The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer is a lesbian new adult romance. It has all the angst you can hope for in a story about two best friends falling in love, with higher stakes than usual because one of them is famous.
Kendall Bettencourt is the hottest 19 year old in Hollywood, but she manages to stay grounded thanks to her best friend Payton Taylor. With her career taking off, she misses Payton and makes sure to visit for her birthday, never expecting her to come out as a lesbian.
Payton may have finally got up the nerve to tell Kendall that she’s into girls, but she can’t shake the massive crush she’s had on her for years. Thankfully, living across the country means she doesn’t have to work too hard to hide things, but that all changes when Kendall makes her an offer too good to refuse to move in with her as Kendall’s music instructor and attend a prestigious college in Los Angeles for film scoring.
Kendall is completely fine with Payton being a lesbian, frequently reminding herself how cool she is with it because she’s so secure in her own straightness. Except the more time she spends with Payton, the more she wants to kiss her. And the more time Payton spends with Kendall’s friend Lauren, the more Kendall is jealous. Can their friendship handle taking a leap forward? Is it even possible if Kendall is straight?
Payton is the girl next door (or down the hall?), navigating her way through her feelings for Kendall as she learns how to live in LA. She’s smart, friendly, motivated, and no pushover. At different times she’s the friend Kendall wants and the friend Kendall needs, her pragmatic side helping her to know what’s necessary and when.
Kendall is a good actress and a shrewd business person. She had the necessary resolve to fire her mother from her representation team and has surrounded herself with the kind of people who will help her get ahead the way she wants to. She knows the game and takes dates to public functions, putting on the expected image.
Payton doesn’t do a lot of changing in the story, but she supports Kendall as she goes through huge changes in her priorities and identity. They’re both supported in different ways throughout the book by a wide supporting cast including their families, friends, Kendall’s publicist Lawrence, and her fake boyfriend Gunner.
The Writing Style
The story is well written, told in the first person, shifting between Kendall and Payton’s perspectives. Kristen Zimmer does a great job keeping the voices distinct, and the story is well plotted and paced even if the beats are occasionally predictable.
The narration didn’t work for me at all. I found Payton’s voice distractingly irritating, and the reader who did Kendall’s part sounded much older than 19. The book was written well enough for me to make it all the way through, but I should have just read it on my Kindle.
It’s an angsty friends to lovers story! See, Sheena! I told you they exist *grins cheekily, yet knowingly*
But seriously, it’s a solid new adult romance and a great story about a celebrity falling in love with her non-celebrity best friend.
As I’ve already mentioned, the narration was a huge con for me with this book and it was a bit predictable in parts. I also was disappointed to see that sometimes characters used the word “retarded”.
I enjoyed this book, but I recommend reading it rather than listening to it. If you must listen and get your audio books through Audible, get the Kindle copy first. It will give you a deep discount on the audio book price that is well worth the extra few dollars.
Excerpt from The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer
We’re standing in a dark room. All I can see is Kendall, eyes wide and glued on me.
“Now!” She yells out enthusiastically. And I’m blinded by bright fluorescent lights. It takes my pupils a minute to adjust and focus on my surroundings. We’re standing alone in a music store I’ve always wanted to go to but could never afford, surrounded by instruments and electronics that are beyond my wildest imagination. In the center of the store is a recording studio display filled with microphones, monitors, computers, sound boards and various instruments. In the middle of the studio setup, there’s a small table with two place settings, a silver serving platter and a bottle of champagne. I must be deeply asleep, because this is the sweetest dream I’ve ever had. I can feel Kendall’s gaze all over me, which is the only reason I know this is real.
I walk across the room to the table. She follows.
“We’re having dinner in Ralph’s Music City? How the hell did you swing this?”
She grins. “I’m amazing, didn’t you know?”
Yes, I have always known that. Everyone who knows Kendall Bettencourt knows that.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781909490130
- Publisher: Bookouture
- Narrated by: Amy Melissa Bentley, Rebecca Estrella