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The Gravity of Us
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The Gravity of Us
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"I'm so starry-eyed for this wise, romantic gem of a book." - Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda In this smart, heart-warming YA debut perfect for fans of Becky...
"I'm so starry-eyed for this wise, romantic gem of a book." - Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda In this smart, heart-warming YA debut perfect for fans of Becky...
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  • "I'm so starry-eyed for this wise, romantic gem of a book." - Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

    In this smart, heart-warming YA debut perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, two teens find love when their lives are uprooted for their parents' involvement in a NASA mission to Mars.
    Cal wants to be a journalist, and he's already well underway with almost half a million followers on his FlashFame app and an upcoming internship at Buzzfeed. But his plans are derailed when his pilot father is selected for a highly-publicized NASA mission to Mars. Within days, Cal and his parents leave Brooklyn for hot and humid Houston.

    With the entire nation desperate for any new information about the astronauts, Cal finds himself thrust in the middle of a media circus. Suddenly his life is more like a reality TV show, with his constantly bickering parents struggling with their roles as the "perfect American family."
    And then Cal meets Leon, whose mother is another astronaut on the mission, and he finds himself falling head over heels—and fast. They become an oasis for each other amid the craziness of this whole experience. As their relationship grows, so does the frenzy surrounding the Mars mission, and when secrets are revealed about ulterior motives of the program, Cal must find a way to get to the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2019

    Gr 7 Up-In a debut novel with credible teen and adult characters, plotting and themes cover a lot of territory. Cal is a Brooklyn teen and a social media phenomenon. When his passenger-pilot father gets the call from NASA to join a Mars probe program, Cal and his mother, who suffers from severe anxiety, have to move with him to Houston. In their new neighborhood, peopled by other astronauts and their families, Cal forgets his best Brooklyn friend while he crushes on new neighbor Leon, who is battling depression. Meanwhile, Cal's media expertise puts NASA's affiliation with a reality show to shame. While all these parts work in their moments, the overall effect feels a bit like bingeing on a television series in which important messages are relayed cleverly at a surface level. VERDICT Given the important issues raised-media responsibility, NASA and politics, friendship and romance, mental health-this has something for a lot of different teen readers.-Francisca Goldsmith, Library Ronin, Worcester, MA

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2019
    Gay romance goes interstellar in this quirky coming-of-age tale. After extensive experience as a social media reporter, high school student Cal, an aspiring journalist, has his dream internship with Buzzfeed tantalizingly within reach. Meanwhile, his father, a commercial pilot, applied to become an astronaut for an upcoming NASA mission to Mars, but the chances of being chosen are one in a million...and then it happens. Suddenly, Cal's life is turned upside down, and he finds himself ensconced in a Houston, Texas, suburb far away from his beloved Brooklyn neighborhood and best friend, Deb. Surrounded by picture-perfect NASA families, Cal worries that he and his parents are outclassed and out of their depth, especially since being part of a space-themed reality television show called Shooting Stars is part of the deal. When Cal meets Leon, a handsome brown-skinned gymnast and fellow astronaut's son, he begins to hope that this unexpected journey might be a new beginning. In his debut novel, Stamper crafts a sweet fish-out-of-water tale that also shrewdly explores the intersection between social class and modern media culture. Cal's mother's anxiety issues and the arguments over how much is too much to sacrifice for one man's dream humanize the story and help demonstrate the sharp divide between the life shown on camera and the one lived offscreen. Cal and his family are white. A charming and satisfying first novel. (Romance. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 23, 2019
    Cal is a young queer man with a plan, building a following on social media and preparing for a future as a journalist, but his whole life turns upside down when his pilot father is chosen as an astronaut candidate for NASA’s Mars mission. After his white family relocates from Brooklyn to a small town near Houston, Cal determines to adapt to his new life as best he can, tweaking his reporting to work alongside NASA’s publicity department, necessarily appearing on the reality television show that follows the astronauts and their families, and making friends—and more than friends—with fellow “Astrokid” Leon, a brown-skinned gymnast. Stamper thoughtfully handles Cal’s struggles to fit in with the other astronauts’ “perfect families, fancy parties, and petty gossip,” the stress of the mission, Leon’s depression, and the spotlight of public attention. Despite the dramatic backdrop, this quiet debut is a openhearted novel that shows a realistic, imperfect queer relationship and a young man growing to know and to be true to himself even when everything is shifting around him. Ages 13–up. Agent: Brent Taylor, Triada US.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from September 15, 2019
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Seventeen-year-old Cal is in the catbird seat; his broadcasts using his FlashFame app have hundreds of thousands of followers, and he has been promised an internship with BuzzFeed, no less. Unfortunately, that all gets called into question when his pilot father is selected as an astronaut for NASA's Orpheus V project, requiring the family to move to Texas. It would seem that Cal's journalistic ambitions and desire to report on Orpheus V would be well served by this, but a channel called Star Watch has a contract with NASA for exclusive coverage of the project. A defiant Cal broadcasts anyway, despite a cease and desist order. And then he meets Leon, the son of another astronaut, and it's love at first sight. Their relationship is not without its glitches, however, and readers will wonder if the two teens can stay together. Ratcheting up the suspense, it appears that Orpheus V will lose its funding unless Cal and his broadcast can come to the rescue. Yes, Stamper's debut is not without its wishful thinking and improbabilities, but it manages to remain rooted in reality, thanks in part to its well realized characters and innovative premise. The result is a sweet-spirited romance that will capture readers' hearts and imaginations.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA Phil Stamper's The Gravity of Us is the first love, first launch, astronaut story I didn't know I needed. I'm so starry-eyed for this wise, romantic gem of a book.
  • Karen M. McManus, New York Times bestselling author of ONE OF US IS LYING and TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET A big-hearted, witty, and intensely relatable debut about reaching for your dreams without losing what grounds you.
  • Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling co-author of WHAT IF IT'S US A grounded romance that shapes into its own lovely constellation.
  • Jeff Zentner, Morris Award winning author of THE SERPENT KING The Gravity of Us speaks poignantly of the things that will attend every human endeavor: family, struggle to know one's self, and the kind of love that makes you feel like you're hurtling to the stars.
  • Shaun David Hutchinson, author of WE ARE THE ANTS, THE PAST, and OTHER THINGS THAT SHOULD STAY BURIED Phil Stamper's confident debut is an excellent exploration of modern social media, first love, and how to use your voice to do good, centered around the preparations for the first crewed mission to Mars. Calvin and Leon are fierce and sweet, and I never wanted their story to end. To put it bluntly, The Gravity of Us is out of this world.
  • Caleb Roehrig, author of LAST SEEN LEAVING and WHITE RABBIT At once a tender love story and an honest exploration of anxiety, ambition, and family dynamics, Phil Stamper's The Gravity of Us pulls you in and takes you on a beautiful, heartfelt journey. Never has the NASA space program seemed so romantic.
  • Julian Winters, author of RUNNING WITH LIONS A debut to remember, Stamper's The Gravity Of Us draws you in for a journey of family, friendships, and ambition while exploring the power of social media and our own voices. Equal parts thoughtful and heartfelt, this book never misses a beat. Cal and Leon have my heart drifting in orbit.
  • Booklist, starred review A sweet-spirited romance that will capture readers' hearts and imaginations.

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