July 13, 2018

Review: Letting Go of Gravity

Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder
Grade: C
Release date: July 17, 2018
An e-galley was provided by Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.

Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.

Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.

Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.

And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t.

But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.

Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.

That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I love a good quiet contemporary, but unfortunately, Letting Go of Gravity was missing that extra oomph.
Everything about Letting Go of Gravity was a formula for excellence, but I found myself not connecting with the characters or narrative as the story progressed. Parker's ambition was explored wonderfully, and I appreciated the facets to her personality (that ambitious people can also be kind and creative and don't always get things right the first time). Side character-wise, Em and Matty worked well, but I really loved Ruby. She's so earnest and sweet and teenagery in the best way. The scenes at the ceramics shop were great and brought out plenty of color.
I wasn't into Finn, though. He felt too much like the typical YA bad boy love interest (plus, so many YA boys are into graffiti and I'm over it). There's this whole scene where Parker brings him home, and he sleeps on the couch, and when her parents find him in the morning, the writing felt so cliched and forced. It felt like something out of a fanfic, not an actual novel. 
One more little note - I loved Parker's constant references to Taylor Swift. She is a girl after my own heart, in that respect.

Content warning: Plenty of foul language. Also some violence (boxing and fights outside of that) and underage drinking. There's also talk of cancer and death.

The Verdict: Eh, it was okay. I think this was too long for the story it was trying to tell, though.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: No.

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