I've been on a bit of a YA kick these past few weeks. Until lately, most YA novels seemed to be turning up as Dystopian or Fantasy works - not my favourite genres. My undergrad is in History and English, so it makes sense that my go-to genre is Historical Fiction. I also enjoy Realistic Fiction which is where The Pull of Gravity belongs. It has a little bit of adventure in the form of a quest, a little bit of romance, and a cast of quirky characters.
What I love about The Pull of Gravity is the way Gae Polisner nails the voice of a fourteen-year old boy in the character of Nick Gardner. I always have respect for an author who writes in the point-of-view of the opposite gender and gets it right. And in my opinion she gets it right with Nick. I think Ms. Poliser has boys herself. She must be a keen observer of their conversation, reactions, and nuances.
What I also like is the tie-in with John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Robert Burns' poem To A Mouse. Lately I am noticing this nod to the classics as a trend. A.G.Howard's Splintered visits Alice's Wonderland; and Cinder by Marissa Meyer has the Cinderella story integrated into it. Personally, I like reading books that have these allusions. It allows for the connectedness of literature. It may lead some readers to search out these other texts, or, if they come across them at a later date, to be reminded of an enjoyable read from their earlier childhood.
The Pull of Gravity has an abundance of Star Wars references. Unfortunately, I'm not up on my Star Wars too much. But since it is the second book I have read this year (Wonder) with a heavy dose of George Lucas' characters, I may be well-advised to brush up on it a bit.
I have to admit I was not a big fan of some of the plot happenings toward the end of the novel. The bus ride home from Rochester, although containing some cute and humorous situations, seemed implausible and disconnected to me. But what I liked most about The Pull of Gravity was the characters and their relationships - not only Nick and Jaycee's, but the relationship between Nick and his older brother, Jeremy is so realistic. It was easy to overlook this minor defect in an otherwise enjoyable read.
Polisner, Gae. The Pull of Gravity. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2011
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Audience: YA (mild language)
Watch the Official Book Trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkKaaqAr6oM