Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Book Review: The Gravity Between Us

The Gravity Between Us
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…

 Arielle's rating:

I have to admit, when I first started reading The Gravity Between Us, I was unconvinced. I've read my fair share of lesbian romance and sometimes the gay-for-you genre can get a little formulaic.

So, I was a bit wary of the sexy, young ingenue just beginning to dazzle Hollywood (Kendall) and her tether-to-the-real-world / hot music nerd best friend, Payton. When Kendall experiences an internal sexual revolution almost immediately after Payton comes out to her, my eye-roll almost caused a rift down the San Andreas fault. From New York, mind you. That's a pretty spectacular level of cynicism.

But the more I read, the more I actually began to identify with elements of each character. I've been a Payton, crushing HARD on a best friend, daring myself to get as close as possible to the cyclone without getting dragged out by the wind. And I've been a Kendall, coming to grips with myself, terrified to be truthful, desperate for a person but so scared to do anything about it that I actually wound up encouraging her to go out with somebody else (not my smartest moment, to be sure).

I especially liked that, while Payton and Kendall's interaction with each other was the primary focus of the book, it was also about about passions that each woman had beyond each other and the complications that their friendship/relationship would have on each of those passions. I LOVED that both characters aren't likeable ALL the time. It wasn't Payton and Kendall against the world from kiss number one. They each made crappy decisions and were shitty to each other which - at least in my experience - is very real.

And that's what I think Zimmer did quite well here, really. While operating within a genre that can get formulaic, she managed to make multi-dimensional characters and storyarchs that were relatable even though they took place in a pretty unrelatable context (the glitz and glamour of Hollywood). It was gratifying to read.

The one major downside that I found was that I was mostly unable to picture Payton in my head until mid-way through the book, when Zimmer describes her through Kendall's eyes. And maybe the sex scenes. I appreciate that the main one was super vanilla and even a bit awkward because hey, these characters don't know what they're doing. But I kept wanting more, honestly. Another scene or two where they grow, learn each others bodies. Maybe something longer and more fleshed out. No pun intended. Well, maybe pun intended.

All in all, it was a really enjoyable book. Hot, sweet, and angsty. Here's hoping for a sequel.

And for the record, I purchased this book by myself.

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