of my new favorite books. Ladies, this book is going to COME for your throat. It was so fantastic and made me so overwhelmingly happy. Buy it when it comes out or you’re homophobic!!!
  • anna (readingpeaches)
    January 1, 1970
    rep: mlm mc, gay li with depression Review on my blog. You know that picture of a horse that starts really beautiful & detailed and ends like something drawn by a three-year-old? That's this book.It starts really good, fun even, with a dual first person pov. It’s engaging, it’s interesting, it’s intriguing. You think you’re safe. You think you’re reading a solid four stars book. And then, in the last fifty pages or so, the spell breaks. (And you catch yourself thinking of all the little thin rep: mlm mc, gay li with depression Review on my blog. You know that picture of a horse that starts really beautiful & detailed and ends like something drawn by a three-year-old? That's this book.It starts really good, fun even, with a dual first person pov. It’s engaging, it’s interesting, it’s intriguing. You think you’re safe. You think you’re reading a solid four stars book. And then, in the last fifty pages or so, the spell breaks. (And you catch yourself thinking of all the little things you were overlooking up until now, because on the whole the book still was good.) So first of all, even though there’s dual pov, it’s Caleb’s story. It never felt like Adam was an mc too, like this was his story too. Caleb can feel other people’s emotions, which is a great concept for a story, let’s be real. And for the most part the book was doing a pretty decent job of balancing the science-fiction aspect & the romance aspect. It worked, they were blending together pretty well. The romance was usually winning, but still.But then we get to a conclusion in the romance sub-plot, all that tension leading up to it gets released, there’s a beautiful, sweet moment and… We’re left with ¼ of the book. Now, I’m not against books taking the time to develop an actual relationship, in fact, those are some of my favourites. It didn’t feel like that here, though. The relationship didn’t actually progress, or at least: we weren’t shown that progression. Because in that last part of the book, the author tried to fit in so many new characters & conflicts alongside the gaping problem of the relationship. There was so much going on, we didn’t have time to actually pay attention to anything. The pacing just went and died on us. It kind of seems like the author was too comfortable with her characters and the story as a whole, due to having written The Bright Sessions podcast before. It’s like she already knew it all & had time to flesh it out in the podcast, so then didn’t think twice before dropping it in the book, as well. Only, we don’t get that same introduction here. The solution I would see to this is either getting the Romantic Conclusion sooner, so we would have more time for all this other stuff, or just being brave and making two books out of this. As it is, it makes no sense. There’s no emotional punch behind it! There’s no space for angst. Literally. There’s a period of time when the boys don’t speak to each other after a fight and the chapters suddenly get shorter (and by shorter, I mean like paragraph long). And then the whole conflict gets resolved in one conversation, basically. No! Emotional! Punch!It doesn’t make it better if you just think of The Infinite Noise as a companion material to The Bright Sessions podcast. The book doesn’t actually shine more light on anything, doesn’t introduce anything new, doesn’t give us another perspective. Even with the Adam’s pov, we still don’t learn more than from the podcast itself. It’s rather simply like the podcast in book form, actually. (And the podcast is better, even if only because it gives us time-jumps, so we can fill in all the angst in our heads ourselves. Which the short chapters were probably trying to do and failed miserably.) And then there’s the fact that Adam’ and Caleb’s voices are pretty much indistinguishable. If not for the plot, I couldn’t tell them apart. Which makes one wonder, what was the point of a dual pov in the first place? It doesn’t really give the readers any extra insight.All in all, The Infinite Noise is a disappointment. It starts really well, gives you hope for something great, only to snatch it away near the end. It’s a weird potluck of good writing, great main characters, a really cool story & absolutely awful pacing. Just listen to The Bright Sessions podcast instead. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin | Reads Rainbow
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  • Velvet
    January 1, 1970
    (I was given a short intro to this upcoming book in exchange for an honest review.)What a great idea: Empaths who feel everything others feel. They empathize too much. It sounds like a book I'd love...but not. The dialogue, oh so much dialogue. I'm not asking for Stephen King-like 7-page descriptors of a dress but come on, give us something. I need Caleb's words to sound a little more like a teen in 2019: “I guess. I don’t know, the whole thing is kinda blurry.” I swallow as I think about the wh (I was given a short intro to this upcoming book in exchange for an honest review.)What a great idea: Empaths who feel everything others feel. They empathize too much. It sounds like a book I'd love...but not. The dialogue, oh so much dialogue. I'm not asking for Stephen King-like 7-page descriptors of a dress but come on, give us something. I need Caleb's words to sound a little more like a teen in 2019: “I guess. I don’t know, the whole thing is kinda blurry.” I swallow as I think about the white-hot anger that pounced on me like a wild animal. “Tyler was trying to get a rise out of me, I think, and I was just getting really upset, I guess, and, I don’t know, it was like—like I couldn’t control it. And then he started teasing Moses and I just . . . I went into, like, complete Hulk mode. And I hit him.”This is the kind of book I'd give a go and hope it improved before long.
