I’m a big consumer of young adult fiction, and when the opportunity arises to read a young adult novel, I take it. I find that my college students graft onto YA quicker than literary fiction (although dystopian literary fiction has been real popular), and so I read up in order to provide recommendations. Phil Stamper’s The Gravity of Us sounded somewhat interesting, so when I saw it on display at my local library, I checked it out immediately.
Cal Lewis, Jr., is a budding social media star. He has a channel and a bunch of followers. His best friend Deb is planning to think about college with him, and they’ll get a house together while he completes his BuzzFeed internship. All of that goes away with a simple phone call: his dad has been selected to be a finalist for a NASA program which is going to send several astronauts to Mars. Suddenly, Cal’s family is thrust into a spotlight they never expected. And he meets Leon, which sets his heart aflutter. Everything he thought he knew about New York, about ambition, about love, is upended.
I am not a huge “space” person, so I was glad that the space stuff was interspersed with critiques on social media. The infotainment industry deserves a hard examination, and the book illustrates how such shows can do just as much (if not more) damage as good.
If I could provide one critique, it would be this: the word smirk is used liberally. Too liberally. There were a few writing style issues that felt…simple to me. That said, the slow burn builds, and the book has a solid finish. I recommend reading this.