After I finished reading Game of Thrones, I needed something fluffy and gay because life was stressful and sometimes you just need something ridiculously sapphic and cute in your life. ‘The Gravity Between Us’ kind of delivered on that front but also didn’t. Don’t worry, I’ll explain this in a second.
The story is between Payton and Kendall who have been childhood friends; best friends in fact and this hasn’t even wavered when Kendall broke as the next big Hollywood actress. They kept in touch and I found their friendship pretty believable and sweet. The story starts out more or less with Payton coming out to Kendall and later to her own family and other friends which is fine. We’ve all been there. (By “we”, I mean us raging homosexuals, sorry straight people.)
Kendall is totally okay with her best friend being a lesbian because obviously and is only a bit pissed that she didn’t say anything sooner. Anyway, as Kendall is on set for a movie where she has to play a sex scene with a woman, she also realises that she may have feelings for Payton who in return has been in love with Kendall for a very long time. Again, very relatable. I know I once fell for my best friend but that’s a different story.
The beginning of the story was pretty decent in my opinion. It wasn’t ground breaking but exactly what I needed. However as the story continued, it became grating because it was just another very angsty teenage/new adult coming out story and not the most well written or inspired one.
I understood Payton’s hesitance with telling Kendall how she felt but at some point I yelled at the book because you just have to make a decision at some point in time and go for it; one way or the other. So when they finally get together everything is peachy for a hot second but Kendall who is a young Hollywood mega star thinks she can’t come out because WHAT WILL THE PEOPLE SAY AND OMG THE IMAGE yada yada yada.
At that point, I began to headdesk. (Not literally because I was reading this in bed but figuratively.) I understand that it’s a difficult decision to come out. It is for everyone and even more so when you’re in the spotlight. But, this isn’t 1997 when Ellen came out. It’s 2015, or was 2013 when this book was written and LGBTQ people, while still not having all the rights, had it much easier than in the so called dark ages. I want to say especially in Hollywood.
When a person like Portia de Rossi writes in her memoir how difficult the decision was for her to come out in the early 2000s I get that, I really do but 10 years later, I also know that it has gotten a lot better. The story relied on this as a plot point to force a separation between Kendall and Payton too much in my opinion. If the author had set this specifically in a time period pre 2010s, I would have been okay with this but these days, I just couldn’t.
That is not to say that I get part of the problem. Being a Hollywood star means having to represent some kind of brand and there are different ones floating around real Hollywood but the story just made it into too big a deal. Or maybe, I just read too many YA coming out stories already that this felt bit uninspired.
And while we’re on it. Kendall’s ignorance towards bisexuality made me seriously hulksmash through parts of the book because she didn’t strike me as the person who wasn’t smart or educated enough to get this; to know this. She only thinks in gay and straight and it made me so mad. So, so mad because she could have been a kickass bisexual character and instead just became a mediocre lesbian one.
Also, while I enjoyed the quick pace of the story, it made me long for a slow burn. A story that moves at glacial speed instead of this one that jumped through time like whoa. At least I got through the book pretty quickly.
I was on the fence about giving this book 2 stars while I was in the last third of the book but the ending softened my opinion because fluff and eventual happiness. It was predictable but made me smile and that’s what counts. I wasn’t expecting high literature but I expected more of this novel, to be honest. It never left the standard territories. I wanted it to be more.