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The Pull of Gravity

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  938 ratings  ·  255 reviews
Nick Gardner’s life is falling apart. His dad is fat. Too fat. But Nick still doesn’t know what to think when Dad leaves town to walk off the weight and pursue some destiny that doesn’t seem to include the rest of the family. Meanwhile, The Scoot, Nick’s best friend, is dying from an incurable disease. And Scooter’s last wish is crazy: find his own long-lost father and ret ...more
Hardcover, 202 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  938 ratings  ·  255 reviews

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Sarah (YA Love)
The Pull of Gravity is sweet, honest and touching. It has moments that will make you laugh out loud and even become teary. Those teaching Of Mice and Men will want to read this and add it to their library, if not their curriculum. John Steinbeck’s novel isn’t part of our curriculum in my district, but I will be including The Pull of Gravity in my classroom library.

My favorite character is the unique and completely honest Jaycee Amato. Her witty dialogue and comebacks with Nick had me giggling m
Kat Goldin
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Pull of Gravity
This overwhelmingly brilliant story about friendship, pain, lose, death and discovery is a must for all teen, tween and the parents and adults who mentor them through the journey of young adult life, in other words this is a coming-of-age adventure. This novel is set in the life of a group of friends who realize life is not easy or what they expected it to be. One character’s family is on the slide and falling fast, another character is literally dying and does not even know w
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
• Reading level: Young Adult
• Hardcover: 208 pages
• Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (May 10, 2011)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0374371938
• ISBN-13: 978-0374371937

Ah, at last a book with many of my favorite things all mixed up. But, what do you get when you mix troll dolls, Slinkies, John Steinbeck, and Yoda? From past experience, I can tell you some of my best laid culinary plans have gone wildly astray. Take for example, the peach, date, banana ice cream my Aunt Jeanne and I whipped
Allison Dickson
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a fantastic debut novel by Gae Polisner, who manages to capture the voice and personality of her main character, Nick Gardner, with so much authenticity that I felt like I had a whole new insight into how teenage boys think. But it was really the character of Jaycee Amato who shined the most for me, with her penchant for toy jewelry and spunky wit. However, she's also wise and serves as a great guide for Nick who, at times, seems baffled by all the events swirling around him and unable to g ...more
Megan Bostic
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Nick’s family is falling apart. On top of that, his friend, Scooter, is dying from a rare disease. Scooter’s dying wish is to return a valuable copy of, Of Mice and Men to his father. Only problem is that his father disappeared years ago and no one knows where he is. Nick and the girl with the Siberian husky eyes, Jaycee, decide to go on a quest to fulfill Scooter’s wish.

Gae’s characters are quirky and real. Nick is an awkward teenager, dealing with hormones, tragedy, and family dysfunction, alo
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf

The Pull of Gravity was a short, sweet, and juvenile realistic novel, set in the present day where our main character Nick is set on granting his dying friend Scooter’s final wish. Along with a friend named Jaycee Amato, their mission is to send a thousand dollar copy of Mice and Men back to his father, who walked out on Scooter and his mother just a few days after he was born. Nick, who has his own conflicts with his father- (his dad is described as huge in the beg
Lindsey Kay
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this book. This book. I get bored with YA Fiction after a while because so much of it is so heavy. I get the heaviness. I do. Kids these days live in a cold, hard world that demands so much of them and they have to make difficult choices before they are ready or informed enough to understand how those choices will affect their future. Of course they want to read books about kids that have even harder lives and make even worse choices, it gives them perspective.

But every once in a while, isn'
My Review:
I fell in love with these characters. When I first read about this book, I knew I wanted to read it. With a best friend dying & being asked to fulfill his one dying wish, I could only imagine what adventures would transpire for our character Nick. BOY was I in for an eye opening read. Nick's life seems to be crumbling all around him. Parent issues, growing up, an illness that he suffers from and just life in general is testing every bit of strength he has.

