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Letting Go of Gravity

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Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites. Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful. Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please. Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved. And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t. But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going bet Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites. Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful. Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please. Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved. And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t. But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. 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.


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Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites. Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful. Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please. Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved. And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t. But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going bet Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites. Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful. Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please. Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved. And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t. But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. 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.

30 review for Letting Go of Gravity

  1. 3 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars Parker and her twin bother, Charlie, were once very close, but Charlie's cancer became a wedge, which slowly, but surely, pushed them apart. One of the things I really loved about this book was Leder's exploration of how Charlie's cancer affected the whole family. Because their parents were so consumed with worry for Charlie, Parker took it upon herself to be the perfect child. She kept a low profile and out of trouble, while excelling academically, earning herself a scholarship Rating: 4.5 Stars Parker and her twin bother, Charlie, were once very close, but Charlie's cancer became a wedge, which slowly, but surely, pushed them apart. One of the things I really loved about this book was Leder's exploration of how Charlie's cancer affected the whole family. Because their parents were so consumed with worry for Charlie, Parker took it upon herself to be the perfect child. She kept a low profile and out of trouble, while excelling academically, earning herself a scholarship to Harvard and a prestigious summer internship. She thought being "perfect" would alleviate some of her parents' woe, but what it did was increase Parker's anxiety, which eventually manifested as panic attacks. There was a part of me, that really understood Parker's motivation and also her hyper-overprotectiveness of her brother. My father's cancer deeply affected my family. I could relate to the worry and the concern you have for your ailing loved one. Even after he was in remission, I was very aware of anything "unhealthy" he did. We can't help it, because we love that person, and we always carry that fear that they can get sick again. In that respect, I was a lot like Parker. I also empathized with Charlie. It was tough to be around him during the first half of the book. He was in remission for the second time, but he missed a whole year of school. His friends were leaving him behind, and everyone was treating him as if he was still sick. None of them could see beyond his past and his illness, and Charlie was just trying to figure out who he was now. Both Charlie and Parker were trying to decide what they really wanted post cancer. Charlie was being reckless, while Parker was committing to a life she really didn't want to live. Thank goodness they had lots of great people to help them find their way. Even from another continent, Em, Parker's best friend, lent her support. And, Parker also got support from someone, who had been there for her many years ago, Finn. Finn was probably one of my favorite characters in the book. He was trapped in his life by his guilt, accepting less than he deserved, but he was a beacon for Parker. He helped her see that there were endless possibilities for her to explore. Ruby, who initially came off as a Parker-fangirl, ended up being a crucial part of Parker and Charlie's healing. She managed to be the voice of reason, and helped bridge that gap between the twins. She was also so easy to love. This book delivered quite the emotional punch. I was crying quite a bit during the first half of the book. This family was in so much pain, and it dripped off the page. Their pain became my pain. I was so invested in Charlie's health, Parker's well-being, and them finding their way back to each other, that when things started looking up, I found myself elated. I am getting a little choked up thinking about the ending, because I really loved it. It was beautiful and poetic and a little sad, but mostly uplifting. Overall: A wonderful coming of age tale, which packed an emotional punch. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  2. 3 out of 5

    Mandy

    *I am participating in the blog tour for this book - I received an e-ARC for that, but it didn't change my opinion for it at all!* 4.5 crowns Wow. Okay, tbh, I picked this book because I thought it would be a nice fluffy read about twins and, like, idk twin things? I thought there would be a few feels, but mostly I was just in my contemporary zone, ready to get in my summer mood. What I got? A book that made me cry on the treadmill, the most relatable main character that I've ever read that felt l *I am participating in the blog tour for this book - I received an e-ARC for that, but it didn't change my opinion for it at all!* 4.5 crowns Wow. Okay, tbh, I picked this book because I thought it would be a nice fluffy read about twins and, like, idk twin things? I thought there would be a few feels, but mostly I was just in my contemporary zone, ready to get in my summer mood. What I got? A book that made me cry on the treadmill, the most relatable main character that I've ever read that felt like me, a really cute romance, and some major twin growth. I wasn't aware when I picked this book up that there was anxiety rep, but it comes out throughout the book what Parker is dealing with. Leder does a wonderful job at going through what anxiety is like, and honestly, it did get VERY real at some points that I found myself getting anxious for her. So, it can bring a bit of anxiety, but it's just done so realistically and puts you into someone with anxiety's shoes. As I said, I think I finally found my character. I always see questions like, "What character do you relate the most with?" or "What character are you the most like?" and I always blank because I've never really found myself in YA. That is until I found Parker. She worries about falling. She worries about mysterious cult compounds. She worries about big things and little things and social niceties. She gets anxious about a lot of things, but she feels deeply and cares deeply. I was legit on the same treadmill again - omg, wow, I'm taking fitness to a new level here - and was off thinking, "I am Parker. Parker is me. I'm becoming an inspirational poster now in some eighth grade classroom." But I honestly just related with her so much. She makes mistakes - but she's human and realistic and I just truly felt so much for her because I saw so much of myself in her. Honestly, one of the best main character that I've read in a while. Also, there was a lot of strength in this book - especially from the female characters. Ruby and Parker both deep with some forms of anxiety, and I was just really amazed by their mental and emotional strength. It was so empowering for me to read. Plus, the ceramics ladies showcased their own empowerment as well. This book made my heart so happy to see all of the ladies supporting ladies and showcasing different forms of strength. And this book made me cry. So it automatically gets 20 million points since I can't even tell you the last time I cried in a book. The rest of the characters were fantastic as well. They were messy and complex and dynamic - and just so realllllllllllllllllllll. Charlie, Ruby, Finn, the cermaics gang, and Trina - they were all brilliant and complex and omg, there was just so much to them. Of course, Charlie rubbed me the wrong way in the beginning, but it's because there is so much depth to him and he just survived cancer. Leder doesn't paint nice little happy campers - just shows the realness and humanity to them that okay, I might have hated their decisions, but they were REAL. The plot is one of those slow burners. It's all about the character growth and the journey. Parker is trying to figure out what she wants to be and learning who she and Charlie is. There aren't too many big plot points or plot twists, and if you're looking for others, this book isn't it. However, if you love books with amazing characterization, amazing character journeys and growth, and more of an overreacting plot, this is it. And it's so well done, because I literally DEVOURED this book. Every time I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about going back to reading it (I literally just typed eating so apparently I'm at that point now where I want to physically consume books). Leder had a great writing style as well. I liked her pacing and her word choices and her flow and OMIGOSH, IF I SAY "REAL" MORE TIME, I'MMA LOSE IT BUT THAT'S WHAT IT FELT. I took a .5 crown off because I felt it slowed a bit toward the ending for me. And there was one or two things that irked me at the end. But other than that, this book was pretty much perfection for me. Overall, this is one of the best contemporaries that I've read in a while, and I'm so glad I tried this one out on a whim. I thought it might be a light fluffy read but instead, I got a deep, complex book that finally gave me a dream: me in a book. It had a fantastic journey and showcases what contemporary does so right: makes you feel so deeply. I definitely recommend checking this out for the summer if you're looking for a character with a great emotional journey. I cannot wait to get her previous book, Museum of Heartbreak that I've sadly had on my bookshelf for way too long, and get myself a copy of this book. 4.5 crowns and an Anna rating!

