Title: LETTING GO OF GRAVITY
Author: Meg Leder
Pub. Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD
Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.
Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.
Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.
Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.
And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t.
But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.
Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.
That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself.
"A gorgeous, sad, funny, and wise book about letting go and finding your place in the world. Meg Leder has written a story about a brother and sister that will break your heart and have you whispering 'I got you' long after you've closed the book." –Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
“For readers who love and appreciate a good coming-of-age story, a realistic romance, and a novel where every character gets to be a hero.” –Kirkus
“A poignant and carefully crafted story…. A compelling coming-of-age novel sure to appeal to those who love realistic fiction.” –School Library Journal
“Effectively shows how illness affects families and how a person can get stuck acting out a persona and end up knowing very little about herself.” –Publishers Weekly
"That's what friends do- they remind you of who you are underneath all the stuff people believe about you, all the stuff you believe about yourself."
Charlie and Parker are twins. During childhood, they always had each other's back. However, they were always two different people; Charlie is extroverted, loud, popular and easily makes friends, Parker is introverted, guarded and needs approval. One other difference arose when Charlie and Parker were in fourth grade, Charlie got leukemia. As medical bills rose and their parents lived in fear, Parker vowed to become a doctor and help kids with leukemia. Now it is coming true, as Parker graduates valedictorian of her class with an internship at a hospital and an acceptance to Harvard, and Charlie is in remission for a second time. When it's time to begin the internship, Parker feels overwhelmed and panicked at even being in the hospital. She quits, reconnects with an old friend and finds a job at a pottery shop and the weight lifts. Now, if she could only tell her parents.
Letting go of gravity is an epic coming of age tale that so many teens will be able to connect with. It is not only Parker's story either, it is also Charlie's. For so much of Parker's life she has strived to be what her parents expect that she has lost herself. For Charlie's life, he has been the boy with cancer that people have given up their lives to help. They both just want to stop being people's expectations for them and learn to be themselves, but they will need each other to do it. I could easily relate to Parker and was swept up in her story, eagerly turning the pages to see how she would manage the twists and turns in her life. Even though I have never had to deal with cancer, Charlie was also intriguing. His journey in and out of remission while being a teen is very sincere and heart wrenching, even when he is ok. Charlie and Parker's journey took me through emotional highs and lows that reminded me of the transitional time after high school. In addition to this, the romances were very sweet and realistic. Overall, a roller-coaster of a story about self-realization and being able to become who you truly are.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Meg Leder is the author of Letting Go of Gravity and The Museum of Heartbreak, and the coauthor of books including The Happy Book and The Book of Me. A former bookseller and teacher, she currently works as a book editor in New York City. She spends her free time reading, looking for street art, and people watching. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Tim Riggins.
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