Personal trauma and mutual soul searching brings a unique couple together in Something Like Gravity, author Amber Smith’s forthcoming young adult novel.
HuffPost got an exclusive look at the cover for the book, due out next year. The story takes place over the course of a single summer, and follows Maia, a cisgender girl grieving the loss of her older sister, and Chris, a boy who has recently come out as transgender. Both characters find a kindred spirit in the other, as both are trying to find their place in the world following a life-changing experience.
Smith, whose previous books include 2016′s The Way I Used to Be and The Last to Let Go, released early this year, told HuffPost she initially conceived of Something Like Gravity as two separate books, but ultimately decided, “The thing that was missing from their stories was each other.”
“I found that the focus of this new book naturally shifted away from the struggles of coming out and grieving,” she said, “but instead centered on this relationship and how, in the midst of all the awkwardness and sweetness and scariness of first love, this love was also challenging what each character thought they knew about life, the world and, most of all, themselves.”
The New York Times bestselling author also incorporated her own experiences as a queer woman into the book and, specifically, the character of Chris.
“When I was young and beginning to realize I was a lesbian, I did not see a strong representation of who I was anywhere in my life, and certainly not in literature,” Smith said. Citing authors like David Levithan, Emily M. Danforth and Becky Abertelli, who’ve made inclusive strides with their recent books, she noted, “While I am not transgender, I connect to what trans youth are going through right now as being parallel to my own coming out and coming-of-age experience.”
“I always write about topics that have affected me personally, and taking on LGBTQ equality and queer rights in my writing felt like a natural next step,” she continued. “There is nothing I know of that opens minds and hearts better than sharing our stories, and I hope that through my work I can help in some small way to break down barriers so we can keep things moving forward for everyone.”
Something Like Gravity is out summer 2019.