  3. 5 out of 5

    noor

    4.5 stars. This book gave me so much more than I expected, and even if I hated the snitch main character a lil bit, i still enjoyed the story. Also: it made me cry a LOT more than I wanted to? Might have just been hella emotional at the time of the reading, but I was always tearing up for no reason reading this

  4. 5 out of 5

    KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books

    Edelweiss granted me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. And honest is what I will offer you. DNF at 1/3 of the book, 1.5/5 Stars. September 5th, 2016 I lost my twin brother in a car wreck. I know what the literal loss of a twin feels like. The ins and outs of grief. I wholly believed this book would give me some sort of affirmation. Instead, this book told the stories of caricature versions of people I couldn’t tolerate reading more about. My twin brother was outgoing and charismatic, very Edelweiss granted me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. And honest is what I will offer you. DNF at 1/3 of the book, 1.5/5 Stars. September 5th, 2016 I lost my twin brother in a car wreck. I know what the literal loss of a twin feels like. The ins and outs of grief. I wholly believed this book would give me some sort of affirmation. Instead, this book told the stories of caricature versions of people I couldn’t tolerate reading more about. My twin brother was outgoing and charismatic, very reckless and we butted heads. I was the introverted, good grades-driven kind of girl who kept to myself and told on my brother all the time. I understood the characters, originally. At the end of the day, this story was kind of insulting to the layers of us under the skin. The real people under those cliche attributes. And here I was, searching this book for something deep. Don’t come here looking for anything thought-provoking or heart-wrenching. I expected some sort of character development from anyone, or even some plot to happen, but I should’ve lowered my expectations. I think maybe a week went by in the timeline and nothing progressive to the story happened at all. The name “Taylor Swift” was repeated so many times I just ended up skipping those paragraphs. Seven? Seven times it was mentioned? Like...Why. What a disaster this book turned out to be. Yes that sounds harsh, but this story and its characters only succeeded in irritating me. Charlie, live your freaking life. Enjoy having a life. Parker, shut the hell up and be your own person for crying out loud. They had unrealistic personalities that made me feel so disconnected from the story, and the opportunities for some serious, deep writing were boiled down to a paragraph, and then promptly skipped over onto something else entirely. This story was all over the place and yet it felt like it’d gone nowhere. Maybe someone somewhere will appreciate this book, but not me. In fact, I’m truly disappointed. I even recommended it to my mom and one of my best friends. Shame. (That was before I read it, because remember: This book hit so damn close to home for me.) There simply wasn’t a single time I felt connected to what was going on. I tried. I pushed the last 10% of my 1/3 and I gave up. There are other books calling my name, enticing me, and I shouldn’t waste my time reading a book I can’t enjoy.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Caroline☁

    The only reason this book is getting 2 stars, is because of Ruby. I could not stand Charlie in this book! Every time he said something rude or mean to Parker, it made me VERY uncomfortable. There was no reason for him to act like such a jerk. I think this book was hard for me to read because I'm so close with my family, so when Charlie treated Parker so cruelly and Parker continuously lied to her parents seems to me, extremely bizarre. (view spoiler)[The entire lying about her internship made me The only reason this book is getting 2 stars, is because of Ruby. I could not stand Charlie in this book! Every time he said something rude or mean to Parker, it made me VERY uncomfortable. There was no reason for him to act like such a jerk. I think this book was hard for me to read because I'm so close with my family, so when Charlie treated Parker so cruelly and Parker continuously lied to her parents seems to me, extremely bizarre. (view spoiler)[The entire lying about her internship made me very uneasy. She just kept lying time after time. I hate books where characters lie again and again to people especially their parents! (hide spoiler)] I hated how the end didn't have an ending, if that makes sense. It just said she's living life and texting Finn. I would've liked an epilogue a few years down the road, maybe her doing something she actually loved.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Patty

    I NEED IT.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)

