Monday, April 9, 2012

Gravity by Abigail Boyd

Title: Gravity
Series: Gravity
Author: Abigail Boyd
Length: 5760 Kindle units (includes preview for After Eden)
Rating: 4 stars
The Plot
Ariel’s life in the town of Hell has not been easy since her friend Jenna disappeared three months ago. Her parents are overprotective, and she’s begun to realize that she doesn’t have that many other friends. She’s hoping that the new school year will be better as she starts making new friends and even meeting a potential boyfriend.
But strange things are happening in Hell. More girls than Jenna are disappearing, and there are hints of a secret society over town. And things may center on Ariel more than she knows because she keeps having seizures and seeing visions of the missing girls with empty black eyes. If she can’t solve the mystery of what is happening, she isn’t sure what will happen to her next.
The Good
Gravity was a pretty good book. I found myself sucked into it relatively easily, and the prose flowed well enough that I didn’t find myself questioning plot points that might have raised an eyebrow in a less well-written novel.
Sigh. I don’t know why I have such a hard time finding good things to say about books that I liked. It’s seriously a major flaw I have. I have a secret suspicion that even authors whose books I liked hate me because I’m always pointing out things that drove me nuts about their novels. Basically, the moral is that whatever else I say, Gravity is a good book. It’s definitely in the upper percentile of four star books, and you will most likely not be sorry if you read it. I will probably even tell my friend who only reads the 4.5 and 5 star books that he should give it a try, once it’s re-available on Nook.
The Bad
So I am holding out the last star on Gravity for a couple of reasons. The first is that there are a couple of plot threads that don’t seem to go anywhere. Ariel and her friend Theo decide at one point to spy on their principal, who they overhear having a mysterious conversation in a restaurant. They follow him a few times and find some suspicious behavior, but then he spots them, so they back off. I guess I can understand their motivations of not getting kicked out of school, but it doesn’t make for a very compelling story.
The other reason I’m holding back is that, by the end of the book, we still don’t really know what’s going on. Which means that it could turn out to be zombie ninja monkeys from outer space. Okay, probably not. But the point remains that as long as I have no idea what the super bad guy is, it could turn out to be something lame and implausible. And then I will be ashamed of giving it my full endorsement. So instead, I give most of an endorsement, with the caveat that I’m taking it away if the girls have been kidnapped and killed by mutant sewer pigs with x-ray vision.
In other news, my random research into whether Abigail Boyd has another book out (The answer seems to be no; she just has some listed as “upcoming.”) has led me to discover that Gravity is apparently exclusive to Kindle until June. This appears to be for a special promotion, and I can’t necessarily fault an author for taking the publicity. But, seriously, this proprietary e-reader file thing is starting to get super-annoying, and forced brand loyalty makes me feel rebellious. Anyone else want to join me in getting an ipad so that we can just read whatever we want?  I do miss my collections on Kindle, though. Sigh.
The Romance
Ariel’s romance involves a super-cute new boy to school named Henry, who is for some reason interested in her despite the fact that she’s rude to him. But we can just pretend that he sees into her soul or something because if there were not a super-cute boy interested in her, we would stop reading. Henry hangs out with all the Ariel-hating popular kids and definitely has a connection to the eeeeevil secret society that hangs oh-so-mysteriously over our heads through the entire book. But Henry is more into reading nerdy fantasy novels and tutoring Ariel in geometry than he is in committing wanton slaughter, so we primarily come down on the side of liking him, though he loses points for obviously keeping secrets.
Will I read more?
The major reason that you are getting a review on this book now is that, as I was browsing through new YA releases on Smashwords, I noticed that the sequel had come out. After I read Gravity, I remembered that I liked it a great deal, but I couldn’t actually remember most of what it was about. But with my current dearth of material for sequel Tuesday, I figured this was an excellent opportunity to reread it and give my readers another recommended book. And me something new to write about one of these Tuesdays.
See Details for Book on    Amazon    


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