YA Book Review: Gravity by Melissa West

Title: Gravity
Series: The Taking #1
Author: Melissa West
Author Info: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook
Pub Date: December 18 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: Paperback
Pages: 284
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository


In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.


This is one of those books that I had looked at a few times, added it to my tbr both physically and on goodreads. I finally picked it up and it was one of those moments where I thought why didn’t read Gravity right when I got it. Melissa West had me sucked in at the epilogue when we first learn of the process of the Taking.

I loved the plot; the idea is that we have ravaged our planet with nuclear war. We are barely surviving when the Aliens come to offer us aide but in exchange they want to be able to co-exist with us at some point and in order for that to happen they need to do a process referred to as the Taking. Each night an alien crawls into your room once you reach the age of 10 and sucks up some of your nutrients. Not enough to kill you or even make you weak. Just enough for them to be able to acclimate their bodies to our world. Sounds creepy right? I’m not sure I wouldn’t be afraid of it myself. Of course this is where the fear originates. Who are these Ancients to come in and sort of feed off us, is their aid really worth it. It’s these questions I think that spur different trains of thought in the book and puts the planet Earth on the brink of war. The real question is whose side will you choose?

Ari is such a great character!! I loved her; she is strong and can most certainly take care of herself. She is trained fighter since birth since her role is someday to be the commander of the country (under the President, there is still one of those). Even though her dad has trained her to be hard and analytical she is still very empathetic. Where some see this as a weakness, this is definitely one of her greatest strengths. She is able to step back and look at a situation from multiple perspectives.
Jackson is the arrogant jerk that ends up being the Ancient assigned to Ari. He comes across as hard and difficult but it’s easy to see he has a softer side. I would definitely consider him someone you can swoon over. He has that silent strength that is really attractive. He protects Ari even when she doesn’t need or want it. He has is secrets though and they are revealed slowly throughout the book.
I liked the romance between Ari and Jackson. I think it developed naturally and did not feel forced at all. I wouldn’t really consider it a main focus of the book or at least there was so many interesting things going on I didn’t think of it that way.

Gretchen and Lawrence were great supporting characters. They are true friends to Ari and even though at times it seems like there is a love square there really isn’t. It’s handled nicely the way the characters interact with one another and their lives weave together. I really liked Gretchen toward the end of the book. Maybe because they remind me so much of my own friends.

Plus there were parents! Two of them at that and I loved the relationship Ari has with her mom. It’s nice to see the closeness in a family. Sometimes that seems to be missing in books and I understand that it gives the characters more reign to get away with stuff but it’s nice to see some family time.

The book really shows human nature and our need for power and control of situations. I’m not saying that every human is the same because that is not true but I think it takes history lessons of how wars start and incorporates it into the book. I think some of the main causes are often freedom of choices, need for power and of course fear. It kind of made think about the fact that if someone came and knocked on my door and said “hey would you mind if an alien was your neighbor, even though they have to power to annihilate you. It’s okay they are peaceful so don’t worry about it.”, what would I think or say to this. It was so interesting to see the different reactions of different sets of people.

I really enjoyed this book and I think if you are looking for a good YA Sci-Fi this is definitely would recommend. I can’t wait for Hover to be released!