Monday, 23 June 2014
Review: The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: October 15th, 2013
Where does friendship stop and love begin? At just 19, Kendall Bettencourt is Hollywood’s hottest young starlet, with the world at her feet – but behind the glamour and designer dresses is a girl who longs for normal. Payton Taylor is Kendall’s best friend since childhood, and the one person who reminds her of who she really is – her refuge from the craziness of celebrity life. With her career taking off, Kendall moves Payton to LA to help keep her sane. But Payton is hiding a secret that could make everything ten times worse. Because to her, Kendall is more than a best friend – she is the only girl that she has ever loved. Just as they need each other more than ever, they’ll have to answer the question of where friendship stops and love begins? And find out whether the feelings they have can survive the mounting pressure of fame…
I bought and read this book on a whim after seeing it on Amazon. I'd never heard of it before and knew nothing about it apart from the fact it had a plethora of five-star reviews and was a New Adult book. Picture my surprise when I started reading it and got completely and utterly sucked in within the first few pages. It's *so* good and consumed me until I'd finished it!
Kristen Zimmer has a fantastic voice, one of the best I've read recently. The Gravity Between Us is narrated from both Kendall's and Payton's point of view and not once do they merge into one. Each character is different and easy to distinguish, making this book one of the best when it comes to dual narrative. I can't even choose a favourite between Kendall and Payton - I love them both!
Kendall is a famous young movie star at the height of her career and Payton has always been her best friend. When Payton moves to LA to live with Kendall, Payton has to face facts: she's always thought of Kendall as more than a friend, but does she feel the same? What follows is an honest, sometimes heartbreaking, account of Payton's life as a gay woman. She comes out, she starts to explore dating women and faces scrutiny and judgement for her decisions. It's an eye-opening look at what the LGBT community go through and how they're treated just because of their sexual orientation, and Zimmer has done a great job of portraying that.
The Gravity Between Us is one of the only books I've ever read that features a lesbian couple. What I want to know is WHY. Why are there not more YA and NA books about female same-sex couples? I know there are a few that I've heard of, but there doesn't seem to be many or enough. I want more and I want them to be as realistic and addictive as this book. Hopefully we'll see more gay females taking to the pages in the coming years!
The Gravity Between Us is an amazing NA book and one of the best I've read. It's not gratuitous in its portrayal of sex and, when it comes to content, doesn't really have much that would separate it from YA. The characters are older and maybe a little wiser, but what they go through is universal for any LGBT teenager, male or female. I'd love to know how this would sit with a YA audience, whether it'd be deemed too inappropriate or not. It's always an interesting point to raise.
For anyone who likes older YA or NA, this is a must-read. It's a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered by more readers, and I hope Kendall and Payton are introduced to more readers soon. Kristen Zimmer is now on my list of favourite NA authors thanks to The Gravity Between Us and I cannot wait for her next book, whatever it may be. She's an excellent writer and a storyteller who isn't afraid to show life as it is - messy, unfair and scary. But with the prejudice and the pain comes hope and survival, and I think that's what readers will take away from this book. It's well worth your hard earned £1.99!