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  • kenzie ⎊
    January 1, 1970
    how can something be this good?Merged review:amazingamazingamazingamazing
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! Rtc when my thoughts aren't such a mess
  • Melanie (bookswritinghappiness)
    January 1, 1970
    03-24-18 | I just looked this up on here because carissa talks about it on twitter all the time and this sounds amazing??? oh my god04-23-18 | I'm now on season 2 of the podcast and I'm in love!! I'm sad that the podcast will probably end before I catch up, but I'm definitely looking forward to more stuff in this universe. Also, **podcast spoiler** I can't wait for two more seasons of Adam and Caleb <301-16-19 | THERE’S A TITLE AND I LOVE IT AND A RELEASE DATE TOO AND I CAN’T WAIT04-24-19 | O 03-24-18 | I just looked this up on here because carissa talks about it on twitter all the time and this sounds amazing??? oh my god04-23-18 | I'm now on season 2 of the podcast and I'm in love!! I'm sad that the podcast will probably end before I catch up, but I'm definitely looking forward to more stuff in this universe. Also, **podcast spoiler** I can't wait for two more seasons of Adam and Caleb <301-16-19 | THERE’S A TITLE AND I LOVE IT AND A RELEASE DATE TOO AND I CAN’T WAIT04-24-19 | OH MY GOSH YALL ARE NOT READY!!!!!!!!05-01-19 | First of all, I am so grateful to Lauren Shippen for personally sending me a signed and personalized ARC of The Infinite Noise to read and review. I’ve been a fan of The Bright Sessions for about a year now; I actually found out about the podcast because a friend of mine tweeted about the fact that there were going to be books set in the same universe and I thought the premise sounded really cool so I started listening. I hadn’t really been a big fan of podcasts before listening to The Bright Sessions, but I’m really glad I gave it a shot because I absolutely love it. I really couldn’t wait to read The Infinite Noise, so I’m super glad that I had the incredible opportunity to read it early.This review will be spoiler-free for those who have listened to the entirety of the original podcast, but if you haven’t finished it yet or haven’t listened to it at all, stop reading this review and GO LISTEN : )For the most part, The Infinite Noise follows the timeline of the podcast and how Caleb and Adam develop as both individuals and as a couple during that time. Since The Bright Sessions is an audio drama, I was curious to see how the world and the characters within it would translate into a novel format since the medium in which a story is told has a significant impact on the overall narrative. Funnily enough, I actually wrote an entire paper about this with relation to The Bright Sessions for my Serial Storytelling class last semester. I got an A on both drafts of it and I’ve never been prouder of any academic paper I’ve written ever. That class was amazing, but I digress. Lauren did an incredible job of preserving the air of mystery that the original podcast has while introducing a lot more of Caleb and Adam’s individual thoughts and feelings as the narrative perspective switches between them. The novel definitely allowed for more room for backstory for both characters that the podcast doesn’t include, especially because Adam doesn’t get his own episodes until the later seasons.The Infinite Noise took all of the adorableness of Caleb and Adam’s relationship from the podcast and multiplied it by a hundred. Seriously, I didn’t think they could get any cuter than they already were, but somehow, they do. And we actually get to see them KISS in the book, unlike in the podcast, where they only kiss in like one episode because, let’s be real, it’s awkward to just listen to two people kissing. I was a bit surprised at how little of an appearance the other characters make in this book; I’m so used to the episodes centering around each of the characters in turn that it was an interesting change to focus on just two. Caleb and Adam are two of my favorite characters from the podcast, though, so I really can’t complain too much!Overall, I absolutely loved The Infinite Noise and I am so proud of Lauren Shippen for writing and soon publishing her first novel!! Be sure to pick up a copy on September 24th if you can because anyone who loves the podcast is seriously going to love this book, and so is anyone who hasn’t listened to the podcast – you can read this book with no prior knowledge of The Bright Sessions. I’m super excited for the other two books and for the previously announced TV series, but until then, stay strange : )Adam’s emotions clear out everything; they quiet the infinite noise of the world and let me find the yellow parts of me that hurt.Disclaimer: This quote is from an ARC, so it may change before the book is published.
