Title: How We Deal with Gravity
Author: Ginger Scott
Length: 249 pages
Rating: 5 starts
When her son Max was diagnosed with autism, Avery Abbot’s life changed forever. Her husband left, and her own dreams became a distant fantasy—always second to fighting never-ending battles to make sure Max was given opportunity, love and respect. Finding someone to fight along her side wasn’t even on her list, and she’d come to terms with the fact that she could never be her own priority again.
But a familiar face walking into her life in the form of 25-year-old Mason Street had Avery’s heart waging a war within. Mason was a failure. When he left his hometown five years ago, he was never coming back—it was only a matter of time before his records hit the billboard charts. Women, booze and rock-n-roll—that was it for him. But it seemed fate had a different plan in mind, and with a dropped record contract, little money and nowhere to go, Mason turned to the only family that ever made him feel home—the Abbots.
Avery loved Mason silently for years—until he broke her heart…completely. But time and life have a funny way of changing people, and sometimes second chances are there for a reason. Could this one save them both?
There are some books that you read, enjoy, and then move on. NEXT!
And then there are books that profoundly affect you and get you thinking beyond the words on the page.
My immediate thoughts on this book were mixed. The synopsis got my attention and I had a feeling from the get go that this book would challenge my emotions. From the prologue, you are immediately thrown into Avery Abbott’s world, raising an autistic child. As the Mom of a strong-willed child, I know all too well the looks one gets with a toddler tantrum, and yet I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what Avery must be experiencing. For Avery, every moment of every day was a challenge. Whether it was dealing with her son, Max’s meltdown, or just anticipating when the next one would be, her life is consumed by her child. Everything she did was for her child and I respected the hell out of her and her situation.
“Avery . . . she lives her life for that boy. He’s her center, her sun and moon all rolled into one.”
Everything changes one day when an old acquaintance comes back to her Dad’s bar, looking for a second chance.
They weren’t the best of friends growing up. With a crush on Mason Street that ended badly, Avery wasn’t about to fall easily for his charms when he reentered her life. She had a bigger focus and couldn’t get mixed up in the sweet talking bad boy musician. But Mason was hell bent on getting her attention. It’s at this point where I was unsure of the direction of the book.
After Dark Confession: The Hollywood teen movies where the nerdy girl or boy has a makeover and suddenly everyone likes them and realizes how great they were, PISS ME OFF! Oh, it’s SO great, they are attractive, NOW they have friends! Does anyone else see the problem with this?!? Grrr. Anyway, I thought that’s where this book was headed. Avery is no longer the “Birdie” that Mason used to tease. She’s now beautiful. She’s no longer weak and easy to push around. She developed a backbone over the years. NOW, Mason can’t stop thinking about her. How convenient! But wait, turns out I couldn’t be more wrong about Mason and his intentions.
Avery and Mason seem like night and day, but they share something that quickly brings them together.
She’s a struggling Mom.
He’s a struggling musician.
As the story builds, you see how they both help each other through this struggle. Mason’s return to Dusty’s was an attempt to get his career back on track. His first attempt at stardom ended badly. So returning to his roots, the bar where Ray gave him his big break, seemed like the best option. Little did he know where he would get his inspiration from and who would drive his passion for music.
“It’s just you’re so goddamned talented, Mason. My dad always believed in you. And so did I.”
While Mason is struggling to get notes right on a song, Avery and Max, in their own ways, show him that the notes were right there all along. He just needs some passion behind them.
“I wanted to get up here tonight to see if I could remember why I ever made this my dream in the first place. I was so focused on success, I forgot about the ride. And I missed some pretty great things along the way.”
Temporarily living at the Abbott household, Mason’s inspiration grows by those around him. He begins to see Avery in a whole new light. How selfless she is. How her life centers on her son. My first impressions of Mason couldn’t have been more wrong. The ways he helped Avery with Max will truly bring tears to your eyes. They go beyond thoughtful. A haircut. A school visit. Things most people wouldn’t think to do, meant so much and show how perfect a friend Mason could be. As my friend YaYa would say, he could be classified not as a BBF, but as a BH (book husband). The connection he makes with Max will warm your heart, and make you fall in love with him.
“I’ve never met anyone like you, Avery. Not a girl in her twenties, anyways. You just go and go and go. And I was just thinking, you never take time to just stop – and to just be.”
As much as I loved Mason and Avery, they are not alone in their support for Max. Avery’s BFF, Claire, who is a bit of a talker, was actually an amazing friend. I’m not sure how Avery would have gone day to day without her. Not only does she babysit Max nightly, but she was a great soundboard for Avery. Providing emotional support at times, and pushing Avery towards Mason when her insecurities reared up. I’m not sure if there will be a follow up to this book, but just like Avery, I hoped for something special to happen for Claire, namely, Cole. So, if the author wants to do a follow up book . . .
Avery’s father is the backbone to the story. He provides more to Avery and Mason than a house to live in and a place of employment. For Avery, he’s a protector, for both her and Max, guarding their hearts, knowing how fragile they both are and how temporary happiness isn’t good enough for them. For Mason, he’s the father figure he never had. He knows talent and challenges Mason to be better. To try harder and to not give up.
This book had a strong message. Do you take the easy route in life? Or do you take the harder yet more fulfilling route? Can you put someone else’s priorities and needs before your own? Can you find just as much happiness by being less selfish? Finishing this book, the answers were clear.
“We’re dreamers. And that’s . . . that’s a good thing. But sometimes you need to remember about the important things here on the ground. Not just all that tempting stuff that’s up in the clouds.”
This is why I blog. Sure, like every other book blogger, I love to read and get lost in a story. But our true role as a blogger is to draw attention to a book, and spread the word on whether a book is worth your time and money. This book is that book. It is absolutely worth your time and money.
*An ARC was received from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
I was already touched by this story on its own, and then I read that the author is given the first week of royalties to SARRC (Southern Autism Research and Resource Center). I’m a sucker for a good charity, so to contribute to a good cause and help spread the word on this book, I will be giving away 4 ebooks. To enter to win, just LIKE my Facebook page, SHARE and COMMENT on the review post on FB. Four winners will be selected on 7/12 and each will receive 1 ebook from Amazon.