Nik's Reviews > Something Like Gravity

Something Like Gravity by Amber   Smith
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's review

it was ok
bookshelves: netgalley-reviews, standalone

This review contains spoilers. I have formatted the review to hide them, however they might still show up for mobile users, so proceed with caution.

NOTE: I was going to wait for publication day to post this review because of spoilers, however I am pretty angry so I need to get this out.

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ll admit that this book took me much longer than it should’ve for me to finish, but I believe it directly correlates to the fact that I had to read it on my laptop, as there was no Kindle version for me to download. Anyway.

At first, I was really enjoying Something Like Gravity. I was excited to read about Chris and how he navigates life in a new town after getting beat up due to the fact that he is transgendered. I immediately connected with Chris’s character and loved reading from his perspective. Maia, on the other hand, I lacked a connection with. Maia is dealing with the loss of her sister Mallory, which I assumed would connect me to her as I love reading books that deal with grief. However, it was hard to feel for Maia, and I didn’t understand her motives behind running around with her sister’s camera and trying to “recreate” Mallory’s best shots without actually taking pictures.

I realized my issue with Maia about halfway through the book. At first, my thoughts on her were similar to my thoughts on Julia from I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez. Julia had resentment towards her sister, much like Maia was bitter towards Mallory, yet became obsessed with uncovering her dead sister’s secret relationship. Maia is obsessed with finding everything Mallory took pictures of and “recreating” them. There’s no rhyme or reason for this obsession. We don’t know why Maia is so obsessed with the camera, other than trying to feel close to her sister. It didn’t feel like a strong enough reason to me. Now, both of my sisters are still alive, so I can’t understand how either characters feel, but I’m pretty positive I wouldn’t suddenly become obsessed with playing the piano or being a wedding planner. But that’s just me.

The biggest issue I had with Maia I came to realize in the last quarter of the book. Maia is a pathological liar. We see this from the very beginning, but it gets progressively worse as the story goes on. (view spoiler)

The first half of the story I genuinely enjoyed, and thought that this would be a solid 3.5 star, or even a 4 star novel. However, after finishing it and reflecting, I had more issues with this book than positives, and am giving this book 2 stars. If it weren’t for Chris, I probably would only give it 1 star because I hated Maia that much. But Chris was a fantastic character and I’m glad I got to meet him through this book, so for that I’m bumping up my rating.

Even though I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was hoping, I’m still glad I read it, and I know there are many people out there who need Chris’s story. My intention with this review is not to deter anyone from reading it, because I do believe that Chris’s story needs to be told, but I can’t ignore the many problems I had with it, specifically Maia’s character development, or lack thereof. I would still encourage people to read it for themselves, but stay wary of the problems it has. I wish the book had addressed Maia’s flaws at the end, but it didn’t, therefor her unexcused behavior causes me distress, as younger readers can be easily influenced. I would hate for anyone to think that Maia’s behavior is okay.

I would also like to mention that I myself am not transgender, so I can’t say for sure if the representation was a tasteful or accurate portrayal. To me it was well done, however it’s not my place to judge that. Just because I personally didn’t find Chris’s struggles with being trans problematic, doesn’t mean anything. I would love to hear the thoughts of transgendered people on this book. I will say that the author herself isn’t trans, but is apart of the LGBTQ+ community. Again, I have no right to say whether her portrayal was accurate or not, so read at your own discretion.
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Reading Progress

April 20, 2019 – Started Reading
April 20, 2019 – Shelved
April 20, 2019 –
page 15
3.75% "“If you’ve always been defined, not as a full-fledged person, but solely as another person’s polar opposite, and that person no longer exists, do you also cease to exist?”"
April 28, 2019 –
page 93
23.25% "This is really good. Like, really good. (I’m so eloquent I know)"
June 3, 2019 –
page 117
June 7, 2019 –
page 172
43.0% "I’m finding it hard to connect with Maia. I think she’s a bit annoying, but Chris is my child and I want nothing more than to hug him and wrap him in a blanket."
June 8, 2019 –
page 288
June 9, 2019 –
page 308
77.0% "The absolute most unrealistic thing to happen thus far: homegirl can’t undo her own bra clasp?? Sounds fake but okay"
June 9, 2019 –
page 331
82.75% "Hahahahaha I literally hate Maia so much"
June 10, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley-reviews
June 10, 2019 – Shelved as: standalone
June 10, 2019 – Finished Reading

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