    “I like thinking of time that way—that it’s a little more fluid in Spanish. Like maybe to start thinking about the future, you need to think about the possibility in the right now, you know?” Okay, so I originally read and reviewed this book for a blog tour (you can find my initial thoughts here ), but I couldn't definitively express my overall feelings. There were things I enjoyed about the book, but there were also a lot of things that really got underneath my skin. What was my solution? Read “I like thinking of time that way—that it’s a little more fluid in Spanish. Like maybe to start thinking about the future, you need to think about the possibility in the right now, you know?” Okay, so I originally read and reviewed this book for a blog tour (you can find my initial thoughts here ), but I couldn't definitively express my overall feelings. There were things I enjoyed about the book, but there were also a lot of things that really got underneath my skin. What was my solution? Read it again. I feel like I understand Parker a little more now, but I still think she was a terrible friend, sister, and daughter. Let me elaborate... Parker's twin, Charlie, should have been her equal, but he came across like a younger brother she was trying to protect. I know that deep down her choices came from a good place, and she genuinely thought she was helping, but she only ever made things worse for him. He was old enough to make his own decisions, whatever they may be, but she didn't allow him that freedom. Tattletale. She always had to go behind his back and announce his personal, private business to the world. If I were Charlie, I would have been pissed, too. Despite feeling like she had to tell on Charlie for the slightest misstep, she kept her own secrets. Her brother wasn't allowed to keep anything to himself, but she could withhold super important information and justify it by saying it was too difficult to talk about. Ugh. Parker also had the very best friend, Em, but she treated her like garbage for being truthful and trying to get Parker to do the right thing. Em was traveling abroad with her cousin, but she still made time for her friend. Her emails were sweet and detailed her adventures, but they also encouraged Parker to be honest with her parents. This was something Parker didn't want to do, and she admits that she doesn't want to be reminded of it, so she just ignores her. Em talked about so much more than that in her emails, but Parker couldn't respond at all? It was so frustrating to watch. I wanted to smack Parker in the face! The secondary characters in this book were treasures! Ruby, Em, Matty, Carla, and all of the people from the retirement home. I loved those old ladies (and Henry)! They were hilarious and really added another layer to the story. It's clear that the women are dealing with their own issues, and it was nice seeing Parker try to mend their relationships. At first, she just tried to spice up their days with new craft ideas, but it eventually morphed into something else. Charlie's story is a sad one, and he has every right to be angry with the world. Finn's past is equally (if not more) tragic, and I enjoyed learning more about him as the story progressed. We can't choose where we come from, but we can decide where we are going. It was nice to see Finn take control of his future and his present. I thought the author did a wonderful job conveying Parker's anxiety. I would start feeling anxious myself when Parker's eye would start twitching. Her inner turmoil felt tangible. I could feel my palms sweating and my heart racing, which gave me a better idea of what Parker was going through. In the end, I still can't decide how I feel about Letting Go of Gravity. One, I think Parker and Charlie's grandmother should really refrain from telling that specific story to children. Two, Parker wasn't a very likable character, but I don't think she was supposed to be. Instead, she offered a realistic perspective of a person dealing with anxiety and feeling trapped in their current situation. She didn't see a way out for herself even though I felt there were clear alternatives. Three, I felt like the book was a little longer than it needed to be. There was a lot of filler that could have been left out, because at times it felt like the story crawled from chapter to chapter. It's weird... not knowing exactly how I feel about a book. Did I like it? Yes. Would I read it again? Probably not a third time, no. Was there an important message? Yes. The story is good. I wish Parker had made different choices, but then there wouldn't have been much of a story. It was an interesting read with a unique perspective, and I think the author makes a lot of valid points. Life is too short to spend it doing something we hate. We also need to be able to forgive ourselves and others, or the world is going to be a lonely place. Wow... the ending... it was exactly what this book needed and deserved. Originally reviewed at Do You Dog-ear?on August 8, 2018.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Originally posted at: bickeringbooks.wordpress.com/2018/07/... Summary: Charlie and Parker are twins that are complete opposites. Charlie is carefree while Parker is anxious. Charlie is the popular life of the party while Parker is the studious valedictorian. Charlie had leukemia and Parker was healthy. Charlie’s illness shaped Parker’s childhood and helped her decide on a future. Parker was going to get into Harvard and become a doctor to save sick kids just like her brother. But now that is Cha Originally posted at: bickeringbooks.wordpress.com/2018/07/... Summary: Charlie and Parker are twins that are complete opposites. Charlie is carefree while Parker is anxious. Charlie is the popular life of the party while Parker is the studious valedictorian. Charlie had leukemia and Parker was healthy. Charlie’s illness shaped Parker’s childhood and helped her decide on a future. Parker was going to get into Harvard and become a doctor to save sick kids just like her brother. But now that is Charlie’s healthy Parker is no longer sure she can follow the path she designed as a fearful second grader. Complicating Parker’s life is the reappearance of Finn a boy that had once been her best friend but who now may be much more. Parker has just one summer to over come her anxiety and discover her real destiny. Review: I have a soft spot for summer after high school books so I was very excited when I found this book on Edelweiss. The story is simple and familiar. Parker has spent her life following a pre-designed path that no longer feels right so she will spend the last real summer of her childhood trying to figure everything out. There is nothing really groundbreaking about “Letting Go of Gravity” but it’s still surprisingly readable. Parker and Charlie’s childhood traumas and their lasting effects easier draw the reader into their story as does Parker’s history with the mysteries Finn. The book is a story of growing up that feels relatable to anyone who ever misstepped while trying to plan their future. Parker’s anxiety and confusion is something with which most readers will be able to relate as are clashes in the sibling relationship between Parker and Charlie. The book is emotional and believable and is sure to please fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson. I received an eARC of this book through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This book gave me all the feels! I laughed out loud, I ugly-cried, I had moments of fear, anger and frustration. Thank you, Meg Leder, for sharing this beautiful story and it's characters with the world. You have an amazing gift and talent for creating a bond between reader and character that i have not experienced in a long time...dare I say, since John Green. This is the kind of book you want to take a sick day from work to just lay in bed and read all day. I was quite upset at having to be pa This book gave me all the feels! I laughed out loud, I ugly-cried, I had moments of fear, anger and frustration. Thank you, Meg Leder, for sharing this beautiful story and it's characters with the world. You have an amazing gift and talent for creating a bond between reader and character that i have not experienced in a long time...dare I say, since John Green. This is the kind of book you want to take a sick day from work to just lay in bed and read all day. I was quite upset at having to be part of the real world the last three days rather than reading about Parker and Charlie. The writing was beautiful, the story was appropriately YA. So many words fail me now to express my gratitude for this book. I truly hope you have more stories inside you to share with the world.

