Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gravity vs. the Girl by Riley Noehren


Forty-Ninth Street Publishers
978-0615261652

272 pages, softcover
General Fiction

From the publisher:

Samantha Green has just spent an entire year in her pajamas, and she is beginning to regret it.

What's more, she is haunted by four ghosts that are former versions of herself. First up is the overachieving and materialistic attorney, who is furious with Samantha for throwing away the career she worked so hard to build. Second is the lackadaisical college student who is high on life but low on responsibility. Next is the melodramatic teenager, who is consumed with her social standing, teal eyeliner and teased bangs. Finally, there is the scrappy six-year old, whose only objective is to overcome gravity so that she can fly.

Samantha's ghosts alternate between fighting with each other, rallying around Samantha's budding sanity and falling in love with a string of good-for-nothing drummers. Despite her reluctance to do so, Samantha must rely on these spirits from the past to repair the present and ensure her future.

Another 2009 Whitney winner, this debut novel, Gravity vs the Girl was a very compelling read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. At first, I wasn't sure if the ghosts were "real" ghosts or the product of an emotional breakdown. By the time I figured it out, it really didn't matter. Without giving it away, I'll just say that I would have loved the book no matter which way it went because we are all haunted by ghosts of our past in one way or another—sort of the point of the entire book.

The writing was incredibly good. The story was hilariously funny in some places, and in others brought up that lump in my throat, making me swallow back the tears. I loved Samantha and her goofy cousin. That relationship was wonderful, all by itself.

I'm looking forward to seeing more from this writer.

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