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  • Joshee Kun (조수아)
    January 1, 1970
    My most boring book of the year.
  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    one of my absolute favorite pairings from my favorite podcast ever!!! i spent the whole book in a puddle!!! thank you lauren shippen <3
  • Amybibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    Quirky cover and sounds like a book I am bound to enjoy. I cant wait to read more about Caleb & Adam! These 2 teens have stolen my heart already and I've only read the first couple of chapters. Caleb is a guy that sounds like hes struggling with controlling his impulses after he hits another student one day at school. As we enter this story, Caleb and his therapist are going over his thoughts and feelings at the time that built up to the incident, and we start to feel for these kids that are Quirky cover and sounds like a book I am bound to enjoy. I cant wait to read more about Caleb & Adam! These 2 teens have stolen my heart already and I've only read the first couple of chapters. Caleb is a guy that sounds like hes struggling with controlling his impulses after he hits another student one day at school. As we enter this story, Caleb and his therapist are going over his thoughts and feelings at the time that built up to the incident, and we start to feel for these kids that are finding their identities in-among all the struggles of being a teenager. I also can relate to his family life & when he tells us that 'screens go away before bed' as this was a big thing in my house as a child! I've made it my goal to read more LGBTQ+ books this year and wish I could pick this up now with it being Pride month!
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  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    The more I think about this book the more I realize that I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I did. The Infinite Noise is a book that's definitely worth a read, but don't get into it expecting the first book to be anything but a contemporary story with a little twist.*Thank you to Tor Teen and Macmillan for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Margaret
    January 1, 1970
    To absolutely nobody's surprise, I LOVED THIS 💚Rating: 4.5 starsSome backstory on this book:Once upon a time, in early 2017, I started listening to a podcast called The Bright Sessions. This podcast, which follows a therapist named Dr. Bright and her patients with unusual abilities, became my obsession for a while, and I listened religiously until the show’s end in 2018.When I learned that Lauren Shippen, the show’s creator, head writer, and one of its actors, would be writing three YA novels fr To absolutely nobody's surprise, I LOVED THIS 💚Rating: 4.5 starsSome backstory on this book:Once upon a time, in early 2017, I started listening to a podcast called The Bright Sessions. This podcast, which follows a therapist named Dr. Bright and her patients with unusual abilities, became my obsession for a while, and I listened religiously until the show’s end in 2018.When I learned that Lauren Shippen, the show’s creator, head writer, and one of its actors, would be writing three YA novels from this universe, I was understandably excited. I followed along as she wrote this book and went through the process of getting it published.And then I got to read it!!!Lauren Shippen was kind enough to send me an early copy when she reached out on Twitter for reviewers, which is still one of the greatest moments of my life. Anyway, I should probably talk about the book itself!The story is focused around two characters, switching between their perspectives. Caleb Michaels is the popular football player who secretly has the ability to sense the emotions of others. Because this is high school and everyone’s emotions are all over the place, he has difficulty differentiating which emotions are his own and which belong to other people. As a result, he keeps getting in fights and having trouble in class.The other perspective belongs to Adam Hayes, the loner at the top of his class who would rather spend his lunches hiding in the library than facing his classmates. He doesn’t have close friends or people to turn to, and this, coupled with his depression, make his high school days absolutely miserable.Their lives start to intersect when Caleb realizes that there’s something about Adam’s emotions that help ground him in the infinite noise of everyone else’s emotions. Caleb’s therapist, Dr. Bright, encourages him to pursue this connection, and the relationship grows from there.I already knew going in every beat that this story was going to take, having listening to The Bright Sessions multiple times, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy every second of it. Watching a relationship tentatively form between Caleb and Adam, seeing them grow as they get to know and trust each other, is such a joy.Caleb and Adam are both complex characters. Both of them struggle with some extremely personal and internal issues, but the story reminds us again and again that neither can save or fix the other. Instead, they have to learn how to support each other and meet in the middle.Most of the storyline centers around their relationship, and while the lens widens out