  10. 3 out of 5

    Emily

    Parker McCullough has just graduated as valedictorian of her class, but the moment is bittersweet. Instead of her twin brother, Charlie, sitting with the rest of their graduating class he is nowhere to be seen. It is a bittersweet day for him as well, as all of his friends and his sister are moving on with their lives, but he will remain in high school after having to skip his senior year to fight leukemia once more. The twin’s relationship has struggled for quite some time, never fully recoveri Parker McCullough has just graduated as valedictorian of her class, but the moment is bittersweet. Instead of her twin brother, Charlie, sitting with the rest of their graduating class he is nowhere to be seen. It is a bittersweet day for him as well, as all of his friends and his sister are moving on with their lives, but he will remain in high school after having to skip his senior year to fight leukemia once more. The twin’s relationship has struggled for quite some time, never fully recovering from his first bout with cancer, but only went downhill when it finally came back right before Senior year. Parker has always been the overachiever, always been the tightly-wound anxiety type trying to please her parents, to make them happy. Mostly, since Charlie’s first bout of Leukemia when they were 9. One day she told her parents that she wanted to be a doctor so that she could save Charlie, and ever since that day her life had become about saving her brother. Charlie isn’t sure how to handle life after remission, and Parker isn’t sure how to handle living a life she doesn’t really want. Sure, she worked her butt off to get into Harvard, earned those scholarships as well as that prestigious internship at Children’s Hospital Cincinnati, but being at the internship makes her sick, as does the thought of being a doctor. But she can’t tell her folks because they are so proud of her. To most people, all of her dreams are coming true. But it is only her best friend, Emerson, and her brother Charlie, who truly see her pain and anxiety as she presents her “I want to be a doctor” façade to the world. Em is going away this summer though, backpacking around Europe with her cousin, Matty, who is Charlie’s best friend. Em brings up the internship, the whole doctor thing, when she has to pick Parker up from her internship on the first day because she had a panic attack (though she doesn’t call it this yet. They are just “her nerves”) and was too ill to stay. Parker doesn’t want to hear that it’s the wrong call. Besides, what would it do to her parents? They are so proud of her, particularly her father who has already begun calling her Dr. McCullough, a nickname she hates, but she knows he loves it more than she hates it. So it stays, just like everything else in her life. She doesn’t yet see that she is living her life for other people. One day she meets Ruby Collie, a soon to be junior in high school and person of color, who wants to be Parker when she grows up. She truly wants to be a doctor and, like everyone in town, is aware of how well Parker has done and is looking for some tips on how to be awesome. Parker doesn’t know what to say as she genuinely hates her life right now and isn’t in a great headspace. But in this encounter comes a blast from the past: Finn Casper. Finn was a childhood friend and boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Talking to Finn makes her brave enough to do what she wants, so she leaves the internship and starts working at the pottery studio where she gets interested in art therapy from the elderly outreach program the studio has. Over the course of the summer Parker soon finds out who she is and what she wants, and soon, so does everyone else. So, what’s great about this book? The answer: so much. Leder makes lifelike characters who are perfectly imperfect and who each face their own challenges. These is never an impression of one person’s challenge being of greater importance/value than anyone else’s whether it is physical abuse, fighting cancer, or fighting yourself. As this book illustrates it can be hard to let go, especially when you have been hanging on for dear life for so long. But sometimes the bravest and best thing you can do for everyone, is to let go and see what happens. This book is perfect for readers who love and appreciate a good coming-of-age story, a romance that doesn’t have a perfect happy ending because the story is too lifelike, and when one character isn’t saved by another, but that they all end up saving each other.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Y.

    Letting Go of Gravity was an unexpected surprise...I mean that in a good way, I promise. I was a little worried I’d be a sobbing mess by the end of the story after reading the blurb and considering the subject matter, but surprisingly I smiled as much as I cried reading this one, if not more. The main focus of the story are fraternal twins Parker and Charlie, individuals who couldn’t be more different. A recent high school graduate, Parker is an introverted, people-pleaser who has her life planne Letting Go of Gravity was an unexpected surprise...I mean that in a good way, I promise. I was a little worried I’d be a sobbing mess by the end of the story after reading the blurb and considering the subject matter, but surprisingly I smiled as much as I cried reading this one, if not more. The main focus of the story are fraternal twins Parker and Charlie, individuals who couldn’t be more different. A recent high school graduate, Parker is an introverted, people-pleaser who has her life planned out...a summer internship at the local Children’s Hospital and then on to Harvard where she hopes to study to become a pediatric oncologist. On the other hand, her twin brother Charlie is extroverted, outspoken and has no clue what the future holds as he has fallen a year behind in school thanks to a recent reoccurrence of leukemia. Parker’s carefully planned out summer doesn’t quite go as planned thanks to her changed relationship with Charlie and to renewed acquaintance Finn, a street artist who has been leaving cryptic graffiti messages all over town as well as a few discoveries she makes about herself. This could have easily been a super heavy and emotional read, but there was still a lightness to it, if that makes sense. The characters of this story help with that as does Meg Leder’s way of telling us the story. As for that story, it is told from the POV of Parker and Letting Go of Gravity is definitely Parker’s story so I understand why we only get her perspective, but to be honest I wouldn’t have minded getting Charlie’s perspective on a few things. There are occasions and interactions between the two early on where I could sense Charlie’s frustration at the situation and how people treat him, yet Parker seems oblivious to it. But I wonder if that is how it is in real life sometimes...that we are sometimes too close to a situation to actually see what is really happening or what we are doing or saying, but a third party can easily see it. I admit this made me frustrated with Parker, but it also added a realness to the story. Parker definitely grows as the story progresses and she begins to learn more about herself, what she truly wants out of life, and what makes her happy. She begins to see past events and current situations in a new light. It’s a fascinating journey of self-discovery and I enjoyed how real it felt. It doesn’t happen overnight, but is more gradual lending a believability to the whole situation and to everything that occurs. It’s the little things that lead Parker to see the bigger picture. Leder does a fantastic job at showing how a character can grow and change as a result of self-discovery and reflection. There are several other relationships and characters in the story that also help shape and affect Parker and her choices. From Finn to Ruby to Carla to Alice and many more, Meg Leder has done a fabulous job with each of these characters and relationships as each has an important role to play in Parker’s story even if it’s not apparent to Parker or the readers at first. I liked how each made her see things and question things in a way no one else had before. She was already on her way, but each gave her that extra nudge by providing an outsider’s perspective. Parker’s interactions and relationships with other characters were wonderful additions to an already enjoyable story. Oh, and I really loved Finn, by the way...even little Finn, who we meet in a flashback/memory. Now, I feel I can’t let this review end without commenting on Charlie’s cancer as it is a big part of the book. As someone whose family has been affected by leukemia as well as other types of cancer, I feel that Meg Leder did a lovely job of showing how it affects an entire family in ways that aren’t always obvious. I’m paraphrasing (and badly at that), but there’s a beautiful passage in the book that likens cancer to a river moving through a family. You don’t notice it at the time, but your family is forever changed. Just like a river changes the terrain as it flows, wearing away at its banks and forever changing them, cancer changes a family and there’s no going back to who you were before. This is so true and now I must stop or I will be a sobbing mess, but this passage just stuck with me and I wanted to point it out. Overall, I found Letting Go of Gravity to be a wonderful and touching story about relationships, growing up, and discovering yourself. *I received a free digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    There are some books that are fun. Then, there are some books you need. I needed this book. I got the ARC at YALLWest in the hurried frenzy that is "idk that cover looks nice" and "I don't know what I'm in line for except that it's a book," which means I went into this with no preconceived notions except for a love of the title and the knowledge it was about twins and cancer and I hoped it wasn't another TFIOS. It's not. This isn't a cancer story. It's not even a "this isn't a cancer story it's my There are some books that are fun. Then, there are some books you need. I needed this book. I got the ARC at YALLWest in the hurried frenzy that is "idk that cover looks nice" and "I don't know what I'm in line for except that it's a book," which means I went into this with no preconceived notions except for a love of the title and the knowledge it was about twins and cancer and I hoped it wasn't another TFIOS. It's not. This isn't a cancer story. It's not even a "this isn't a cancer story it's my story and I have cancer" story. It's a story about finding what you want to be, when the world keeps trying to tell you the answer. Charlie and Parker are twins. Charlie got cancer, Parker did not. Charlie's had to take a year off of school, so he's missed graduating with his class. Parker is valedictorian and set to leave for Harvard in the fall, to become a doctor. I'm five years older than Parker and finally reaching the same crossroads. Do you continue with what's expected of you, or do you follow what you're heart's telling you? What is conventional success if it isn't what will make you happy? Without giving anything away, this book is the perfect book for anyone looking for their place in the world.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Lindsey Swindlehurst

