LGBTQ

The Gaps by Leanne Hall

Anyone who is a fan of the current wave of crime hitting the YA shelves will love this book. It was a slow read for me at the beginning, but once I was in I couldn’t put it down. This is an abduction story, told from two perspectives, you’d be forgiven for not totally getting that you were getting two points of view – at least I didn’t realise for quite some time. So, a little bit of confusion at the start. But I’ve still given it 5 stars so you already know I thought it was good despite the confusion.

It is a missing person story. Yin Mitchell, best friend, great student, well known to all at school, has gone missing. One minute here in school, doing the everyday stuff, next minute gone. Is she murdered? Has she run away? Both of these seem very unlikely, but the fact is, she isn’t around anymore and her family are desperate and her friends are scared and upset. We hear Chloe’s point of view first, she is a scholarship student, she is new to the school. The others have come through from primary, but she is new. Talented and hard working but with different a different life to the other girls at this private school. And then we meet Natalia, someone who has a posse of acolytes, girls who hang on her every word, she and Chloe are not made for each other they clash and Natalia makes Chloe pay. But tying these girls together is the mystery of Yin. They are both affected, both so needing to know where she is.

There is tension, school politics, mean girls, music, art and conflict. I thought it was wonderful, loved the scenes where the art is described. It is a cleverly constructed, interesting novel.

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

Doesn’t this blurb just sound awesome, a little bit of geeky sciency stuff, a dollop of social mgravityedia savvy, a great big romantic sky, two young men, completely different, NASA, astronauts and themes of loneliness and isolation, first love and space. Come on, this book appears that it has it all. But, and it’s a big one, it is really hard to connect with these characters. I really wanted to but it just didn’t happen. Now that I’ve been finished it for a week or so I find it hard to remember the characters names or to rekindle feelings for them. I wanted more. I wanted it to be a little bit more gritty, for people to get a bit more messed up by the bad things that happened in the story. People die in here, I’m not telling you who, but that is big, but the reactions of those affected just didn’t seem to hit the mark.
I loved all the social media stuff, loved the villian of the piece, it is all totally unrealistic but I was in there hoping that this would carry me off and give me a great big case of the feels.

It is ok, I know of students who will love it, I’ll buy it and promote it and encourage people to read it, but it could have had a heap more depth.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me access.