June 8 2021
Center of Gravity, by Shaunta Grimes
Title: Center of gravity
Author: Shaunta Grimes
Genre/ issues: Middle grade. Family and relationships.
I thought Center of Gravity by Shaunta Grimes was YA when I picked it up, and from the blurb I was expecting something quite heavy. Instead, I found myself immersed in a lovely, sad, but ultimately exceedingly hopeful middle grade novel about Tessa, who has always been anxious, and since her mother’s death has been cutting the photos of missing kids of milk cartoons and memorising their details, in an attempt to feel less alone. Then her father announces he is about to get remarried – and his much younger fiancée is pregnant. Tessa finds herself living in a new city, with a stepmother who has her own mental health issues, and a new group of friends who are facing their own family dramas. She soon realises that if she wants to gain control of her life, she might need to let go of a few things.
This book deals with some heavy topics – death of a parent, parental neglect and parental abuse amongst the most challenging of them. And whilst these aren’t easy topics to read about, they are handled with a lightness of touch that acknowledges their impact and seriousness without dwelling on the gory details. It’s a lovely piece of writing with an utterly beautiful cover!