    I received this as an EARC from netgelly for an honest review. I gave this a 4/5 stars. I did not expect this book to pack such a punch like it did but I'm glad it did. The story was written beautifully and I cried a lot. The only problem I had was that I hated Charles character and it made me enjoy the story less even though I think he's the way he is for a reason . Overall I really enjoyed it and highly recommend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Forever Young Adult

    Graded By: Rosemary Cover Story: Put a Bird On It BFF Charm: Yay Swoonworthy Scale: 8 Talky Talk: School of Sarah Dessen Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude Relationship Status: Just My Type Read the full book report here.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eden Smith

    A real, thought provoking book about what it means to find yourself without someone or something else. 15/10 would recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    Well that was a fast yet meh read. I don't think I wanted to read this in the first place but I did and I don't regret it, I just didn't enjoy it.

  17. 3 out of 5

    sydney smith

    what a beautiful book. what a beautiful heartbreaking yet heartwarming story, that teaches us how to fly. "And I'm floating in a most peculiar way, And the stars look very different today"

  18. 3 out of 5

    Rayna

    Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me this ARC, which I won in a Goodreads giveaway! So so good. I finished this in two late nights of reading because I just couldn't put it down. There were so many life issues and feelings packed into this book, and they were all written in such a lovely way. The plot chugged along so smoothly and it seemed like I was living alongside these amazing characters. I felt like I was punched in the gut multiple times and was definitely hit in the chest Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me this ARC, which I won in a Goodreads giveaway! So so good. I finished this in two late nights of reading because I just couldn't put it down. There were so many life issues and feelings packed into this book, and they were all written in such a lovely way. The plot chugged along so smoothly and it seemed like I was living alongside these amazing characters. I felt like I was punched in the gut multiple times and was definitely hit in the chest with a cannonball of feels at one point. I was at times mad, sympathetic, regretful, sad, furious, empathetic, and very happy. (A sure sign that this book means something.) This book was truly a sum of its parts - it was a story of a young woman who had to find herself and learn to accept who she really was, but it was also so much more. Parker was confused for so long, even if she appeared to have everything in her life perfectly together from the outside. I could really have used Parker's story a few years ago when I was doubting who I wanted to be. My whole life had been dedicated to achieving one goal, and once it got closer to being obtainable, I wasn't so sure anymore. Reading about Parker's struggles made me realize how right I was to stick with my plan, but man, I sure could have used this reassurance back then. Parker felt so real: she made some really bad decisions, was uncertain and lost, was both a good and a bad friend, hid important news from her parents, found something she was passionate about, and (best of all) started to discover herself and live the life she truly wanted. Charlie, her twin, was described as her polar opposite, but they had more in common than they would like to admit. This seemed to be the cause of some of their fighting and what distanced them so much. The pain and anger of both Parker and Charlie was super well done and jumped off the page. Finn's emotions were spot on as well - he was the character I felt for the most because his situation straight up sucked and he seemed like such a genuine guy. He was such a complex character who had to make some really difficult decisions while trying to make the best out of life. This book made me tear up multiple times, but it was Finn near the end that made me truly cry... Ruby also had her own battles to fight, even if they weren't as significant or life-changing as those of the other three main characters. This was a great reminder that everyone has struggles and demons to fight. She was a great friend to Parker and provided some great comic relief. The old ladies were a hoot, and the struggles of aging were handled in such a cool way through them. They were also used to show Parker what a meaningful life could look like, as these ladies liked to reminisce about what they did when they were younger. They added a lot to the plot and to the direction that Parker chose to take her life. Difficult decision making, self-doubt, trying to understand relationships, inner and outer turmoil, anxiety - these were all things that Parker had to deal with and overcome. She was never truly alone (even if she felt like it sometimes) and she had the support of many great people who cared about her in the end. Her journey to who she wanted to be was like a crazy roller coaster ride - but wow, it sure did make for a great read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    4.5 "What would it be like to do something not because you had to, but just because you wanted to?" Letting Go of Gravity starts with a story of a gravity girl and a helium girl that grandma used to tell twins Charlie McCullough and Parker McCullough. This story represented Charlie who wants to fly and Parker who won't let go. Parker is Harvard bound and she's the valedictorian of her class. After learning Charlie has Leukemia, Parker wants to be a pediatric oncologist. She has a prestigious inter 4.5 "What would it be like to do something not because you had to, but just because you wanted to?" Letting Go of Gravity starts with a story of a gravity girl and a helium girl that grandma used to tell twins Charlie McCullough and Parker McCullough. This story represented Charlie who wants to fly and Parker who won't let go. Parker is Harvard bound and she's the valedictorian of her class. After learning Charlie has Leukemia, Parker wants to be a pediatric oncologist. She has a prestigious internship for the summer at a local hospital. Charlie, on the other hand, has to repeat senior year again due to missing school when he was in the hospital for Leukemia. He is currently in remission. However, the sibling relationship between Charlie and Parker has been strained ever since the twins started arguing over everything. Meg Leder gives a glimpse how a serious illness can impact loved ones. Parker is scared bout Charlie getting sick again and possibly dying. There are a couple of scenes in the book where Parker has a panic attack about whether she can handle what life throws at her. Fortunately, her best friend Em always supports here and is always there for her. When Em moves to college, Parker befriends Ruby Collie from Float and reconnects former childhood classmate Finn Casper. I found it refreshing when Parker decides not to attend her internship. Just because she is the valedictorian, she is far from perfect. She can make mistakes or change her mind about stuff and her anxiety takes a form of its own. When she doesn't want to be a doctor anymore, it wasn't until she talks to Finn that she decides she needs to follow her heart. She decides to take Finn's suggestion and applies to a job at Trina's Ceramics. Parker can finally breathe and it feels like a weight is lifted off her shoulders at her new job. Creativity runs in Parker's veins even if she doesn't know it. Finn finds solace in street art as he paints amazing messages around the city. Parker and Finn starts to connect with what makes them happy. Leder writes with sincerity. Her book is realistic and she knows how teens think to how they act to what they say. The pressure that society has on them can be unbearable and sometimes it's hard to convey what they think and feel to adults. Parker finds meaningful friendships with Ruby and Finn. She needs friends who knows what she was going through. By the end of the book, Parker finds her wings to fly! Although the novel is fairly long for a contemporary, Letting Go of Gravity is emotionally gripping and relatable. The novel addresses how someone copes with a loved one being ill, how to manage anxiety and how one gains the strength to be honest not only with themselves but with the world. If you enjoy reading books such as The Museum of Heartbreak, The Start of Me and You and Emmy & Oliver, you will love Letting Go of Gravity.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Jenni Frencham

