Sunday 30 August 2020

The Gravity of Us | Phil Stamper #TeenFiction

Teen romance, The Gravity of Us never quite reached the stars it was aiming for. 

It took me ages to finish this cute story about budding online journalist Cal and 'astrokid', Leon. The romance was sweet, tender and funny and the stuff about NASA's astronaut program that both families were caught up in, was fascinating too, but when I compare it to Oseman's Heartstopper trilogy, it doesn't.

The reader could feel the effort required by Stamper to put the book together. It often felt like he was trying to do too much. But it also had some lovely, lovely moments and ideas around belonging, taking risks and living in the moment. It was also nice to see social media being used by the characters as a positive, pro-active tool to bring like-minded people together and to effect change, although I also suspect, it is this very social media use that will date the story very quickly.

The moments that felt most forced, or clunky, were around Leon's anxiety issues and Cal's reporting, when Stamper's storytelling became earnest and informative. 

So, it's a bit of an odd read really. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I appreciated it's good intentions and tender heart, but sometimes the execution left me cold. I'm obviously not the target audience, having left my teen years behind me many, many moons ago, but at that age I was looking for romances that felt believable. Perhaps that's where this one doesn't quite hit the mark. Everyone was too exceptional to be real.

Fun but forgettable.

Book 13 of 20 Books of Summer Winter


  1. I actually didn't get past the first couple of chapters of this one! I don’t read much teen fiction as it is, and this one just seemed to confirm why.

    1. I probably have to agree Theresa. Marketing a book to such a narrow demographic limits the readership. At least YA can also appeal to teens & older adults, but teen stuff is really only relevant for teens. And once is definitely more than enough when it comes to living through those teen years!


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