Review: Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto

Review: Love and Gravity by Samantha SottoLove and Gravity by Samantha Sotto

Genres: Historical Romance, Time Travel Romance
Published by Ballantine Books on February 7, 2017
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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three-half-stars      three-flames

I read the last page and my feelings were all over the place.  Never once did I feel like I had a good grasp of what I thought and felt of this book.  Guess that comes with the territory when one is dealing with a story of this nature that crosses the genre lines.

So what to say…

Let’s start with the summary.  Andrea Louviere is a gifted cellist and was a child prodigy of sorts though her social anxiety kept her from the usual path of training and performance.  A much more incredible reason also influences the direction of her life.  Andrea grows up with her father and new family after he remarried, her music, and her friend from childhood, Nate, being her enter world.  At least her entire world on this side of the wall.

When playing Isaac’s song that she created in a low time of her life, Andrea’s music opens a seam in time to a world on the other side of her wall where she gets glimpses of first a boy, then her friend growing older as a brilliant young man.  The mysterious connection is unbelievable, but the friendship and later the deeper emotion of love make her believe in the magic and hold tight to it when others would beg her to live in the real world and take the love offered that she can see, hear, and touch all the time.

On the other side of the wall, young Isaac Newton is first curious about this friend who takes away the loneliness and inspires him to search out how their connection is possible.  His mathematical and scientific genius finds a way to broaden the connection across time and a romance is born that he will do anything to have and keep.  But can even he break the laws of science to bring about his heart’s desire?

So, this story that twisted me around and around makes for a difficult review.  In essence, I both liked and disliked it, loved and hated it, and- you get the idea.  Let’s just say I had rather mixed feelings.  I think one of the reasons is because I couldn’t figure out what type of story it was.  It doesn’t read like straight-up any one thing so it was hard to get a pulse.  Was it a time travel romance?  Yes.  But, did it feel like historical or general fiction?  Also yes.  Now, let’s not forget the young adult and romance elements…

The story starts with Andrea and Isaac as children.  I found this background and introduction interesting, but I also felt it opened the story in a way that didn’t sustain my interest.  I had to wait a third of the book for things to really start happening.  If I hadn’t already known that I was getting a time travel romance involving Sir Isaac Newton, I probably would have set the book aside before the more interesting part kicked in.

And then, I nearly put it down again when I discovered there was to be a love triangle and I do mean a true triangle.  Andrea was in love with two men- one in the past and one in the present.  This love triangle stuff isn’t fair to anyone involved and creates an unrequited love situation that is just not my idea of a good time.   But, yes… mitigating circumstances happened.  My own curiosity kept me reading along with my need to see which of two very worthy men would get their happiness.  See?  Hate the triangles.  Someone is always hurt.  Ugh.

There was Nate.  Nate was Andrea’s childhood friend and later the boy and then man who fell in love with her and waited for her to see this and love him back.  They share an early love of music and understanding.  Nate knows what they have together.  Andrea doesn’t see it because she is blinded by the magical connection she has with Isaac through their brief glimpses across time and then Isaac’s mysteriously delivered letters so she pushes Nate away sometimes cruelly.  I get it, how can she tell him the truth.  Though she does learn from how she dealt with Nate and told Isaac the truth that her heart is split between two loves.

Later on, I really connected with Isaac.  Isaac got his wish of having Andrea with him and then must set his brilliant mind to finding a way to keep her.  There is a surprise twist in Isaac’s story.  Wow, didn’t see that coming.  The author took known facts of Newton’s life and created a secret life that would fit within that which I thought well done.  Though tissues… I required a few tissues before all was said and done.

So yes, this book had me wanted to set it aside a few times, but also pulled me in and grabbed me emotionally at other moments.  From this end of the book, I am glad to have read it.  I do think those who enjoy a historical fiction-feel to an emotional time travel romance will want to read this one.

My thanks to Penguin-Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #32 HR
Literary Pickers #31 Love Triangle
New Release #17
COYER #59

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • When I first started reading this review, I thought you might end up with mixed feelings about it, but the emotional pull of this sounds so good!

    • Yeah, it was described to me as a time-travel love story between a cellist and Sir Isaac Newton. If I’d have known about Nate at that point, then I’d have passed on it. I just don’t like what happens in a love triangle. Thanks, Verushka!

  • Ahhh, time travel romances. I don’t love time-travel novels to be honest. Kerstin Gier’s YA series (Ruby Red trilogy) and Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger series are really the only two series I’ve enjoyed. You mentioned a love triangle here and I am out! Never considering this one. o_o I’m glad you were able to enjoy most of it, Sophia! Great review. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • I plan to read both those you mentioned so glad they’re good.

      Generally, I enjoy time travel romance. It was the love triangle I discovered after I started that was my downfall. I do NOT like those and didn’t in this case either.

  • I do not read many time travel romances. Do not like it or hate it books are hard to review. At least for me they are. I believe sometimes less is better then more in my reads. Especially when have so much going on in the novel and do not know where it stands.

    • Yeah, there was a lot of buzzy distracted feeling as I read this one because so many elements went into it. The triangle though was more than distracting, but the way it was resolved left me torn up (it was a cop out in a way).

  • Debbie Haupt

    Okay you’ve definitely peaked my interest because this sounds absolutely fabulous to me. I’m a huge fan of time travel that’s not the usual time travel novel, like Beatriz Williams’ Overseas or The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Thanks for this very intriguing review. It’s going on my wish list right now!

    • I’ve not read The Time Traveler’s Wife, but other reviewers mentioned there was a similar tone. Hope you enjoy it if you get the chance, Debbie.

  • I love TT! Curious about the mixed feelings. I get it, but I kid of like that sometimes too.

    • It really does have a lot of intriguing elements which is what kept me reading beyond the bits I didn’t like. Her writing is crisp and hits your mind and your heart both.

  • I nearly took this one for review. I think maybe it wouldn’t have quite been for me based on some of the things you mentioned. I have such a hard time with I can’t grasp what I’m reading is supposed to be.

    • It’s one that I’m not sad I read, but also one I would have skipped with hindsight just because I sobbed over the one who was hurt by the story. I hate that feeling.

      • I can understand that. I don’t mind a brief triangle at the very start of a romance but past that it usually doesn’t work for me. I had one author I won’t read her again. She had a hero for almost the entire book then at the very end the heroine chose someone else. I was like nope NOPE! done. I was so upset for original hero.