    Leder, Meg. Letting Go of Gravity. Simon Pulse, 2018. Charlie and Parker are twins, but that's where their similarities end. Charlie has had leukemia twice and is now in remission, although he has one more year of high school to finish. Parker has just graduated first in her class, has an elite internship at the local hospital, and is headed to Harvard where she will be studying to be a pediatric oncologist. As Charlie and Parker clash throughout one summer, each must confront what others expect Leder, Meg. Letting Go of Gravity. Simon Pulse, 2018. Charlie and Parker are twins, but that's where their similarities end. Charlie has had leukemia twice and is now in remission, although he has one more year of high school to finish. Parker has just graduated first in her class, has an elite internship at the local hospital, and is headed to Harvard where she will be studying to be a pediatric oncologist. As Charlie and Parker clash throughout one summer, each must confront what others expect of them and what they actually want. Even though Parker is really the main character of this story, she is not the only well-rounded character. Many of the characters are fully three-dimensional, flawed, and real. This isn't a book that is action-packed or compelling reading, but it is a thoughtful character study of what happens to the siblings of people who have serious illnesses. Parker and Charlie's entire family had to make sacrifices for Charlie, but it takes a summer of lying to her parents for Parker to realize the truth about herself and what she really wants. Recommended. Recommended for: teens Red Flags: language, underage drinking and drug use, domestic violence Overall Rating: 4/5 stars Read-Alikes: You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone, All the Bright Places, My Sister's Keeper I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for the purpose of review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Teenreadsdotcom

    When Parker graduates, she should be celebrating. As the Valedictorian who is heading to Harvard, her cautious, hardworking attitude seems to have paid off. More important than all that, however, is the fact that her twin brother, Charlie, is finally in remission after suffering from leukemia twice in the last 18 years. But even though Charlie’s cancer is gone, he’s still struggling to reconnect with his family and himself, severing the ties between him and Parker that she used to rely on. While When Parker graduates, she should be celebrating. As the Valedictorian who is heading to Harvard, her cautious, hardworking attitude seems to have paid off. More important than all that, however, is the fact that her twin brother, Charlie, is finally in remission after suffering from leukemia twice in the last 18 years. But even though Charlie’s cancer is gone, he’s still struggling to reconnect with his family and himself, severing the ties between him and Parker that she used to rely on. While their differences seemed to complement each other when they were younger, two halves of a whole, now they seem to create an insurmountable divide between Parker and Charlie --- a divide that seems to be growing. As Parker becomes more cautious, Charlie finds more ways to push himself to the limit and break the rules. Navigating the summer before college while fighting her own internal struggles and clashing with her brother, Parker meets new individuals who help her to reexamine herself, and her choices, before they have real consequences. In LETTING GO OF GRAVITY, Meg Leder tackles serious and relatable issues from the perspective of a teenager on the brink of adulthood. One of the most applicable struggles that Parker faces is the feeling of pressure to succeed, to live up to unstated expectations. Although she thinks she knows where she wants her life to go, she starts to question the decisions she’s made, a conflict that will resonate with many teens, and one that conveys powerful and important themes to the reader --- plans aren’t carved in marble like they’re often expected to be, and they don’t have to be treated like they are. Additionally, Leder’s novel also highlights the struggles of battling a serious illness, including the emotional baggage that lingers even after the disease subsides, and the story also expands to focus on the aftermath for a family as well, examining the problems that still remain after the temporary celebration subsides. Layered among these serious topics, however, Leder includes thoroughly enjoyable secondary characters that distinguish the novel from similar stories. Parker’s interactions with some of the elderly individuals in her community add a lighthearted note to the story --- and plenty of humorous drama! The other teens in Leder’s novel surrounding Parker and Charlie are also entertaining and sincere, and provide openings for Leder to discuss additional issues including mental health and dysfunctional families. The minor characters of the story may be more appealing to readers than the main characters; although Parker deals with relatable issues, her character lacks the nuance that would make her more compelling and realistic. Sometimes her growth as a character feels forced, enhanced by strong symbolism and metaphors, lacking the subtlety of the maturation of the minor characters. For all of its focus on important issues, however, LETTING GO OF GRAVITY struggles in its pacing at times, particularly the ending --- the resolution happens too quickly in comparison to the rest of the book and still leaves some issues unresolved. This makes the ending of the story less satisfying than if the conflicts had been settled more slowly and fully. As a whole, LETTING GO OF GRAVITY explores relevant, important issues, punctuated by lighthearted moments that elevate the mood of the story. The novel will resonate with teens who enjoy stories with imperfect protagonists, family relationships, and a touch of romance. For anyone looking for a story of self-discovery, Meg Leder’s LETTING GO OF GRAVITY provides a look at a vulnerable teen on the brink of adulthood. Reviewed by Rachel R., Teen Board Member

