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Publisher's Summary

Teen boys find love when their parents' NASA mission uproots their lives in this sweet debut perfect for Adam Silvera fans.

As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, 17-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.

Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another "Astrokid", and finds himself falling head over heels - fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.

Expertly capturing the thrill of first love and the self-doubt all teens feel, debut author Phil Stamper is a new talent to watch.

Narrated by Michael Crouch

The Shooting Stars TV show is brought to life with a full cast featuring:

Jonathan Davis as Josh Farrow

Gabra Zackman as StarWatch announcer

January LaVoy as Grace Tucker

Angelo Di Loreto as Mark Bannon

Chris Andrew Ciulla as Calvin Lewis, Sr.

Dorothy Dillingham Blue as Donna Szleifer

Cynthia Farrell as Ariana Rogers

Soneela Nankani as Halima Ali

Sullivan Jones as Leon Tucker

Bahni Turpin as Kat Tucker

Author's Note read by Phil Stamper

Includes an About the Audiobook conversation between Phil Stamper and producer Diane McKiernan

©2020 Phil Stamper (P)2020 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"I'm so starry-eyed for this wise, romantic gem of a book." (Becky Albertalli, New York Times best-selling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Editor's Pick

An LGBTQIA+ space story, set on Earth
"Phil Stamper’s debut combines all of my favorite things: NASA, reality TV, and an LGBTQIA+ love story. Performed by Michael Crouch and a full cast, The Gravity of Us follows the fictional near-future of Orpheus V—NASA’s mission to get humankind on Mars. Though the mission and the astronauts involved play a huge part in this story, it’s two of the astronauts’ kids—Cal and Leon—who are at the heart of it. Being thrust onto the national stage and a reality TV show about the landmark mission, these Astrokids are forced to figure out the rest of their lives and their feelings for one another in front of the entire world. From the insider knowledge and space facts to the frank discussions about family, sexuality, and mental health, Stamper’s debut was truly out of this world (I’m sorry, I had to)."—Michael C., Audible Editor

What listeners say about The Gravity of Us

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A weak story

tbh didn‘t really enjoy. I hated the pacing. No ups and downs and no moments of exhilaration and cannot resonate with the emotional moments. Liked the narrator’s voice though.But not worth my credit.

5 people found this helpful

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Heavy eye rolling 🙄

I’m sorry. I just couldn’t get into this book. I listened to the whole thing but had an incredibly difficult time. The premise of the story was intriguing and I liked that part a lot. Definitely loved the astronaut part and all the stuff about the families. The main character Cal though, geeezus. He was so incredibly unlikable. I loathed the character and found him so intolerable. And unfortunately the love story part felt so shallow and forced. I hated this book over all and I really wanted to like it.

3 people found this helpful

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Finally an lgbt love without the coming out drama

Really fun story to read about the romance between two guys where coming out and identity issues were not the main focus.

3 people found this helpful

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When reading do you ever feel like an accomplice?

The Gravity of Us is simple the story that all teenage boys or girls of a millennial age or even younger should read to understand that with hard work everything is possible. If this book does not resonate with this generation, I am not sure what will. Not only is this book dealing with typical topics of what comes next after school or even how to find one’s path, like any other coming of age story, but gives a modern approach on how to use social media to propel your life goals. As a master in Digital Marketing and Social Media, I can see modern topics that this generation can understand and aspire to be, from Influencing exposure to followers to managing one’s brand in the many endeavors of finding the perfect niche to where develop and exploit one’s creativity.

The approach to sexuality is done without many details in a sense that it does not get vulgar, so stop asking if it is “clean” because young adults need to see themselves reflected in the work of authors. This makes them feel comprehended and help them see that they are not alone. These are small oasis for those who need an escape of this highly censored society. Cal with all his intensity was a nice character that honestly annoyed me too much from time to time. His need to plan everything ahead of time, I see myself in that trait, and that everything all the time is about himself!

For more, google our name!

2 people found this helpful

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  • k
  • 03-03-20

Lovely story but I sort of hated the pacing

I think the story and the message was really good but the pacing felt too fast and almost rushed.

2 people found this helpful

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An Amazing Queer Love Story (with FULL CAST!!!)

So happy to have another amazing LGBTQ+ book to listen to. Stamper’s story is incredible and Crouch, along with the rest of the cast, brings it to life perfectly. 100% would recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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Not for me

If you are looking for an emo teen novel, with a whiney monologue for the first two hours, this will be great for you. I’m two hours into an 8 hour romance and the boys HAVEN’T. EVEN. MET.

