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.
Synopsis from Amazon
The synopsis of this book really captured my interest; a contemporary novel dealing with the aftermath of cancer, anxiety, and a protagonist on the cusp of the next step in her life appealed to me on a lot of levels. Not to get too far into my personal life, but I’ve been to a lot of funerals lately, so a story about someone surviving cancer gave me a lot of hope.
A Story About Relationships
Like every strong contemporary novel, I like that this is a book that’s more than just a romantic relationship, but also about the relationship between Parker and her family. One of the most important relationships in this book is between twin siblings Parker and Charlie. Leder really makes us sympathize with both characters, as Charlie struggles to figure out who he is after surviving cancer and Parker has to learn that she is not simply her brother’s guardian. It’s a really interesting dynamic that leads to a lot of tension in this book as they both struggle to find themselves, and their way back to each other.
Running parallel to this is Parker’s relationship with Finn. This was definitely the secondary relationship in the book (which is an interesting change from having YA novels revolve around romance) so I didn’t feel like it had the same chance to develop. That said, it was great that Parker was forced to figure out the differences between keeping promises and when to break them. Finn forces her to realize things about her future, and herself, that I don’t think she would have understood without his influence.
Mental Health and Changing Your Mind
Two big themes in this book are recognizing the needs of your mental health and that it’s ok to change your mind about your future. I mentioned this in another YA novel, but I think it’s so important for teens to understand that they absolutely have the right to change their mind about what they want for themselves. Anxiety and other mental health concerns are on the rise, and people need to not put such extreme pressure on themselves to have all the answers for their life. Things change and it’s ok for each is of to change our minds about what we want to do with our lives.
This was a lovely book with a lot of important messages. Letting Go Of Gravity is a great pick for your summer reading list!
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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