Hello everyone! Today, I’m bringing you a review for the super sweet and entertaining book The Gravity of Us starring an adorable gay couple and a mission to Mars. This is an OwnVoices novel written by a queer author, but I am not an OwnVoices reviewer, so feel free to share your thoughts about this book in the comments! I would love to hear them!
Title: The Gravity of Us
Author: Phil Stamper
Genre: Ya Contemporary
Content Warnings: depression, mild anxiety, character death, some homophobic references
Unspoilery Blurb (From Goodreads)
As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.
Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.
This was a cute book with a super unique plot that I enjoyed! It was fun to see Cal building up his media following, and I enjoyed how spunky he was throughout the book. Cal and Leon had an instant connection that I adored, and I loved that this book had a solid plot around their love story to thoroughly support it.
Everything about the mission to Mars was captivating and well-written. This book really focuses on the struggles that the families of the astronauts face, and it was a fascinating viewpoint to read about. I loved the 50s/ 60s vibe throughout the book, and it was interesting when Cal started interviewing people and we got real information about spacey stuff.
I enjoyed that this book dealt with the challenges that come with different perspectives online, and the importance of having true news sources. It was also amazing to see the representative cast of characters that included diverse and LGBTQ+ rep as well as characters with depression and anxiety. I wish these points played a bigger role throughout the book, but it was nice that they were included.
Overall, this was a super fun book that I highly recommend! It wasn’t too serious, but it was a unique contemporary novel with a sweet, gay relationship that felt natural and perfect. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a space- themed love story that’s moderately cheesy but super engaging!
Cal and Leon are so cute! They had an instant connection- which was clearly obvious because Kat started covering for them to get alone time pretty early on! I wish these characters and their relationship were more developed as opposed to the insta-love vibe, but I still enjoyed it! I just feel like I might have appreciated the story more if I saw Cal and Leon interacting and having heart-to-heart conversations more often! That being said, I did love them together, and I loved that Leon kept making Cal work on not trying to fix everyone!
I feel the need to point out that Grace is absolutely amazing and I love how smart, sassy, and outstanding she is!
Also, I want to point out that I hate how unresolved Deb and Cal’s relationship feels. I know they talked a little and I’m glad that she is doing better, but I wish more happened! It would’ve been so easy to bring her there for the launch so the book ends with them all together!
Now to the depressing parts. It was awful when the plane malfunctioned and crashed! I was terrified Grace or Calvin Senior was going to die, but neither did- although we still lost an important member of the team. This situation was incredibly depressing, and it set the stage for Shooting Star’s awful behavior- which was just completely painful and horrible!
I knew Shooting Stars was kind of dramatic and partially evil (like I was prepared for them to have sabotaged the plane and the satellite), but I didn’t expect them to come at Cal like that! The whole expose story was just so weird and frustrating, but it almost bothered me more that there seemed to be few repercussions after the story was released. I felt like it was super upsetting for Cal and crew, but then he just gained followers, mentioned deleting hate comments, and set to work saving the mission. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super proud of him for saving the mission and overcoming the crap Shooting Stars threw at him, but it was a little anticlimactic.
The program Cal creates at the end was super cool, and I loved that this part emphasizes the power of the people and the pursuit of knowledge. Cal’s use of FlashFame was interesting, and I enjoyed seeing a book tackle the powers of social media.
All in all, this was a wonderful debut novel, and I really enjoyed it!
Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to know your thoughts! If you are an OwnVoices reviewer, then I would love to know what you thought about this book!
Be safe, Stay strong, and Change the World! ❤️🏳️🌈✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻🏳️🌈❤️
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