Teen boys find love when their parents’ NASA mission uproots their lives in this sweet debut perfect for Adam Silvera fans.
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.
The Gravity of Us written by Phil Stamper is, what I hope to be, the future template of LGBTQ+ YA novels.
It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s quirky, a little cheesy at times (but we love that in moderation!), and it’s real. It’s a unique work of LGBTQ+ fiction that doesn’t so much focus on what it’s like growing up queer, like many queer fiction books do, but rather focuses on the ups-and-downs of being a teenager, who just so happens to be queer.
There’s also just something so refreshing about reading Cal and Leon’s love story. I grew up craving stories about same sex/ queer couples where their sexuality wasn’t a plot point. I grew tired of the plot focusing solely on the hardships of being queer. The Gravity of Us is a breath of fresh air that satisfied that adolescent need in me. Cal and Leon navigate real relationship issues that most teenagers face, and it’s great to read about two boys just figuring it out without worrying about being ostracized by their families for loving one another.
The Gravity of Us focuses on real issues teenagers face, especially in the digital age, like mental illness, how social media creates the illusion of “the perfect life”, and how that influences our lives and those around us. The book really hits on a lot of great points and delivers many important lessons in an easily digestible way.
My only complaint is that I found myself wanting a little more fluff, but that’s just the romantic in me.
Phil, who lives in Brooklyn with his husband and pup, delivers an easy and enticing read, that makes me eager for his upcoming book, As Far As You’ll Take Me, which comes out February 2021.
You can buy The Gravity of Us here.
And visit Phil Stamper’s website here.