Cal wants to be a journalist, and he’s already well underway with almost half a million followers on his FlashFame app and an upcoming internship at Buzzfeed. But his plans are derailed when his pilot father is selected for a highly-publicized NASA mission to Mars. Within days, Cal and his parents leave Brooklyn for hot and humid Houston.
With the entire nation desperate for any new information about the astronauts, Cal finds himself thrust in the middle of a media circus. Suddenly his life is more like a reality TV show, with his constantly bickering parents struggling with their roles as the “perfect American family.”
And then Cal meets Leon, whose mother is another astronaut on the mission, and he finds himself falling head over heels–and fast. They become an oasis for each other amid the craziness of this whole experience. As their relationship grows, so does the frenzy surrounding the Mars mission, and when secrets are revealed about ulterior motives of the program, Cal must find a way to get to the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.
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Summed up in 10 words: First love, families & reality television make an interesting mix.
Rating: 3 stars
With its totally unique concept, it’s easy to say I haven’t read anything like this before.
I bloody love a book with social media at the forefront, maybe because I work in that area or maybe because there’s nothing more realistic than a young adult book with young people obsessed with social media, but it just brings that extra element of fun to the story.
Throughout the book, we follow Cal. He’s living in New York, posting every day to his thousands of followers with live news updates and following the NASA mission very closely.
That’s until he’s slapped with a social media ban as his dad finds out he will be joining the NASA mission. He can’t talk about it anymore, plus he’s moving away from his best friend, city and internship, to live in a town in the middle of nowhere whilst his dad trains. Not only that, they are now going to be on a reality television program that follows the NASA training program.
With that, comes a lot of drama. Cal isn’t supportive of his dad’s new adventure, let’s just put it that way. There’s family conflict and Cal doesn’t come across as the most likeable character at times, although as a teenager taken abruptly from his life and dreams, I imagine it’s not an unusual reaction to his new life. I don’t think it helped that the entire book was written in his POV, as you never got a break from his train of thought or his questionable behaviour at times.
I loved when Leon’s character was introduced, the love interest, who like Cal, had moved to the town as his mother was training for the NASA mission. He balanced out Cal and I wish we had more time with him and a couple of chapter’s in his POV. I think there was a lot more that could have been explored with his character, especially when it came to his mental health and feeling a little lost.
It was a fun story with a great concept, with an engaging and easy to read writing style, but it just lacked a little something for me.
Have you read The Gravity Of Us? What did you think?
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