I find Cal to be unbelievable. If you have 400k+ followers and an internship in NYC there is no way this 17 year old doesn’t stay. You can’t tell me advertising revenue for ONE sponsor wouldn’t get him and Deb a tiny little efficiency. If they were 15 or 16 I might buy it. But you don’t have your dream career in front of you, and just throw a fit and whine for 2 hours. You. Do. Something. Cal was never going to make it as a journalist. You have to take big risks. He’s an L-7 weenie.

And the other guy…I just met him and have zero interest in him.

This story bored me all the way to aggression. I was expecting so much excitement and drama. And all I got was complaining. 🤷🏻‍♀️

1 person found this helpful

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Meh.

Again, it’s fantastic to see stories with queer characters, but—this just didn’t do it for me.

The storyline is disappointingly bland while the characters are one-sided and hardly believable.
Most of the time I had to rewind bits because I kept zoning out.
There’s no hook, no passion, or anything. I literally can’t imagine anyone eagerly wondering “what’s gonna happen next?”

This book just didn’t do it.

GREAT narration, at least.

1 person found this helpful

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Good, not great

I recently finished the book "Red, White, and Royal Blue". I could barely put it down and fell in love with the characters and the story. I was really looking for something similar that would suck me in, make me cry, and cheer... this book was good, not great.

The narration was a little flat for me. I did enjoy the "Star Watch" segments but think that part would be hard in a physical book form- it worked well in the audio book!

I don't usually leave less than 5 star reviews because it seems like I love every book that I listen to. And, after listening to the author's note at the end of the book, I feel a little guilty leaving less than 5! But it's a take it or leave it for me.

1 person found this helpful

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Slow burner

It’s great to see a queer love story but the whole plot was lackluster and seemed rushed. Worth skipping

1 person found this helpful

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  • Torric
  • 07-22-20

Gave up 2 hours in

I have read all the wonderful reviews on this book.. but I've listened to 2 hours of it, and everything that has happened could be summed up in one short sentence. Very little. Sorry I just found the pace tediously slow.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Clare Tunilla
  • 02-29-20

#OwnVoices shoots for the stars

I really enjoyed this. I love stories about space and while this isn't set in space, it gives me enough space talk to keep me hooked. The world building was solid considering this is a debut novel. This is a story that's so full of heart and personal touches. It's so stinking cute. There's a lot of important topics in here too. Mental health (in both adults and teenagers) exploration of queer relationships and the dichotomy of personal life and social media presence. Almost all the characters are very likeable. And there's enough balance between the light stuff and the heavy to not bog it down too hard. I highly recommend this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tyler Welton-Stewart
  • 09-03-21

Good, but falls a little short

Really enjoyed this book! I’ve been reading a lot of heavy stuff lately so this was really really nice and light. Read it in two days. I loved the voice acting, Michael Crouch did a great job. My only niggle is the main character is just a bit too pretentious, I didn’t like him very much. His relationship with Leon didn’t seem very intense or meaningful. There was never any major drama! Depression isn’t a personality trait. Nor is owning a cassette player.

Is this revolutionary? No. But that’s not always a bad thing. This was a nice easy middle of the road book. A nice get away.

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  • Ash
  • 08-11-21

Fab book

Ok so hi my name is Ash , if your reading this hi!
i thought that this book was amazing and i really understood Cal and Leons relationship, as a closeted Pansexual and nonbinary older teen i am in awe of theese characters comfidence in themselfs, i loved the general storyline and related to Leons Depression I really love the idea of the Orpheas 5 mission and everyone should give this author a round of applause this book is very underated. Cal’s persona was perfectly captured by Micheal Crouch , His Female impression for Cal’s Mother,Deb and Cat is So good i could belive that i was really with them (though i do wish that)
I came to this Book because it was recomended to me after i listended to They Both Die At The End which is another Amazing LGBTQIA+ Novel narrated by Micheal Crouch. This was suxh an emotional roller coaster and i have listended a solid 4 times, this book really made me think about LGBTQIA+ Rights as where i live The government is denying Non-Binary rights ! please Listen to us and this book !!!!!!! thanks for listening to my rant and congrats if u made it to the end xx be proud of who you are and enjoy your evening :D

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  • Yashes
  • 07-04-21

Beautiful ✨

Queers & Space are my two favourite things, this story is so beautiful, I could picture every scene and visualise everything thanks to the amazing narration! 💛

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-24-21

Underwhelming

This wasn't terrible but it was dull. The shooting stars aspect just never grabbed me and although I could suspend belief over the Mars thing the way the story pans out is, frankly, a little dumb.
The biggest problem I had is that at no point did I care about the characters, I never became emotionally invested in them especially the development of Cal and Leon's relationship which at best feels like a minor side plot, a boring one at that. I've listened to hour long radio dramas where I've cared more about the characters. Cal isn't exactly dislikeable but nor is he particularly likeable and Leon barely registers, the family relationships offer something which is better than the nothingness of the rest if it but it feels like we only ever scratch at the surface. It was a struggle to make it through to the underwhelming and predictable conclusion.

