Published July 2014
Genres: New Adult
Note: I was granted an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my rating or the content of my review.
Check it out on Goodreads
When her son Max was diagnosed with autism, Avery Abbot’s life changed forever. Her husband left, and her own dreams became a distant fantasy—always second to fighting never-ending battles to make sure Max was given opportunity, love and respect. Finding someone to fight along her side wasn’t even on her list, and she’d come to terms with the fact that she could never be her own priority again.
But a familiar face walking into her life in the form of 25-year-old Mason Street had Avery’s heart waging a war within. Mason was a failure. When he left his hometown five years ago, he was never coming back—it was only a matter of time before his records hit the billboard charts. Women, booze and rock-n-roll—that was it for him. But it seemed fate had a different plan in mind, and with a dropped record contract, little money and nowhere to go, Mason turned to the only family that ever made him feel home—the Abbots.
Avery loved Mason silently for years—until he broke her heart…completely. But time and life have a funny way of changing people, and sometimes second chances are there for a reason. Could this one save them both?
When Avery Abbot’s son Max was diagnosed with autism, her life changed forever. Her husband, who she thought would be the perfect loving father, ditched her as well as the responsibility of raising their child. With the help of her loving father, Avery bravely manages to get through the biggest challenges, but fighting for her son’s respect and happiness is an exhausting task, and her trust was broken a long time ago.
Cue Mason Street, an old childhood acquaintance and crush of hers, who – after years of absence and a breakdown with his up and coming band – is back in town to recover, and staying at Avery’s father’s house no less. Suddenly, Avery’s old feelings for him emerge, but she tries to stay strong for her son, because Mason is not the kind of influence she or her son should ever succumb to. But is Mason still the same jerk he used to be?
Let me start off by saying that I had a hard time rating this book. I really liked the idea of the book, and the general direction it was heading to, but I just think that in terms of execution and timeline, things were a bit rushed.
So Avery used to silently love Mason back in their school years, and managed to break Avery’s heart. But how could he have broken Avery’s heart when he didn’t know she loved him in the first place? Avery recalls him calling her Birdie – a nickname she didn’t appreciate – and guys making fun of her because she was “mousy” and a grade-A student. Okay, it makes sense that a young girl would be heart-broken over this, but really, I would have needed a bit more background on how they interacted back then.
And then, Mason’s back in town, and Avery can’t help but fall in love with him again, despite a voice in her head saying she shouldn’t. And Mason also starts to develop feelings for her, although all he wanted from her in the first place – now that she’s not that mousy valedictorian anymore – was a quick and easy lay. And obviously, the two of them give into each other quite quickly, and that’s when Mason becomes the perfect book boyfriend (because of course, in the past, Mason never had problems with the ladies, and used his good looks much to his advantage – and now there’s no other woman for him but Avery)
But well, let’s call it the usual instalove, second-chance love, or even the reformed-manwhore plot that we know oh so well. It was cute, but I just thought it was shallow. It was missing details, more intimate moments, or more scenes about actual relationship building with both Avery and Max. There were a few, but not enough…
And the ending was a bit cheesy. Or maybe it was just a bit over the top, because everything just pans out perfectly for all of them.
View Spoiler »Because of course, Mason gets his shit together, gets himself a new scandal-free band, and becomes famous. And since now he has money, the couple doesn’t need to be apart anymore, they can just fly back and forth through the country whenever they please to spend time together. « Hide Spoiler
A little more complexity would have made the story just a bit more believable.
But other than that, in terms of writing, I have absolutely no complaints. The writing was neat and just flowed, urging you to read on. The dual POV was really nice – even if I found Mason to be a bit big-headed and a total jerk in the beginning. And even though there have been a few cheesy moments in the book, I really liked the romance-scenes, the love declarations etc., which nearly brought tears to my eyes. What a shame that there were not too many steamy scenes…
I also loved the musical dimension of the book. I am a total sucker for plots plots with musicians (if they are not cheesy or rock-star related) and the fact that it blended in so well with Max’s autism, (being what brought him and Mason together, and led Max to open up a bit) was a total added bonus that brought a touch of reality to How We Deal With Gravity.
But don’t expect How We Deal With Gravity to be all about autism. If you expected it to be more focused on this particular condition, and expected that it would influence the book greatly, you might be disappointed. Of course, autism is a key point in this book, but I don’t think it mattered much to the story itself, and wasn’t exactly dealt with “in depth”. Sure, it added depth and more “seriousness” to the book, but any single-mother – child with autism or not – would have been guarded when a stranger comes barrelling into their life (especially one that “hurt” her), and putting their routine to an end.
Other than that, it’s a rather light read, even though the plot doesn’t really make it sound like it. It actually made me think a lot of a shorter version of a Kirsten Ashley Colorado Mountains novel. So in the end, How We Deal With Gravity was a nice read which I would definitely recommend.