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Thank you Simon Pulse for sending me a finished copy of Letting Go of Gravity to review. Parker and Charlie are twins but they aren't as close as they use to be. Parker is graduating high school as valedictorian and has been accepted into Harvard where she will attend and become a doctor. Charlie got cancer and won't be graduating with Parker and that's why they aren't as close. But while he is now in remission and doing his own thing, Parker has an internship this summer at the hospital but on h Thank you Simon Pulse for sending me a finished copy of Letting Go of Gravity to review. Parker and Charlie are twins but they aren't as close as they use to be. Parker is graduating high school as valedictorian and has been accepted into Harvard where she will attend and become a doctor. Charlie got cancer and won't be graduating with Parker and that's why they aren't as close. But while he is now in remission and doing his own thing, Parker has an internship this summer at the hospital but on her first day she has a panic attack. Now Parker must fight her own demons and determine if being a doctor is really what she wants. I read Meg Leder's book The Museum of Heartbreak about two years ago and I loved it. It had a great story and a cute romance and that's why I was excited to read another one of her books. And while I did enjoy this one, it wasn't my favorite. First of all, it's 420 pages and I feel that it is way too long to tell the story that it tells. A lot of the time, nothing was happening. Or at least, nothing significant. I think this book could have been a lot shorter and still got its point across. Parker is a really smart girl who is so certain of what she wants but others can see that it's not what she wants. But she won't admit it. I can't really relate to Parker at all but I think she was a really great character to read from. She is a high school graduate and yet she runs to her parents to tattle-tale on her brother Charlie, all the time. I was really annoyed that she kept doing that and I could see why Charlie was always so upset with her even though Parker acted like she had no idea why he was mad. Charlie is very outgoing but he says some pretty awful things to Parker. About 3/4 through the book, he completely changes though and I have no idea where it came from. He went from absolutely wanting nothing to do with Parker to hanging out with her all the time. While it was nice to see them reconnect and still don't really understand what changed his mind. I found it a little unbelievable that while Parker was having panic attacks, she had no idea what was happening to her body. She wants to become a doctor and she knows a lot already and it's just hard to believe she didn't know what her own body was doing. The message of the story which is actually the title, Letting Go of Gravity, was so interesting and I loved the metaphor that Leder used with the gravity and helium people. It was really creative and different and I enjoyed that a lot. This book is out today, so if it sounds like something you might enjoy, make sure to pick up a copy. I would recommend it because I did enjoy it but just be prepared for a long book with some slow chapters.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Stephanie

    "That's what friends do- they remind you of who you are underneath all the stuff people believe about you, all the stuff you believe about yourself." Charlie and Parker are twins. During childhood, they always had each other's back. However, they were always two different people; Charlie is extroverted, loud, popular and easily makes friends, Parker is introverted, guarded and needs approval. One other difference arose when Charlie and Parker were in fourth grade, Charlie got leukemia. As medical "That's what friends do- they remind you of who you are underneath all the stuff people believe about you, all the stuff you believe about yourself." Charlie and Parker are twins. During childhood, they always had each other's back. However, they were always two different people; Charlie is extroverted, loud, popular and easily makes friends, Parker is introverted, guarded and needs approval. One other difference arose when Charlie and Parker were in fourth grade, Charlie got leukemia. As medical bills rose and their parents lived in fear, Parker vowed to become a doctor and help kids with leukemia. Now it is coming true, as Parker graduates valedictorian of her class with an internship at a hospital and an acceptance to Harvard, and Charlie is in remission for a second time. When it's time to begin the internship, Parker feels overwhelmed and panicked at even being in the hospital. She quits, reconnects with an old friend and finds a job at a pottery shop and the weight lifts. Now, if she could only tell her parents. Letting go of gravity is an epic coming of age tale that so many teens will be able to connect with. It is not only Parker's story either, it is also Charlie's. For so much of Parker's life she has strived to be what her parents expect that she has lost herself. For Charlie's life, he has been the boy with cancer that people have given up their lives to help. They both just want to stop being people's expectations for them and learn to be themselves, but they will need each other to do it. I could easily relate to Parker and was swept up in her story, eagerly turning the pages to see how she would manage the twists and turns in her life. Even though I have never had to deal with cancer, Charlie was also intriguing. His journey in and out of remission while being a teen is very sincere and heart wrenching, even when he is ok. Charlie and Parker's journey took me through emotional highs and lows that reminded me of the transitional time after high school. In addition to this, the romances were very sweet and realistic. Overall, a roller-coaster of a story about self-realization and being able to become who you truly are. This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

  24. 3 out of 5

    Shannon Kelly

    This book is like a warm hug for your heart. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance reader's copy and I am so glad I did. Letting Go of Gravity is a sweet, emotional read about a high-achieving but anxious girl named Parker and her twin brother Charlie, who has been battling cancer on and off throughout their childhoods and into high school. Now, because of his illness, Charlie is graduating a year late and Parker is heading off to college without him. But the pressure of Harvard, a hig This book is like a warm hug for your heart. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance reader's copy and I am so glad I did. Letting Go of Gravity is a sweet, emotional read about a high-achieving but anxious girl named Parker and her twin brother Charlie, who has been battling cancer on and off throughout their childhoods and into high school. Now, because of his illness, Charlie is graduating a year late and Parker is heading off to college without him. But the pressure of Harvard, a high-stakes internship, and her parents' expectations is weighing on Parker, and Charlie's illness has created strain between them that's starting to boil over. Meanwhile, Parker makes new friends, reunites with an old crush, and starts a new summer job, and she discovers a lot about herself, Charlie, family, and growing up along the way. I loved this book. Letting Go of Gravity paints an all-too-relatable portrait of a girl who's taking on too much and losing sight of what she really wants, something I think a lot of high-achieving high schoolers can relate to. It also has a ton of awesome and incredibly accurate Midwest atmosphere, a sweet love story that feels very real, and a great family dynamic. What I loved most, though, was the incredibly heart-wrenching and insightful way this book explored sibling relationships and especially brother-sister relationships. I have two brothers myself, and that bond is so unique - a blend of fierce loyalty and teamwork and best-friendship, but also rivalry and tension and growing pains. It's a complicated and singular thing, and the relationship between Parker and Charlie in this book is one of the best examples I've read of just how horrible and completely wonderful having a brother and and being a sister can be. I recommend this book to fans of John Green, Becky Albertalli, and Rainbow Rowell, as well as anyone looking for a sweet story about discovering yourself and setting aside your fears.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michal Lynn

    "Em grabs my hand as I watch Charlie swing back to the tree and then out again, like he's flying, and then he whoops, no words, just a scream of pure joy and raw fury, a heart on the outside for everyone to see..." Letting Go of Gravity is, much like it's synopsis states, about a brother and sister trying to reconnect after one of them has been through cancer treatment twice. Charlie and Parker were once inseparable (they are twins), but Charlie was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 9, and it c "Em grabs my hand as I watch Charlie swing back to the tree and then out again, like he's flying, and then he whoops, no words, just a scream of pure joy and raw fury, a heart on the outside for everyone to see..." Letting Go of Gravity is, much like it's synopsis states, about a brother and sister trying to reconnect after one of them has been through cancer treatment twice. Charlie and Parker were once inseparable (they are twins), but Charlie was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 9, and it changed their family for good. And while we do read a lot about the strain of the twins' relationship, this story has a lot more focus on Parker, the "healthy" twin, the one who has felt the need to keep it together in order to keep her family from falling apart. The language is in this book is b e a u t i f u l. It's thoughtful without being heavy-handed or unrealistic and, again, it has more to do with realizing the state of Parker's family than it does with the way she speaks to people. The characters are flawed, they make the occasional bad decision, and they are just trying to figure it all out. Anxiety plays a big role, with Parker experiencing more than one panic attack (though she doesn't really know what that means) and I feel that it was handled with a lot of care and accuracy. It is clear that she has dealt with anxiety for the majority of her life, but it is exacerbated by the future she has created for herself based solely on what she felt Charlie and her parents needed. I found this book to be incredibly positive, but there is still a lot of grief and pain in the book. It's a great read for those who enjoy angsty or emotional YA contemporaries, with light-hearted moments sprinkled into more serious subject matter. I was provided an arc from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Sara Ohlin