somewhat near the end and brings in some outside conflicts, the focus remains on Caleb and Adam. There were times that I wished we’d gotten a little more of other subplots – Caleb’s relationship with his family, for example, could have gotten more time in my opinion – but it didn’t bother me a ton.The writing in this book was absolutely gorgeous. Lauren Shippen manages to make emotions feel physical by describing them using colors and tactile language. This especially shines in Caleb’s POV chapters, as we feel the emotions of everyone around him alongside him, bringing us into the swirling confusion that he has to endure. The reader feels the black sludge of stress or the warm orange of concern right along with Caleb. The chaos and confusion that this writing evokes makes it so easy to empathize with Caleb’s character. It also makes the moments when Caleb’s emotions are in tune with Adam’s all the more poignant.Caleb and Adam both have such distinct voices, which clearly shine in their individual chapters. (It also helps that I was imagining the voices of the actors who play them in the podcast.) I can easily tell how much Lauren Shippen knows and cares for these characters.I already knew going into this book that I loved these characters and these stories, but I believe that you can love them even if you aren’t familiar with them yet. That said, there’s still plenty of time to go listen to The Bright Sessions and get to know Caleb and Adam and Dr. Bright and all of the other amazing characters! You won’t regret it. And then be sure to pick up this book when it comes out on September 24th!!“I’ve gotten better at telling what’s him and what’s me – what’s yellow and what’s blue – but a lot of the time, things are green. And when things are green, I feel right in my own body in a way I never have before.”Content warnings: mentions of self harm, depression, homophobic slurs*ARC PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. QUOTES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.*
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  • Aleksandra
    January 1, 1970
    BOOK BASED ON MY FAVORITE PODCAST!!Written by wonderful and talented Lauren Shippenabout two queer boys in love and about people with super powersout in September 2019I’m excited!
  • Sionna
    January 1, 1970
    * I read and reviewed an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*I requested this book before I had listened to the podcast at all. I decided to start listening to it in preparation of reading this book and before I knew it I HAD TO READ THIS BOOK. So, the podcast is amazing– and I’m not yet finished listening to it (at the time that I’m writing up this review), and I will say that this book really does follow along with the podcast as Caleb is a regular patient of Dr. Bright.–Pe * I read and reviewed an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*I requested this book before I had listened to the podcast at all. I decided to start listening to it in preparation of reading this book and before I knew it I HAD TO READ THIS BOOK. So, the podcast is amazing– and I’m not yet finished listening to it (at the time that I’m writing up this review), and I will say that this book really does follow along with the podcast as Caleb is a regular patient of Dr. Bright.–People who have listened to the podcast will recognize many of the scenes, but not everything from the podcast is told here and there are many extra scenes in this book to flush out Caleb and Adam’s relationship. Also, Adam’s point of view is told often, which I ended up loving. Also, it doesn’t encompass all the seasons of the podcast. I won’t go into further detail as to not spoil anything. –On the flipside do you need to listen to the podcast to understand this book? No. I would recommend it because you’ll understand some of the background threats and characters more –and the actors are AMAZING at giving these characters life, but if you want to read the book and not listen to the podcast you will still completely be able to follow the story. Okay, let me talk a bit more about this book. I absolutely love it. It really does deal with a lot. Adam has depression, a semi-weird home life, and is bullied regularly. Caleb is an empath, a football player who is still on the outside since he has a hard time being around people, and is in therapy– willingly. It was really nice to read about characters having positive experiences with therapy and their therapist since I’m used to the negative stereotypes regarding it. I am so onboard with normalizing people going to therapy. Caleb and Adam’s relationship is sweet, adorable, and just… the best. It is kind of a friends-to-lovers with all the obstacles teenage boys have, PLUS the more supernatural secrets and elements between them. Caleb is an empath though so he brings up feelings and it is fascinating to see how even knowing everyone’s feelings can sometimes make a relationship more difficult. Some situations end up being funny, sad, embarrassing, or absolutely lovely. This story had me so invested in their lives.These are the sweetest boys who deserve the world. They may in fact be my favorite characters, so I was glad to have their book. I 100% recommend this book to people looking for a little supernatural in a love story.
