Like Gravity by Julie Johnson
Narrated by: Jillian Macie
Release Date: January 26, 2016 by Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor Audio in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 3 Bookworms
Twenty-year-old Brooklyn "Bee" Turner is no stranger to grief. After witnessing her mother's brutal murder at age six, Brooklyn is guarded, damanged, 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 an 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 that it would be more that 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. Contains mature themes.
Like Gravity was my first read/listen from Julie Johnson and Jillian Macie, and while it didn't completely trip my trigger, I'll definitely give them both another go.
Like Gravity is one of those NA stories with familiar trope - damaged girl meets great guy disguised as a bad boy, and eventually she heals. I liked the suspense element though as well as some of the other circumstances Johnson mixed in. I hoped maybe the suspense would being something fresh to this story. And it did - sort of. But in the end, it felt like melodrama. And that combined with the element of a lack of communication, typical in this genre, left me feeling 'meh' about Brooklyn and Finn's story.
Brooklyn was witness to her mother's murder at the age of 6. After a brief stint in a group foster home, her father, who'd she'd never met, stepped in to take custody of her. However, he was never really interested in having a child so was distant to say the least. Brooklyn is, understandably, reluctant to trust anyone with her heart. Now a sophomore in college, she's facing a double threat - one to her person and one to her heart.
Finn is known as the campus playboy. So when Brooklyn falls into his life, literally, he plays it cool. But they continue crossing paths and the more he learns about her, the more he wants to know. And the more time they spend together, the more caring he proved himself to be.
I like that Brooklyn and Finn's relationship more slow-burn despite their obvious chemistry. It was nice to see them get to know on another slowly. The solid foundation, though, made Brooklyn's reaction to a revelation about Finn seem a bit over-the-top. I also enjoyed Brooklyn's friendship with her best friend. It allowed some more depth to Brooklyn and the story.
As for the suspense element...despite Johnson trying to throw the reader off trail, I figured out the answer. I did like the tension that plot line added but the resolution seemed to simple.
Overall, Like Gravity was a middle-of-the-road read. I felt more could have been done with certain elements and I didn't like the gratuitous drama and angst caused by certain revelations and reactions to them. But I did like the story. Johnson created likable characters and the pacing was pretty good.
Ms. Macie's narration was fair. It took me a little time to warm up to her style but I did and she did a nice job with Brooklyn's and her best friend's voices. Her male voices were pretty good although I'd have preferred them deeper to better distinguish between them in the dialog.