    Beautiful, beautiful book! I adored this book, these characters, the setting, the issues, the imagery, all of it! Parker may be the valedictorian of her class, and she may be going to Harvard in the fall to study medicine and she may be interning during the summer at a hospital, but her anxiety about all of it isn’t so easy to disguise anymore. She’s smacked in the face with the notion that she’s not living her authentic life and she hasn’t been since her twin brother was diagnosed with Leukemia Beautiful, beautiful book! I adored this book, these characters, the setting, the issues, the imagery, all of it! Parker may be the valedictorian of her class, and she may be going to Harvard in the fall to study medicine and she may be interning during the summer at a hospital, but her anxiety about all of it isn’t so easy to disguise anymore. She’s smacked in the face with the notion that she’s not living her authentic life and she hasn’t been since her twin brother was diagnosed with Leukemia when they were nine. She doesn’t know how to live her life for herself. I love that this book is about something seemingly simple, which path to chose in life, but for most of us it’s not simple at all, and for those with anxiety it can be crippling to take a step in the right direction, especially if, like for Parker, it feels like we are letting out family members down. I loved Parker’s twin brother, Charlie too, even though he was such a brat at times. I felt like Meg did such a beautiful job exposing both Parker’s and Charlie’s emotions about what cancer does, not just to an individual, but a family, even if the patient, like Charlie eventually goes into remission. As much as I adored Parker and Charlie, my favorite character was Finn. Oh, Finn. What a gorgeous, but lost soul who is trying to get by in life with family members who would rather take from him, than take care of him. The friendship/relationship between Finn and Parker was so bittersweet. I won’t give away anything by saying what Parker decides to do about her path, in the end, but I will say, she has a heart of gold. Another win by Meg Leder about life, family, anxiety, love, and ultimately finding our way in life.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    4/5** Full review here: https://www.allcharacterswanted.com/b... 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 li 4/5** Full review here: https://www.allcharacterswanted.com/b... 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 so much :( This was a lovely book with a lot of important messages. Letting Go Of Gravity is a great pick for your summer reading list!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Porter

    Cancer moved through out family like a river wearing away it's banks. You didn't notice at the moment, but two years later the essential shape of us was changed forever...no going back to who we used to be -Parker What would it be like to do something not because you had to, but just because you wanted? -Parker 'You don't owe anyone anything--it's not an exchange. That's just what people do for the people they love." -Parker to Charlie "My grandma used to say only boring people get bored." -Lorna Li Cancer moved through out family like a river wearing away it's banks. You didn't notice at the moment, but two years later the essential shape of us was changed forever...no going back to who we used to be -Parker What would it be like to do something not because you had to, but just because you wanted? -Parker 'You don't owe anyone anything--it's not an exchange. That's just what people do for the people they love." -Parker to Charlie "My grandma used to say only boring people get bored." -Lorna Little parts of my heart break off then...for all the ways we've let ourselves become who people we should be instead of who we really are. - Parker Tissue Alert! Parker's world changes when her twin brother, Charlie, is diagnosed with leukemia. She vows never to cause problems for her parents, because don't they have enough to worry about? She sets she sights on becoming a doctor, a pediatric doctor, to save children like Charlie. Fast forward ten years, Charlie has just been through his second bout with leukemia, missing a whole year of school. He seems to be okay, so she should stop being overprotective, right? The bond that they once shared seems to be broken. Parker has just graduated, valedictorian, has been accepted to Harvard, and has a prestigious summer internship, all aimed at her goal. So why is she having panic attacks? Parker has to find her own path, what does she really want to do? On the way she reconnects with an old friend, Finn, makes a new friend, Ruby, and tries to figure out why she and her brother just can't get along. Fast read and enjoyable.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lynndell

    Touching realistic fiction! Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder! Parker and Charlie are twins. One of them is giving the Valedictorian speech at high school graduation and the other watches from the audience, not graduating because of being held back a year in school, due to a second bout with leukemia. Parker has her future set out for her and Charlie is tired of dealing with leukemia. At the same time, Charlie seems much Touching realistic fiction! Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder! Parker and Charlie are twins. One of them is giving the Valedictorian speech at high school graduation and the other watches from the audience, not graduating because of being held back a year in school, due to a second bout with leukemia. Parker has her future set out for her and Charlie is tired of dealing with leukemia. At the same time, Charlie seems much more confident about what he’s feeling and what he wants compared to Parker, who has uncertainties about everything. Parker crosses paths with Finn, a friend from elementary school that she lost track of. Charlie acts like he has a death wish and it’s upsetting his family and friends so much that his parents send him to a cancer therapy support group. Parker thinks that Charlie hates her and she seems to keep making the same mistakes, over and over, that make him angry. Through the turmoil of figuring out their lives and futures, Parker and Charlie surprise each other with how similar they are but different at the same time. A touching realistic fiction story with Ruby and Finn, dynamic side characters that bring an extra level of maturity to the plot and story line. 5 stars!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    5 out of 5 stars Beautiful story about the bond between twin siblings; Charlie and Parker and how their relationship is affected during times of hardship. The consequences and stress the family goes through when Charlie is diagnosed with Leukemia and how pressure falls on Parker to step up and be mature. As the twins get older, their relationship is put to the tests as Charlie grows to be the more fearless one and Parker is the anxious one. Parker's anxiety grows stronger as she makes the tough d 5 out of 5 stars Beautiful story about the bond between twin siblings; Charlie and Parker and how their relationship is affected during times of hardship. The consequences and stress the family goes through when Charlie is diagnosed with Leukemia and how pressure falls on Parker to step up and be mature. As the twins get older, their relationship is put to the tests as Charlie grows to be the more fearless one and Parker is the anxious one. Parker's anxiety grows stronger as she makes the tough decisions that will decide her future, hiding some decisions from her family and reconnecting with a childhood friend; Finn who has been keeping some dark secrets to himself. This engaging, beautiful, poignant, and touching story will make you fall in love with the twins and make you want to keep your own family close, and think about if the decisions you have made were for you or to please the others in your life.

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