The Gravity of Us – IRJE #3

In The Gravity of Us, Phil Stamper has set a scene where the main character Cal has been set in an extremely stressful situation. StarWatch, a reality tv show based on the families of the potential future astronauts. In the beginning of the novel, we learn that Cal has a large fanbase on the video streaming app FlashFame, where he is takes on the role of a journalist. When he was told that he would be moving to support his father’s potential future career, he is told he can no longer stream, as it would interfere with the success of the famous StarWatch show. Regardless of the rules, he continues to stream his experiences to his half-a-million followers. Those who run StarWatch knew about Cal’s fame, and the level of interest it would bring to the show. Eventually Cal finds out that his dad wasn’t invited for himself, but for his son. Cal discovers he’s being used.

I wait for the yelling to start, but it never does. An eerie silence fills the house, so I rush to my tape deck and listen to whatever cassette’s in right now. Dolly’s vocals pump through my headphones, but it doesn’t work. Nothing’s going to get my mind off the events of the past hour. I used to be able to distract myself by being annoyed at my parents and their constant yelling, but this is so bad, no fight could possibly solve it. (p. 232)

In this passage we see a similar scenario as when he found out he had to move. His dad announced that they were moving away, which would completely alter his life plans. He shut it out by locking himself away in his bedroom and listening to music. I found that this scenario was very realistic as it is a way that many teens today handle these types of situations. Music is commonly used as a way to cope with anger, stress, anxiety, sadness and any other emotions similar to those. Overall, this excerpt stood out to me because of its connection to the real world.

Nyah Sharratt – 11/17

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