Like Gravity by Julie Johnson
on August 26, 2013
Genres: New Adult
Amazon • Goodreads
Twenty year-old Brooklyn “Bee” Turner is no stranger to grief. After witnessing her mother’s brutal murder at age six, Brooklyn is guarded, damaged, and – by all accounts – a bitch. And that’s just the way she likes it, if it means keeping everyone at arm’s length.
When she stumbles, quite literally, into Finn Chambers – campus ladies’ man and the lead singer of a local band —she’s unprepared for his persistence in befriending her, and for the dangerous attraction she begins to feel for him.
Because with Finn, she knows it would be more than just sex.
More than just friendship.
And maybe even more than just love.
When a sinister presence from her past reemerges, Brooklyn will be pushed to her breaking point. For the first time in fifteen years, she will confront both her grief and her memories, as she plays a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with an unforeseen enemy.
Because sometimes, the demons we must confront aren’t only on the inside...
**Like Gravity is a new full-length standalone romantic suspense novel, intended for audiences ages 17+**
I promised myself when I started this blog that I would provide honest reviews. I say this because when I was asked to read this book I got excited. I love fresh out of the box indie authors. I love reading their very first books. Part of that is selfish. I want to be one of the first ones that says “I read it and it’s awesome” or “I just know this author will be famous on day”. Maybe I’m secretly hoping to catch on to the coat tails of the next EL James. I really want to be able to say “I knew them when…”. 🙂 There I said it.
So here’s my honest review of Julie Johnson’s very first book Like Gravity.
I was aggravated. Like seriously aggravated and rolling my eyes.
Why was I aggravated you ask?
I’ll tell ya….
This story had a little bit of everything and too much all at once. It was a patchwork of cliches and I wasn’t sure it was working for me AT FIRST.
There was the heroine, Brooklyn, with all the angst. She witnesses her mothers murder, lives in foster care, eventually residing with her rich father who clearly doesn’t want to be bothered. She shelters herself from everyone. Swears off love and only has one best friend, Lexi. Even Lexi doesn’t know all about Brooklyn’s past.
Then we have our hero Finn, he’s famous on campus for being a playboy, never having a dated anyone seriously. Of course he’s also a rocker and a very popular one. He’s gorgeous obviously and he wouldn’t be complete with out tattoos. His background isn’t rosy either because well….that would be too easy right?
So we have angst on both sides. I’m not sure who’s is worse. Probably Brooklyn’s because it’s all told in her pov. We never really get a clear picture of what happened to Finn.
So Somewhere along the way Brooklyn becomes slutty. Out of nowhere she’s described as having pointless sex with guys without committing. In my head I was thinking she’s just like Finn. She was so worried about his philandering but she was doing it too. I didn’t get it. If there hadn’t been so much emphasis on her staying from Finn BECAUSE of reputation, I wouldn’t say anything.
We also have someone watching Brooklyn. Now this could have been really juicy. A true thriller. Except we already know who the bad guy is because the author left HUGE hints. I mean I guess I already figured it out on my own but I would have preferred a little more mystery. Don’t give us any details at all whatsoever! Leave us completely in the dark because the final reveal alone would be shocking. I wanted that shock!
We also have the “jock” ex, one night stand, who can’t take no for an answer. Can anyone say “bar fight”.
Are any of these things reasons NOT to read the book?
I guess I just wanted a less is more approach. I understand now why things were laid out the way they were. Some of the things I mentioned above were necessary to give these characters depth and to allow the story to unfold in the way that it did. I just can pinpoint the one thing that bothered me except that it all felt too familiar.
I don’t really have any complaints and before you think it, no all of my previous remarks are not complaints. Just observations as to why I was aggravated. I even walked away from the story for a day. I needed to come back with a fresh perspective.
I was not disappointed. My little hiatus was rewarded big time!
I don’t know what happened but around the 50% mark I dunno maybe 60% the story literally lit up in my hands. It was like popcorn beginning to pop. I was anticipating that first sound of a kernel popping. When it finally popped I was like,
Then POP! POP! POP!
It was popping like that for the rest of the book.
My eyes stopped rolling.
I sat up a little straighter.
Things were getting juicy.
Things were getting creepy.
Things got down right scary!!!
I was worried for a while because I was pretty sure I didn’t see a disclaimer on this book and there were so many times that I thought maybe it was going to need one. I was blowing out breaths I didn’t know I was holding. 🙂
By the time we got near the end I was panicking. I had a sinking feeling I knew what was to come. I was already on overload from all the angst but the added element of terror was not exactly what I had been expecting. With every turn of the page I was waiting….
Well that’s not true. Well kind of it is. I sort of expected that Julie Johnson was going to sugar coat the creepy / terror part of the story. I thought she would make light of it somehow and it would just go away without much fanfare.
Apparently, I didn’t give her enough credit.
So even though I thought this story was a big ole cliche, it wasn’t.
Is it perfect? No but I wasn’t expecting perfect and neither should you.
Were there things that did bother me? Sure, I got tired of the whole eye color thing. I know it must be hard for authors to come up with illustrative ways to describe looking into someones eyes. I get it. That’s why I don’t write. I can’t come up with those illustrative ways. However, sometimes I feel like there’s a bit of overkill. I will forever remember that Brooklyn’s eyes are emerald green and Finn’s are cobalt blue.
I noticed other small things like Brooklyn describes Finn as smelling of “autumn leaves and crisp apples.” This is mentioned more than once. Then Finn at one point tells Brooklyn that she smells like “cinnamon and apple pie.” That’s a lot of apple smelling people!
I found that some of my favorite parts of the book are the scenes with Brooklyn and Lexi. Lexi was the comedic relief, she was the shoulder to cry on, she was the best friend that Brooklyn desperately needed and thankfully clung to. She appears to be self absorbed but she knows Brooklyn better then even Brooklyn realizes. There were times when I didn’t understand some of her actions but as the story unfolds you can tell that it really is just her personality.
That last sentence….wow…I was like…WOW!
I was really happy with the epilogue. Julie Johnson definitely has a way words. I loved how everything tied up in a fairly neat little bow. I really loved Brooklyn’s thoughts in the beginning of the epilogue. The honesty and truth in her words as she realized what life for her and so many of us is really about.
I am absolutely honored that Julie Johnson allowed me to read her first book. I cannot wait to read more from her. There is amazing potential brewing here and I see only good things in Julie Johnson’s writing career!
**I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.**