Something Like Gravity
By Amber Smith
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing; hardcover, 400 pages; $18.99
Amber Smith has written stories about teenagers whose experiences reflect her own personal struggles while growing up.
Smith’s two previous novels have earned her wide critical claim and fans of all ages, with the New York Times bestseller The Way I Used to Be, addressing sexual assault and rape culture, and The Last to Let Go focusing on domestic violence and familial dysfunction. Both novels were told from the first-person perspectives of its young female protagonists.
The latest novel from Smith is Something Like Gravity, where trauma, grief, and the desire to make authentic human connections bring two teenagers together, with their relationship unfolding from both characters’ point of view in alternating chapters.
Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to figure out who she is without her.
Falling in love is the last thing on either of their minds, but when Chris escapes his parents’ scrutiny and judgment and moves in with his aunt, who lives next door to Maia and her family, they find themselves neighbors for the summer. While their emotional pain links them together initially, they discover that the magic of first love is bigger, brighter, and more transcendent than either of them could have imagined.
Smith, an advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence and LGBTQ equality, hopes this book will help to foster change, encourage inclusion, and spark dialogue surrounding the issues the story raises.