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  • ash | emeraldbookowl
    January 1, 1970
    Really looking forward to this!! Love The Bright Sessions podcast [def recommend it!]
  • Carley (ꈍ ᴗ ꈍ✿)
    January 1, 1970
    💚 Lauren's really trying to kill me huh
  • Romie
    January 1, 1970
    this actually sounds so good wtf
  • Vinny
    January 1, 1970
    Although it was an enjoyable ride, The Infinite Noise was a high-anticipated debut that doesn’t really meet its expectations. Aside from its extraordinary superhero concept and detailed worldbuilding, the character development and their genuine relationship captivated me to keep reading this story until the very last page.Full review to come. Thank you Tor Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.Blog | Twitter | Instagram | RedBubble
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  • Alexandra Nae
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book, wow! The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen is a unique and diverse book—blending science fiction, romance, mental health rep, and LGBTQ+ rep.I've been seeing this book frequently on Twitter and when I saw the synopsis, I was truly intrigued! When I found out my NetGalley request was approved, I dived into it right away!But first things first. The Infinite Noise is based on the author's audio drama podcas I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book, wow! The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen is a unique and diverse book—blending science fiction, romance, mental health rep, and LGBTQ+ rep.I've been seeing this book frequently on Twitter and when I saw the synopsis, I was truly intrigued! When I found out my NetGalley request was approved, I dived into it right away!But first things first. The Infinite Noise is based on the author's audio drama podcast The Bright Sessions. This is really what intrigued me in the first place! This podcast is basically recorded sessions between Dr. Bright and her patients with supernatural abilities. I've already listened to a couple of episodes, and it was such a unique story. One of her patients is Caleb, and The Infinite Noise explores his story.The writingThe writing style of this book was great! The story is told in alternating points of view between and Caleb and Adam, and for me the author did a great job in narrating the story in their perspectives.The writing style captured what it felt like to be a teenager, what it felt like to struggle with a mental health illness, and what it felt like to be someone who's going through a life-changing event and having abilities you can't control. And of course, it also captured what it felt like to be someone discovering the friendship and love. I really loved that the simplicity of that.The charactersI adored the characters! Caleb and Adam are just too precious for this world, and with every chapter, I slowly got to know more about them.As I read, I realized that this book is more of a character-driven story. There are a lot of scenes involving Caleb's sessions with Dr. Bright, scenes where there are soliloquies and just the characters processing their thoughts and emotions, scenes where the characters are just simply talking to others with little plot involved. That said, I really liked this setup. It allowed me as a reader to fully understand and connect with these characters and get attached to them and their journey.The plotAs I mentioned  above, The Infinite Noise seems more like a character-driven story, so I feel like there was not much plot involved. There is a plot, but it was the characters that really drove the story forward.The climax took too long to build up and when it was finally there, I needed more answers and explanations. It left me a bit unsatisfied, but at the same time, I'm really curious and excited for the next book because maybe we'll get to know more about this plot-related element!I also loved the concept of Atypicals and I just really feel like we'll get to know more about them in the next book! (Or in the podcast haha!)Overall, this book was a great read and I can't wait for its release!This book review was first published on my blog.
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  • Erik McManus
    January 1, 1970
    This book was ok. It didn’t have a very big synopsis which was alright because it left it open to the imagination but I guess I expected more from it. When it mentions the X-men in a quote about it, you would think that it has to be good right? Wrong. It wasn’t horrible but there was a lot lacking.First off, I did enjoy the development of relationships. As Caleb and Adam become friends, you see different sides of each of them that exposes their feelings and shows how they react to different situ This book was ok. It didn’t have a very big synopsis which was alright because it left it open to the imagination but I guess I expected more from it. When it mentions the X-men in a quote about it, you would think that it has to be good right? Wrong. It wasn’t horrible but there was a lot lacking.First off, I did enjoy the development of relationships. As Caleb and Adam become friends, you see different sides of each of them that exposes their feelings and shows how they react to different situations.Caleb’s chapters were a little too much for me because they were overly descriptive. I found them hard to get through as I would get lost in the depiction of how he was feeling. I also believe that the author wanted to express the struggles of his power so kudos because I could feel the frustration as well. *Not sarcastic, I actually believe she did a good job with this*.Adam’s chapters were more relatable and fun. He was a nerd and the goody two shoe type which is kind of how I felt that I was like in high school so I connected with his character.The plot progressed kind of slowly which brought it down a bit and overall, not much happened. I was hoping for something with a little more action in it since the characters have weird powers but there were no battle scenes or anything like that. It was more a studious version of an origin story where they learned how to handle their powers.It might be time to pick up another fantasy book to satisfy that action craving I am having.I would recommend it if you want a contemporary book about young love. Also, it is very much LGBTQ+ positive so if you want another book with a healthy representation of this, then you have found your book.
