The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Gae Polisner The Pull of Gravity

208 pp. Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan).  2011 ISBN: 978-0-374-37193-7

Full Disclosure: ARC received from author

Release Date: May 10, 2011

Summary (From the publisher): “Nick Gardner is having a rough year. His brother’s a jerk, his big fat dad has hit the road, and his sort-of best friend is dying. When a feverish hallucination puts Nick on a collision course with a water tower, a television news crew, and one Jaycee Amato, a girl with Siberian Husky eyes, his whole life begins to change. Together, they set out on a secret journey to keep a promise to their dying friend. Will they accomplish what they set out for, or merely discover the beauty of Steinbeck, the crappy truth about plans and a few small facts about gravity? The Pull of Gravity is a coming-of-age story about first love, friendship, and the true nature of family.

The Pull of Gravity is sweet, honest and touching.  It has moments that will make you laugh out loud and even become teary.  Those teaching Of Mice and Men will want to read this and add it to their library, if not their curriculum.  John Steinbeck’s novel isn’t part of our curriculum in my district, but I will be including The Pull of Gravity in my classroom library.   

My favorite character is the unique and completely honest Jaycee Amato.  Her witty dialogue and comebacks with Nick had me giggling multiple times throughout the book.  She’s the one that introduces Nick to Of Mice and Men by reading it to him as they head out on their journey to fulfill the request of The Scoot, their dying friend.  They’re looking for Scoot’s father (without telling their parents), and the chances of finding him are slim, but Jaycee is prepared and optimistic.  You’ve gotta love a girl who can plan an entire secret trip and stay optimistic while doing so. 🙂 

The trip itself is fun to read because so many aspects of the story unravel and come together there.  Besides Nick and Jaycee looking for Scoot’s dad, we watch Nick take chances (on love and his family) and become more independent.  And even though Scoot isn’t on this journey with him, we get to find out more about his life and character.  Plus, there’s all of his great Yoda and Star Wars references.  Steinbeck and Yoda together?!  AWESOME!  If you’ve read John Green’s Paper Towns (I’m thinking of Quentin’s journey to find Margo), you’re sure to enjoy The Pull of Gravity

A great element to the story are the emails Nick receives from his dad.  Nick and his dad lack a strong relationship because his dad has pretty much checked out as a father.  The emails appear in between some chapters and give us insight that we otherwise wouldn’t have.  We know why Nick is upset with his dad, but I wish these feelings were more developed before we read the emails.  I also wish we could have read more of his emails simply because they’re a cool element to the story. 

I definitely recommend reading this.  Girls will enjoy the relationship between Jaycee and Nick.  Boys will love the Star Wars references and will easily relate to Nick.  Teachers and librarians will, of course enjoy the story, but will also appreciate the ties to Of Mice and Men and Gae’s wonderful writing!  Congrats on your debut, Gae, and I eagerly look forward to more of your books!

P.S. Don’t you just LOVE the final cover?! 😀


  1. It’s a lovely story. ♥ Definitely recommend it! I LOVE the final cover!

  2. Gae really knows how to get with it. I am SO looking forward to reading this book!

  3. Thank you for taking the time to read and review.

    *interesting (?) tidbit: in one revision of the book, my first agent had me take out the dad’s emails. My editor who had read an earlier and later version, suggested i put them back in. According to this review, I’m glad she did, and i did. 🙂

  4. When can I get my hands on this perdy lookin thing? I’m jealous that you guys have read it, and I haven’t 🙁

  5. Oh, May 10th, I see it up there :'( Though I’m not sure I can handle this truth O.O

  6. I’m jealous that I haven’t gotten to read it yet, either!

    Thanks for the review — and for the sneak peek into Gae’s story. I love books that I can share with my daughter AND my son, and that both will love. TPOG is obviously one of those rare books.

  7. very very excited that the whole world (well, practically) will finally get to see what I’ve known for a really long time now: that Gae Polisner is a voice to watch. (if one can actually watch a voice that is). Her exquisite writing is sure to work its way under the surface of expectation and blossom into the kind of experience that we all look for in a book: a well-written story that feels real, and stays with you long after you’ve put the book down.

  8. Wonderful, review! Can’t wait to read The Pull of Gravity and to share it with my teenage son!

  9. So looking forward to finally reading this book! It sounds amazing, and I’m so happy that The Pull Of Gravity is getting such recognition already. 🙂 I know Gae’s writing is always full of what we love in a novel; heart, and tears, and joy that we can feel. She has a true heart for teens, and it comes through in her writing here. Can’t wait for it!

  10. Between you and Caroline, I am just so excited to read this book! It sounds absolutely fantastic =]


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