I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
Published by Bloomsbury YA on February 4, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, LGBTQ+, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon
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.
Expertly capturing the thrill of first love and the self-doubt all teens feel, debut author Phil Stamper is a new talent to watch.
Okay, so I was not planning on publishing this review the day after I finished The Gravity of Us, but I have to get all my thoughts out right now! This book is EVERYTHING to me! From the drama, space, love, and everything in between. Honestly, this book has probably gone to the top as one of my all-time favorite books.
I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Readers Copy thanks to NetGalley.
From the start, Cal Jr. was an interesting character, an inspiring 17-year-old journalist. The writing style of the book had me intrigued and made Cal seem so real, I could picture him in real life (But who is to say books are not real life?). I’ve never been to New York but the way Stamper described, it sounds like my kind of place.
Of course, things change when Cal Sr. gets accepted into the space program heading to Mars. Cal Jr.’s life is turned upside down when he whisked away from busy New York to quite Crystal Lake, Texas. Texas was where Cal’s life really began where he found Leon his friend and soon to be boyfriend and his sister Kat.
NASA is trying to bring back the image of the perfect astronaut life of the sixties, but hey it is not the sixties anymore! Then StarWatch (which I personally despise) is brought in to dramatize the whole thing. Think of it was bravo and real housewives/families of the space project. That was the vibe I was getting.
The mission has it’s ups and downs from plane crashes, to satellites blowing up, and even an astronaut dying. But that is the risk that the world takes when trying to reach Mars. But during it, all StarWatch only wanted to bring down NASA and the program after what Cal did (read the book to figure out what that was).
The relationship between Cal and Leon is beautiful and ugh so cute. It seems that the stars aligned to bring them both there at the right time. They needed each other at that moment, and it made the book even more touching. I can not get enough of this book!
The Gravity of Us touching on everything from anxiety, depression, losing and meeting new friends, and not being sure of what is going to happen next. I would say this book accurately describes life. While I would usually say I want another book with these characters, I think where the story ended was perfect. Of course, I would love another book with Cal, Leon, and the gang. But if not, the ending was so satisfying.
So if you like space, LGBTQ+ love, and really anything then The Gravity of Us is for you. There was something that spoke to me about the cover and the description, and oh man and I glad I picked it up! You should too!