The previous two books I've listened to in this genre- 'The Infinite Noise' and 'We Contain Multitudes' are vastly superior at putting you inside the heads of the characters, making you care for them and actually feel something. I'd reccomend them over this any day.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-05-20

It was great

I liked the m/m romance the most. Definitely a sweet little read. 3.5✨
I would reread.

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  • Shawn Johnson
  • 08-21-20

Loved the story

The voice cast did an excellent job portraying the characters and the story was really good.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-25-20

Best gay romance story I've ever read

Best thing about this novel is the actual story. I became completely invested in both the story of the space mission and the main character's drive to become a journalist. the gay Romance although brilliant didn't take centre Stage and I really loved that.

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  • Christer Saimon Perez
  • 04-13-20

Queer plus space exploration? Yes, please!

"Don’t aim to fix people. Fixing seems so permanent, so absolute. Like there’s no room for error. Aim to make things better."

Yes, this book gives a childhood nostalgia vibe since I know I'm not the only one who dreamt of being an astronaut. The promise of exploration and being closer to the stars is all what this book is all about but a different kind of exploration and stars.

The Gravity of US is a 2020 release with a fresh take on teenage queer romance by centering the plot on Cal Lewis, Jr., a budding influencer and aspiring journalist, whose life suddenly turned upside down after his father, Calvin Lewis, Sr.,was announced as the last astronaut that completed NASA's project on exploring Mars, Orpheus V.

With this news comes a supernova of life-changing decisions, from Cal's last minute attempt to stay in Brooklyn and continue with his Flashfame streaming and do his impending Buzzfeed internship to finally admitting defeat and get a new start in Clear Lake, Texas - the place where Orpheus astronauts' family are located.

But changes can be overwhelming and will Cal manage to blend in Clear Lake with all its flawless image and glorious families?

I was intrigued to finally start this recent release and I grabbed the chance to devour it since space exploration and queer romance is a perfect combination for a refreshing read.

The promise of a unique storyline was presented decently. Cal and his eminence in the social media platform Flashfame was convincing, thanks to the authors love for space exploration since his childhood the dialogues of our MC are written as crisp as how a fanatic talks like.

I also love how this book exposes people's fascination on reality show and how the producers manipulate it for drama. I hate Josh Farrow and Kiara and the entire Starwatch crew for focusing on the astronauts' family and toying with their emotion especially with the forced Mark Bannon tribute episode.

The Tuckers family is the ultimate goals! I love how Kat and Leon are both welcoming and not two-faced,and Grace being theotherly figure that she is.

Leon is also perfectly developed and clearly complemented Cal's personality. Their combination is unique but also satisfying. I love how Phil developed their relationship with brilliant tension without compromising the showcase of a contemporary queer love story.

Overall, this is a fascinating story and an enjoyable coming-of-age book that is recommended if you are looking for teenage queer representation and if you're a fan of space exploration.

RATING: 4stars

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  • Davey
  • 05-17-21

Cringe

I'm sorry but this was just such a cringe-worthy book, It radiated the energy of a netflix show for teens written by a team of out of touch older millenials. The portrayal of social media was so weird, the same way in teen shows the use of apps and texting is just awkward.., Basically if Buzzfeed produced fiction stories to convince the 'youths' that they are cool, hip & in the know, it would be this.
The romance plot was so boring & I didn't feel like there was any real emotion in it. The premise was fine but the direction it went in was just an odd choice.

Narration was great though,

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  • Andrew L
  • 02-16-21

A Beautiful Story; A Must Read!

This was a beautifully written story. As always, the performance of the main narrator, Michael Crouch was amazing! A captivating story of the way in which young Queer people fumble through first love.

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  • Reece
  • 01-01-21

Wow.

I loved this book

From the writing and the characters, to the plot and the narrators. It was incredible.

What exactly made it amazing, I’m unsure. I think possibly the relatability of the characters, and just the different kind of story?

Definitely looking forward to getting Phil Stamper’s other book!

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  • Kat
  • 10-02-20

Such an in-depth book that weaves all aspects of a story together

There were so many small details that really drew you into the world. The starlight episodes that updated you on what the characters didn’t. And how true all the characters stayed to their morals, but still grew and learnt how to become better stronger people.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-19-20

Absolutely Amazing.

Loced Everything About This Book, The Story Was So Captivating. I'm Sad It Finished. I wanted more.