Gravity, by Juliann Rich
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
A shot at Olympic gold in ski jumping. It’s a dream that has been the exclusive property of male athletes. Until now.
For seventeen-year-old Ellie Engebretsen, the 2011 decision to include women’s ski jumping in the Olympics is a game changer. She’d love to bring home the gold for her father, a former Olympic competitor whose dreams were blown along with his knees on an ill-timed landing. But can she defy the pull of gravity that draws her to Kate Moreau, her biggest competition and the girl of her dreams?
How can Ellie soar through the air when all she feels like doing is falling hard?
This book started off super immature and was a little too teenagy angsty for my taste, but it is a YA novel so that’s par for the course. However, if you’re not into teenage, oversimplified drama you should probably skip this one.
The book is written from Ellie’s POV, and she is going through a lot and has her own issues, so her side of the story is a bit skewed and distorted. This is fine because first-person narrative is only showing one, biased view of what happened, but she is kind of whiny and entitled, and it can get annoying fast.
In the beginning of the book I wasn’t too sympathetic to Ellie, because she was an unapologetic womanizer whose attitude towards women and sense of entitlement bothered me. I get that she was going through a heartbreak, but the way she handled everything made her unlikable to me. However, she changed and grew up throughout the book, and that made her grow on me a bit. At the end I still wasn’t a big fan, but what can you do?
Kate fell flat for me throughout the book. Her mom, who we only meet a few times, seemed to have more character depth than her. Which is depressing because Kate is one of the romantic leads in the book, and she was super bland. She also loses points for me at the end because something serious happens to Ellie, and I get she’s mad at her but seriously. I can’t clarify this any more without spoiling a major plot point, but it really made me dislike her more for it.
It should come as no surprise that I felt like these two had zero chemistry together and the romance was blah. They were both boring, two dimensional people, who had an angsty relationship in the middle of training for ski jumping. The ski jumping was more thrilling and exciting to me than the idea of these two ending up together.
The coolest part of the story was learning about ski jumping and reading about the training that the athletes go through. If you’re interested in that, this is worth the read even if you don’t care about the romance. I didn’t care about the romance at all after the first quarter of the book and I still really enjoyed it.
Minnesota writer Juliann Rich spent her childhood in search of the perfect climbing tree. The taller, the better! A branch thirty feet off the ground and surrounded by leaves, caterpillars, birds, and squirrels was a good perch for a young girl to find herself. Seeking truth in nature and finding a unique point of view remain crucial elements in her life as well as her writing.
You can read more about her and her work over at http://www.juliannrich.com
You can purchase Gravity from:
Barnes & Noble
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.