Wonderful new book to share with you today...
Title: LETTING GO OF GRAVITY
Author: Meg Leder
Pub. Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.
Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.
Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.
Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.
And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t.
But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.
Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.
That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself.
A gorgeous, sad, funny, and wise book about letting go and finding your place in the world. Meg Leder has written a story about a brother and sister that will break your heart and have you whispering 'I got you' long after you've closed the book." –Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
“For readers who love and appreciate a good coming-of-age story, a realistic romance, and a novel where every character gets to be a hero.” –Kirkus
“A poignant and carefully crafted story…. A compelling coming-of-age novel sure to appeal to those who love realistic fiction.” –School Library Journal
“Effectively shows how illness affects families and how a person can get stuck acting out a persona and end up knowing very little about herself.” –Publishers Weekly
Meg Leder is the author of Letting Go of Gravity and The Museum of Heartbreak, and the coauthor of books including The Happy Book and The Book of Me. A former bookseller and teacher, she currently works as a book editor in New York City. She spends her free time reading, looking for street art, and people watching. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Tim Riggins.
Title: Letting Go of Gravity
Author: Meg Leder
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Blog Tour
Letting Go of Gravity was an unexpected surprise...I mean that in a good way, I promise. I was a little worried I’d be a sobbing mess by the end of the story after reading the blurb and considering the subject matter, but surprisingly I smiled as much as I cried reading this one, if not more.
The main focus of the story are fraternal twins Parker and Charlie, individuals who couldn’t be more different. A recent high school graduate, Parker is an introverted, people-pleaser who has her life planned out...a summer internship at the local Children’s Hospital and then on to Harvard where she hopes to study to become a pediatric oncologist. On the other hand, her twin brother Charlie is extroverted, outspoken and has no clue what the future holds as he has fallen a year behind in school thanks to a recent reoccurrence of leukemia. Parker’s carefully planned out summer doesn’t quite go as planned thanks to her changed relationship with Charlie and to renewed acquaintance Finn, a street artist who has been leaving cryptic graffiti messages all over town as well as a few discoveries she makes about herself.
This could have easily been a super heavy and emotional read, but there was still a lightness to it, if that makes sense. The characters of this story help with that as does Meg Leder’s way of telling us the story.
As for that story, it is told from the POV of Parker and Letting Go of Gravity is definitely Parker’s story so I understand why we only get her perspective, but to be honest I wouldn’t have minded getting Charlie’s perspective on a few things. There are occasions and interactions between the two early on where I could sense Charlie’s frustration at the situation and how people treat him, yet Parker seems oblivious to it. But I wonder if that is how it is in real life sometimes...that we are sometimes too close to a situation to actually see what is really happening or what we are doing or saying, but a third party can easily see it. I admit this made me frustrated with Parker, but it also added a realness to the story.
Parker definitely grows as the story progresses and she begins to learn more about herself, what she truly wants out of life, and what makes her happy. She begins to see past events and current situations in a new light. It’s a fascinating journey of self-discovery and I enjoyed how real it felt. It doesn’t happen overnight, but is more gradual lending a believability to the whole situation and to everything that occurs. It’s the little things that lead Parker to see the bigger picture. Leder does a fantastic job at showing how a character can grow and change as a result of self-discovery and reflection.
There are several other relationships and characters in the story that also help shape and affect Parker and her choices. From Finn to Ruby to Carla to Alice and many more, Meg Leder has done a fabulous job with each of these characters and relationships as each has an important role to play in Parker’s story even if it’s not apparent to Parker or the readers at first. I liked how each made her see things and question things in a way no one else had before. She was already on her way, but each gave her that extra nudge by providing an outsider’s perspective. Parker’s interactions and relationships with other characters were wonderful additions to an already enjoyable story. Oh, and I really loved Finn, by the way...even little Finn, who we meet in a flashback/memory.
Now, I feel I can’t let this review end without commenting on Charlie’s cancer as it is a big part of the book. As someone whose family has been affected by leukemia as well as other types of cancer, I feel that Meg Leder did a lovely job of showing how it affects an entire family in ways that aren’t always obvious. I’m paraphrasing (and badly at that), but there’s a beautiful passage in the book that likens cancer to a river moving through a family. You don’t notice it at the time, but your family is forever changed. Just like a river changes the terrain as it flows, wearing away at its banks and forever changing them, cancer changes a family and there’s no going back to who you were before. This is so true and now I must stop or I will be a sobbing mess, but this passage just stuck with me and I wanted to point it out.
Overall, I found Letting Go of Gravity to be a wonderful and touching story about relationships, growing up, and discovering yourself.
*I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
3 winners will win a finished copy of LETTING GO OF GRAVITY, US Only.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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