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  • Pirl
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC directly from Lauren Shippen. Full review can be found on Northern Plunder, here: https://northernplunder.wordpress.com...In short: While lacking in some respects, Shippen succeeded in creating a touching story that feels more or less complete; the parts that are #ownvoices - the lgbtqa+ rep and the depression rep - are very well done.
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  • ♥︎ ゚➽ ellie
    January 1, 1970
    OMG I JUST REALIZED THE COVER IS CALEB AND ADAM HOLY SHITAND ITS G R E E N !!!!! GREEN GUYS BECAUSE THEYRE GREEN I CANT LAUREN SHIPPEN WHY ARE U LIKE THIS I STANI LOVE THIS THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER I NEED THIS BOOKEDIT : SO I JUST MET DAMIEN AND I CANT EVEN WAIT ANOTHER SECOND TO READ HIM IN THE BOOK IM SO SCARED OF HIM BUT ALSO IN LOVE WITH HIM AND IM DEAD GDJDJSJKDJD EVERYTHING HE SAYS SENDS A CHILL DOWN MY SPINE WHAT THE FUCK THIS IS INCREDIBLE
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  • Lance
    January 1, 1970
    "We don't always have to love ourselves in order to receive love ourselves. Sometimes that's how we learn to love themselves." "He keeps me green." 4.5 stars rounded up. The Infinite Noise was a book I came into expecting nothing, and it turned out that this book catered to me exactly. Full disclosure: I've listened to the entire Bright Sessions podcast prior to reading this and already loved Adam and Caleb prior to reading this book. In fact, the podcast was my primary reason for picking this "We don't always have to love ourselves in order to receive love ourselves. Sometimes that's how we learn to love themselves." "He keeps me green." 4.5 stars rounded up. The Infinite Noise was a book I came into expecting nothing, and it turned out that this book catered to me exactly. Full disclosure: I've listened to the entire Bright Sessions podcast prior to reading this and already loved Adam and Caleb prior to reading this book. In fact, the podcast was my primary reason for picking this up. I was nervous about reading this. But it turned out that this book almost felt like it was targeted to me: a gay, nerd and jock, friend-to-lovers romance set in high school with just a hint of SFF elements? Combine those with in intensely character driven narrative and prose that beautifully explores and depicts emotion, and you have a book that is perfect for me. The entire reason I rated this book so highly was entirely personal. That of course, doesn't mean that this book isn't well-written or constructed on a technical level. The strongest parts of this book are its characters (as truth be told, this is one-half a love story, one-half a character study), the romance, and its prose. Lauren Shippen manages to draw a vivid picture of who Caleb and Adam are as people, even without background from the podcast. This book is written in first-person, which at first jarred me. As I went on, however, I have to say that Shippen made that right decision in writing this book in first-person alternating POV with short chapters. The first person POV allows the reader to feel an intimate connection with the characters, which is what a writer wants especially when writing a book that is so heavily based on character emotions and portraying them properly. Prose. Excellent, and hit the nail on the head with what it was supposed to do. Shippen managed to craft distinct voices for both Caleb and Adam's narration through the writing. I personally wouldn't describe this book as having purple prose, but I also would not say that it is plain as that would be doing a disservice to it. Instead, I would say that the prose shines brightest when it highlights the core element of this book: character emotions. Caleb is an empath, this expression of emotion and description of it is of utter importance. The writing manages to communicate not just Caleb's emotions but also other character's emotions with the exact type of poetic clarity that you'd expect from a book like this. Shippen's prose is at its best when describing her characters' emotions. Characters. As a character study, this book is a triumph. While I am someone with a good grasp on Caleb and Adam's characters, due to the nature of being a book, Shippen was able to unravel their complexities and dimensions in a way that she couldn't within a podcast script. In fact, I would say that this book does a service as so much of Caleb and Adam's characters rely on direct exploration of their emotions. Both of these characters are haunted by different specters: Caleb with learning to control his powers, struggling not just with his emotions