The Gravity of Us is quite a compelling story for young adults. It is set, firstly in New York, and secondly in Texas. The main character, Calvin Lewis Junior, is a part time reporter who uses the technology of his mobile phone to reach many followers. Each day he reports on issues around the country and as he has such a sense of what people want to know, many tune in to his work.
Calvin, (known as Cal), lives with his parents in an apartment in New York. His father is a commercial airline pilot, his mother a teacher. It is not a particularly happy family as Calvin senior is frustrated by his work, and his Mother suffers from anxiety.
NASA has been working towards a mission to Mars and is seeking pilots to work on the space shuttle. Cal’s father has applied for a job in the space program and is waiting to hear from the Base, so things at home are rather tense. When his bid to join the space team, is successful things move fast.
The Government has decided to keep the public informed about the progress of the mission: to raise awareness and money towards the flight, they have allowed a PR group to set up a Reality TV show at the village where all the space workers live.
Cal’s family is quickly relocated to Texas and become a part of the “Reality Families”, with much of their lives under scrutiny. Relationships develop and Cal meets a fellow astronaut’s son called Leon, with whom he shares deep feelings. Meanwhile Cal continues to report to his followers, much to the annoyance of the PR team who try to discredit him.
NASA is struggling to convince the Government that this mission is worthwhile; for a time, it looks as though they may lose the funding and solutions must be found to continue the program.
The characters and the modern storyline will keep young readers wanting to finish this book. The technology is that of today’s youth, and the many threads in the plot come together well.