Content Warnings: homophobia, transphobia, assault, death of a sibling, panic attacks
Does the dog die? Yes
Don’t have time to read the entire review? That’s okay! Scroll down to the very end for a TL;DR.
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For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.
Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.
A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.
But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.
The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.
But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?
I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about Something Like Gravity and mostly it just all boils down to I liked it…..but I didn’t like it. Really it isn’t that it’s a bad book, but when I think of it in relation to Amber Smith’s first novel, The Way I Used to Be, it’s such a letdown. I was expecting to be punched in the gut with feels, and while to some extent I was, it didn’t happen as much as I was hoping.
You are who you believe you are, no more, no less.something like gravity by amber smith
Most of what I read is contemporary and those tend to be shorter books than some in other genres, so when I saw that Something Like Gravity was 400 pages I was a little surprised. But I thought, okay, she writes about some pretty deep issues and usually explores a lot of emotions so it will probably fly by. Friends, I was wrong. The plot of this novel moves along so slowly. It would probably be easy to cut a lot of the book out and still have everything included that needs to be. There was just so much unnecessary filler that really bogged everything down and made this a hard read.
One of the saving graces of this book was the characters. Chris and Maia felt so different, but not to the point where their stories intermingling felt weird. The problems each of them were facing felt unique to their personal journey while still managing to stay relevant and relatable. Some of the things they were going through hit me hard and made my heart ache for them. I especially appreciated how they each dealt with what they were going through. Did they make the best choices every single time? No. But it all felt very realistic.
Getting a fresh start doesn’t mean you can just forget about everything that came before.something like gravity by amber smith
I also want to give light to the representation in this book. The way Maia deals with the grief of losing her sister was a completely honest portrayal and there were also instances of panic attacks that were written well. Something I don’t feel comfortable going into huge detail on because I’m not own voices, but I do want to make known, is that Chris is transgender. Based on my knowledge, there wasn’t any problematic content with this, but as far as I know, Amber Smith is not an own voices author for this subject. I did try to find some own voices reviews and wasn’t able to, so I do want to suggest that trans readers proceed with caution.
Amber Smith definitely knows how to write about life and give us practical characters. The ending will probably throw a lot of people off, but that was one of the things I loved most about it. I really think that a lot of readers are going to fall in love with Smith’s newest novel. If you don’t mind slower moving plots and you like real life issues, then this is definitely the book for you.
If you are a trans reader that has a review for this, or know of somebody else’s review that is own voices, please leave the link in the comments so I can link the review in this post!
TL;DR: If you don’t mind slower moving plots and you like real life issues, then this is definitely the book for you.
A digital ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Additionally, all quotes should be checked for accuracy against the final published novel.
Prize: Win a copy of SOMETHING LIKE GRAVITY by Amber Smith (US Only)
Starts: June 18, 2019
Ends: July 2, 2019
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