but the emotions of others as well and Adam dealing with his depression. This book explores that in full detail. It also just helps that both of them are just so... lovable? They're both so soft as characters in spite of dealing with issues outside of their control and they're awesome on their own, but absolutely amazing together. The romance. I was fucking squealing this entire book. In this book, we follow Adam and Caleb from the beginning of their relationship. From being strangers to close friends to being boyfriends. It was such a treat to see their progression but also be screaming at the two of them just to kiss one another and get together already. The two of them fit together so well. The whole "You keep me green" thing and the "meathead" and "super trooper" and "podcast" shit UGH I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. They really are just the epitome of all the tropes I love, so yeah. Sue me, I would die for them. Also, (view spoiler)[THE FACT THAT THEY MEETCUTED IN THE LIBRARY WHILE CALEB WAS LOOKING FOR A BOOK, BITCH MY DREAM MEETCUTE I- (hide spoiler)]. The only real problem I have with this book? The plot. While the romance and character exploration parts of the plot are 10/10, the "external plot" kind of falls flat. Especially within the last 20% of this book. Due to the nature of the novel, Shippen ended up having to hamfist (view spoiler)[several of the characters and plot from the podcast into the last bit of the novel without setting the necessary groundwork for that to be done properly. Characters like Chloe and Damien and Frank and the whole AM organization plot become relevant... and it feels really poorly-constructed. Without having listened to the podcast, I for sure would have been lost. (hide spoiler)] Conclusively: read this. But, listen to the podcast first if you want to get the best experience out of this. This, undoubtedly, is making it onto my best of 2019 list.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I had never heard of The Bright Sessions podcast, but I picked up this ARC, read the back and knew immediately it was for me. I mean, that was yesterday morning and I accidentally spent all my free time in between then and now devouring this book. It has all my fave things -- boys falling in love with each other, lots of emotions and empathy, and therapy sessions. Caleb is a football player who suddenly finds out he has the supernatural ability to feel everyone around him's feelings. He starts g I had never heard of The Bright Sessions podcast, but I picked up this ARC, read the back and knew immediately it was for me. I mean, that was yesterday morning and I accidentally spent all my free time in between then and now devouring this book. It has all my fave things -- boys falling in love with each other, lots of emotions and empathy, and therapy sessions. Caleb is a football player who suddenly finds out he has the supernatural ability to feel everyone around him's feelings. He starts going to a special therapist and has a lot of internal work to do because being a teenager with your own emotions is hard enough let alone dealing with all of the emotions of his fellow high schoolers. He meets Adam who's a nerdy emo boy with depression and somehow Adam's feelings feel different to Caleb. In like a calming and gay way!I really loved all the emotional metaphors in the book; Shippen often used colors and water (esp the ocean) to describe how people were feeling. The whole Adam's feelings are blue, Caleb's are yellow, but mixed they're green? That was brilliant. And the supernatural empathy concept was so well done without being sappy or repetitive. Even though Caleb starts getting better at recognizing and dealing with emotions, he's not very good at communicating about them. He and Adam are such dumb boys in the communicating feelings aspect and I loved it. I know some people hate it when characters are bad at communicating, but honestly, I love it because it often feels relateable for me and how difficult it is to open up and be authentic in a diverse and variety of ways. The romance in this way was A+. Also, how fucking cool is it to get a superpower like empathy??? I'm obsessed. Also, how fucking cool is it that once you get a superpower, you end up going to therapy to learn how to cope and gain support? Like I'm D.E.D. I love therapy and love seeing the creative ways in which people try to break the stigma against it. Anyway, this felt like a new fave whilst I was reading it. I'm not sure if it'll stay that way as I continue to process it, but I plan to think about it for a long time to come. And I might even check out the podcast!!
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