Title: The Force of Gravity (The Force of Gravity #1)
Author: Kelly Stevenson
Published Date: July 12th 2014
Genre: New Adult
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
“I blast the stereo in a vain attempt to drown out my thoughts. I don’t want to be thinking about him and analyzing every detail of first period. It makes me feel like a young, foolish girl, and I’m embarrassed that I can’t control the way my body reacts every time his eyes meet mine.”
In a quiet town in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, everything in life is seemingly perfect for eighteen-year-old Kaley Kennedy. She has loving parents, loyal friends, and is dating the hottest boy in school. With only a few months left of her senior year, she’s looking forward to an epic summer before heading off to Los Angeles for college.
Without warning, a gorgeous new math teacher interrupts Kaley’s predictable little world, challenging who she is. Suddenly, parties, dates, and Friday nights with her friends seem empty and unfulfilling as she finds herself obsessing over his every move. Desperate for something more, but determined to ignore her fierce attraction, every single relationship in her life begins to crumble by forces beyond her control. Struggling to transition from adolescence to adulthood, Kaley must choose between playing it safe or risking more than just her heart. . . .
*Additional Note From The Reveiwer – While I checked the young reader warning box, it is not all that “offensive” aside from the teacher/student relationship. Even the relationship is kept chaste until the student (who is legally an adult)graduates, but it might be disturbing to parents for their young daughters to read a book that a young girl would interpret as approving of that sort of relationship.*
The Force of Gravity by Kelly Stevenson 3.5 – 4 star read. I’m torn between referring to it as NA romance or NA contemporary literature.
Ms. Stevenson’s novel captures the hotbed of hormones, angst and a not-fully-developed frontal lobe that is late high school/early college. When the untimely death of a math teacher brings studly, young teacher, Elijah Slate, to campus, the high school girls swoon and try to garner his attention in the guise of needing help with their homework. While these girls might be legally adults, their infatuations and flirtatious behavior toward Mr. “McHottie” Slate, and his subsequent response to lead character Kaley Kennedy, was a bit uncomfortable for me.
The story is told from Kaley’s POV. Her perfect life of popularity and stable home has been thrown in a blender and set to high. Her senior year in high school is no longer idyllic when her parent’s marital and financial problems start impacting her and her desires for the future. While she and her companions might seem whiny to some readers, as a parent of a couple “new adults’, their worries and complaints seemed realistic (albeit melodramatic ) to me. As more hurdles arise, Kaley questions more and more about her life from an increasingly pessimistic point of view. This disillusionment begins to take its toll on all her relationships.
Since the story is primarily about Kaley, the reader really doesn’t get to know much about Mr. Slate except that he likes to wink and he is easy on the eyes. Late in the story, he tells Kaley ( and the reader) his backstory. From Kaley’s perspective, the reader is told of Mr. Slate’s conflicted feelings of attraction to Kaley (who the boys all think is beautiful) and his obligation to adhere to the ethical standards set by the school board. At times, Elijah Slate seems like a reasonably mature, grounded 25 year old who shows Kaley the consideration and support a woman of any age deserves, and at other times he seems immature, driven by testosterone, and a bit of a narcissist.
The addition of an epilogue was interesting yet not entirely necessarily. It could have been included as a segue to a sequel. While I don’t recall the exact timing of the epilogue being stated, it felt like it was set less than one year from the end of the story. Yet, several points made would have the reader think that it is set several years in the future. I loved that the POV switched to that of Elijah. His perspective seemed to present a much more realistic view of what Kaley and Elijah would have been dealing with as a result of their decisions.
The Force of Gravity is a well-written book and good entertainment. I find that sometimes a book is a much better read when I don’t fully like all the characters; that is often a sign that the book is going to make me think or feel more about the story. It is worth the read whether it is because you like student/teacher relationship stories or you want insight to the life-perspective of new adults. I’m confident that Kelly Stevenson has more good stories.
***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.NG***
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