This book did not follow
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just when you think you have the whole story figured out, the characters surprise you. They do something you weren’t expecting. In a real life sort of way. It’s not all sunshine and songs of friendship. It’s life. Which reminds me of a quote from the book (I think it’s Latin) “gang aft gangly, best laid plans oft go awry…”

The Scoot, he’s so sweet and cute I just want to pinch his cheeks. He is this precocious little thing that is wise beyond his years, who watches Star Wars and likes to quote Yo
Margaret Boling
6/16/11 ** Day 19, Book 28 ** Nick and Scoot are best friends (though Nick is a little embarrassed about this friendship); Scoot and Jaycee are friends (unbeknownst to Nick). Scoot is dying, Nick's father has left home, and Jaycee has decided that Nick needs to help her make a dying wish of Scoot's come true.

This poignant tale weaves together threads from the characters' lives with quotes and themes from various Star Wars movies and Of Mice & Men, creating a tapestry that inexorably pulls y
Cathy Blackler
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
After Paul Hankins great praise for this book I was fortunate enough to receive a copy via Alyson Beecher. Polisner's coming of age novel did not disappoint. Reminiscent of As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth (interesting connection with the titles, btw) readers will make an instant connection with Nick. Family problems, including a depressed father and a distant older brother, along with a best friend who is dying, send Nick hurtling toward Jaycee; a girl who appears to be as unlike Ni ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Gae Polisner's The Pull of Gravity was a beautiful, bittersweet novel that will have you crying and laughing out loud. You will grow to love all of the characters, even minor characters, like Nick's brother, Jeremy, and you'll wonder about people put on this earth for such a short while who leave us with gifts that will change our lives forever. Like Paul Hankins I felt this book connected on so many levels to A Prayer for Owen Meany as part of a reading ladder. As I was reading The Pull of Gra ...more
Apr 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elizabeth, hannah
So I could not possibly love this book more. If one of John Green's books had a baby it would be this book. And that would be so much more than okay! This is such an odyssey and I loved Nick and Jaycee by the end so much, I didn't want it to be the end!!! Plus the Scoot was so real to me that it made my heart hurt. I laughed so hard when Nick had the fever hallucination of the Cola Can chasing him.....not enough words in the world. I think I want my own copy of this book and the author is totall ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Dec 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
I posted a full review on my blog so I will just sum up my thoughts. Here are some of what I liked about this book:
likable characters; short, readable chapters; humor; characters who are quirky and real; a road trip with a purpose; and a realistic ending. A solid debut offering by author Gae Polisner.
Mike Mullin
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A heady mix of Steinbeck, Yoda, love, death, teenage romance, grief, bizarre diseases and pitch-perfect teenage romance. Go. Read it now. Thank me later.
You’d be hard-pressed to find two places more dissimilar than the dust bowl of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” and the almost sterile futurism of the Star Wars saga.* Similarly, you’d be hard-pressed to find two characters less alike than Lennie—the physically huge, mentally challenged co-subject in “Of Mice and Men”—and tiny, wise Yoda from the Star Wars saga. Yet both of these worlds and these characters are prominent in Gae Polisner’s excellent novel, “The Pull of Gravity.”

Nick is about
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Review from my blog: http://christitheteenlibrarian.blogsp...

I first heard of this book at a Booklist webinar, where several publishers were promoting their favorite upcoming YA titles. I requested and received an ARC; in the meantime, I used this title for my Waiting on Wednesday for that week. Gae Polisner saw my WOW (squee!), and commented how happy she was to see her book on my blog.

I'm very happy to report that I loved this book. It is, as Gae mentioned in an email, a "quiet" book (compare
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I generally read adult fiction. I haven't been a teenager since the seventies, and even my children are no longer teens. Normally I would hardly give a YA or teen novel a second look. But lately I've been reading, and reviewing books outside my usual reading list. I'm glad I gave The Pull of Gravity a chance.

In her debut novel author Gae Polisner shows an uncanny ability to capture the heart, mind, and voice of a teenage boy. Nick Gardner is an average teen who finds himself caught in a whirlwi
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
My first draft SLJ review might have been too complimentary because I was asked to revise and indicate that the plot did indeed have some holes, particularly with regard to the main character's father, but ultimately, I'm not sure most teen readers come away from a reading experience wondering what happened to the adult characters. Am I prejudiced in thinking that their concern for fictional characters is unlikely to extend to those over 30?

