Y’all know I am a fan of queer stories, a big fan! So obviously I was very excited to receive an egalley of the soon to be released THE GRAVITY OF US by Phil Stamper. It’s a queer YA about first love, reality television, and a NASA mission to Mars… to a gay nerd like me this sounds pretty perfect!
THE GRAVITY OF US centers on a high school senior named Cal. Cal lives in NYC and has a huge social media following as a young journalist. Cal’s life is thrown out of orbit (sorry, pun intended) when his Dad is selected to serve as an astronaut on a highly publicized mission to Mars and they all must move to Houston, TX. The story follows as Cal simultaneously falls for Leon, another “Astrokid,” and combats against the reality TV show being filmed about the space mission.
I’ll be honest the story was cute but some of it just didn’t work for me. It was refreshing that Cal and Leon were gay and that the focus wasn’t on them struggling with their sexuality. There are a lot of great stories about queer struggle, this one was just about teens falling in love and figuring out their relationship. I will say that they fell for each other very quickly, it went from them meeting each other and thinking they were cute to being in love in like one page! All in all, I thought the story was more about social media and reality TV than about space travel or queer stories. I found the NASA elements the most unique and interesting but they just weren’t the focus of enough of the story.
As our country is on the brink of war, the president has been impeached, and our earth is burning… reading THE GRAVITY OF US about a government and country that is prioritizing a space mission to Mars was sweet and provided an nice escape but also felt totally unbelievable given the current state of our country.
I love any opportunity to support and read books with queer characters by queer authors. Though i wasn’t necessarily over the moon about all of THE GRAVITY OF US, overall it was sweet, nerdy and a nice addition to the queer YA canon!
** Bloomsbury YA provided the egalley for honest review
- Title: The Gravity of Us
- Author: Phil Stamper
- Published: February 4, 2020 (Bloomsbury YA)
- Genre: LGBT, Young Adult
- Booky Nooky Rating: * * *