book reviews

Space and gays by Phil Stamper aka a review of The Gravity of Us

Hey everyone!! Hope you’re all doing great! Today we’re talking about a book that made me swoon SO MUCH and that I really enjoyed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Title: The Gravity of Us

Author: Phil Stamper

Genre: YA contemporary, LGBTQ+

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Date published: February 4th 2020

Rep: gay main characters, POC characters, main character with depression, side character with anxiety

Length: 314

Content warning: anxiety, depression, mentions of suicidal thoughts, plan crash, discussion of death, death of a parent

Find this book on Goodreads

Summary:

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.

Expertly capturing the thrill of first love and the self-doubt all teens feel, debut author Phil Stamper is a new talent to watch.


This book in a nutshell is two things: space and gays. Two things I love. So from the start, I knew this book was probably gonna be it for me.

Aaaaaand it definitely was. From the beginning, I loved Calvin (Cal)! I think it’s so fun that he did those videos, I love his love for journalism (although, please stop calling it “journo”. sorry but no 😂). Cal, however, wasn’t fun all the time. There were definitely times where I was mad or annoyed at him (like what happened with Deb, or when they talked about Leon’s future), but in the end I think that made him a bit more real to me.

I also liked the other characters. Leon was one I immediately fell in love with, him and his cute face, and he was a character I also liked because he wasn’t necessarily what he seemed at the beginning, and he ended up being a lot deeper than I thought it would be. Kat, on the other hand, felt a bit more bland (although that’s probably because she wasn’t as important) but I really loved her coding with Cal’s mom (it’s super cute).

The astronauts and the rest of their families were all good and fun but I don’t really have anything to say about them. Josh was an absolute asshole though, and he was definitely supposed to be so that’s good. There was one character there I won’t name because of spoilers, but I think the author tried to have a “morally grey character time” in this book, and I have to admit I wasn’t convinced by it. It wasn’t badly written, but I never really liked said character and definitely think her good moments weren’t actually that great. So, eh for that part, but that’s about it.

The environment, Lake City, the sixties houses, the laboratories, that I really loved. In short, the NASA background is 10/10. I thought the story and especially this part was super original and well-done, and even me who doesn’t really know that much about space was able to enjoy it and maybe even learn a few things from it!

I had some… doubts about Cal and Leon’s relationship/love story at first. This book, on the contrary to most and on the contrary to what I usually prefer, is more of an insta love than a slow burn. They fall in love almost immediately, not far into the book and timeline wise I think it was about a week after arriving in Lake City. I definitely wasn’t super convinced at first. That, however, definitely did not stop me from shipping the hell out of them later on. Once we got further into the story, and the both of them got closer, it was as if my previous doubts had gone up into flames. More than once, I had to take a breath, stop reading, and swoon. (and scream a little bit). SO CUTE!!!!!!

The way depression was addressed in this book is another side of it that I really liked. Cal learns to stop thinking of Leon as someone he needs to “fix”, and all in all I think the whole affair was done very well. I will, however, leave you to read it and make an opinion for yourself as I don’t have a lot of experience in that department – it feels wrong to judge too much.

In the end, this was a rather light read I really enjoyed, with lots of fluff and lots of space stuff. Not all of it is perfect, but it’s still a book I really recommend and I hope you give it a try!!

Have you read The Gravity of Us? If yes, please tell me what you thought!! Also, what’s the last book you read that made you swoon?


Stay safe everyone!! Sending you lots of love!!! ❤️

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7 thoughts on “Space and gays by Phil Stamper aka a review of The Gravity of Us

  1. This has been on my TBR for the longest time but your review has sold it to me. I love space themed books and I love light hearted reads in the summer

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done review. Will definitely be picking this one up based on your review. Thank you for going into the depths that you did with the story, the characters, and the execution of it all. The tidbits you add without spoiling anything is what I enjoy most through out all your reviews. Kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

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