Nick Gardner's father is famous, infamous?, for attemp
The Pull of Gravity is a coming-of-age story that features Nick Gardner. His father has just left the family and his best friend, the Scoot, is dying. His last wish is for Nick and a quirky classmate, Jaycee, to deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to his father. The problem is that the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since.

While short, The Pull of Gravity is a fascinating read. I like that it was told from a boy’s perspective and Nick’s pretty em
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
We all hate required reading. In fact, anyone who says they love required reading is lying. Yes, we may love it later but we do not love it at the time we are required to read it.

IMHO, the best thing for required reading is companion novels. So, if you have to read Of Mice and Men, also read The Pull of Gravity. Steinbeck, Star Wars, friendship, and a road trip: realistic teen characters will relate Steinbeck’s epic messages to today’s teens in a fun way. Yoda gets quoted just as much (maybe mor
J. Fielder
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A fever is what started it all. And then the story takes off at a feverish pitch and doesn't let up until the final words. Beautifully written and wonderfully paced, "The Pull of Gravity" does just what the title implies: It pulls you in.

Believable characters from the quirky Jaycee to the stumbling Nick to the insightful Scoot, everything about this book just works. It's a very fast read, but the story will stick with you even after you put it down . . . which you'll have a hard time doing.

Really appealing characters. The sweet story reminded me of another favorite - The Cardturner by Sacher.
I will skip across the top of the plot and characters, otherwise I will sink us in the details that Nick relates in a disarming manner in the book.
Nick narrates a compressed space of time when he faces crises all around. He has badly broken his leg, his grossly overweight father has literally walked out- as in walking to Manhattan to jump start some kind of change in his own life, his friend,
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Pull of Gravity reminds me of the books I read when I was a teen, fell in love with, and still pull out to reread. Nick and Jaycee set out to fulfill a promise to a dying friend which entails a road trip, a special copy of Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men", troll dolls and the wisdom of Yoda. In parts funny and sad, the story is a timeless reminder that try as we might, plans go awry. But just as life delivers sadness it also delivers joy. And the joy of this book is in the characters -- Nick, w ...more
Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I enjoyed Pull of Gravity. It was a fast pace read that dealt with some tough issues including divorce, death and illness. With references to Of Mice and Men and Star Wars this book has elements that will appeal to many readers. Jaycee & Nick undertake a journey to find Scoot's father but it becomes much more a journey of self discovery.

The ending didn't wrap up quite as I expected it to and left me with a few unanswered questions but overall it was a satisfying read.

Rating: 4 Stars

Hart Johnson
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this mix of classic, quirk, and real life--the combination of Of Mice and Men, Yoda wisdom, the fragile formation of a friendship that will prove SO important because... life really sucks sometimes. I felt the characters were real, the events they had to face and the emotions they responded to them with, completely realistic, and my overall impression was just that it was very sweet. I loved it.
Liked the references to Star Wars and Yoda as well as the allusions to Steinbeck's OF MICE AND MEN. An interesting combination of 'do or do not, there is no try' and 'the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.'

I didn't love the characters -- found them forced, one-dimensional and stock. Too many questions at the end...check it off my list, but I'll be forgetting this one sooner than I usually do
Caroline Hardin
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-dac
Very cute story. :) Definitely recommend it!
Kevin Topolovec
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked it, although I could've gone for more Star Wars and less kissing. Bet you nobody in the world can say Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria five times fast.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had just started and put down a couple of YA novels because the writing didn't draw my interest, but I knew I could count on Gae Polisner’s words. I was hooked at the opening sentences. Polisner’s characters may not be remarkable, but they are memorable. In The Pull of Gravity Nick, the Scott, and Jaycee all have family problems, but when Scoot dies, Nick and Jaycee become each other’s family as they do what they can to carry out the Scoot’s wish because, as Yoda said, “There is no try.” This ...more
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Please note that, although I originally tried to assign star-ratings to my book reviews (and, thus, you will see some of my favorite books with stars), I have stopped doing so. A 3-star review, for example, can mean such different things to readers and reviewers, some rarely give more, so 3 means pretty great, to others 3 is bare