Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith is the kind of book that leaves me feeling like it really just wasn’t meant for me. And as much as I wanted to love this book, largely due to one of its main characters being deeply interested in space–which I love–and character dynamics that I had been deeply looking forward to, I was massively bored through the majority of this novel. There were very few moments where I found myself perking up to read it and, after a while, finishing the book eventually felt like a chore. Which, ultimately, is something I’m rather disappointed with as I really wanted this book to succeed. The main character is trans-male, something I have unfortunately only come across in fiction once prior to this book. If that’s not a sign that we need more trans characters in fiction, I don’t know what is. And so, I was excited to get a chance to read this one and I looked forward to singing its praises. But, try as I might, I just couldn’t get into the story.
And I think it was because of Maia, the young girl who lives next door to main character Chris’ aunt with whom he is staying for the summer partially as a result of bullying in his hometown and partially out of a desire to get away from his parents. You see, Maia’s sister has died recently and she’s working her way through grief by carrying around one of Mallory’s old cameras and attempting to understand her sister through the photography she loved so much. I think, ultimately, I just didn’t really care all that much about Maia’s story. I didn’t understand Chris’ interest in her, and at the end of the day she was the one driving what the two of them got up to during their time together and it was so damn dull.
Now, the funny thing about it all is the fact that it was decently reminiscent of how I might’ve spent my summer when I was that age, but the problem that brings me is the fact that I spent many of my summers fairly bored. And I don’t know who in their right mind would want to read a book that follows one of the more dull summers they’ve ever had. And this, my friends, is why I tend to avoid contemporary when I can. I find, more and more, that those stories are not the kind that I find interesting. And while I will say that this story definitely wasn’t for me, it might be for you. If you’re a fan of contemporary and you want to read a story about a transgender boy working through issues I imagine many might (and honestly, this was the highlight of the book), and a girl dealing with loss, then maybe you’ll enjoy this. If you don’t like contemporary, though, I’d avoid it.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.