Published October 17th, 2013
Where does friendship stop and love begin?
At just 19, Kendall Bettencourt is Hollywood’s hottest young starlet with the world at her feet – but behind the glamour and designer dresses is a girl who longs for normal.
Payton Taylor is Kendall’s best friend since childhood, and the one person who reminds her of who she really is – her refuge from the craziness of celebrity life.
With her career taking off, Kendall moves Payton to LA to help keep her sane. But Payton is hiding a secret that could make everything ten times worse. Because to her, Kendall is more than a best friend – she is the only girl that she has ever loved.
Just as they need each other more than ever, they’ll have to answer the question of where friendship stops and love begins? And find out whether the feelings they have can survive the mounting pressure of fame…
The Gravity Between Us is a daring, romantic, emotional story about friendship, love, and finding the courage to be yourself in a crazy world.
New Adult vs. YA
by Kristen Zimmer
As a reader, I absolutely love Young Adult – especially YA of the dystopian and sci-fi/fantasy persuasion. But as a writer, I wanted to tell a story set in the real world. Before I even started writing The Gravity Between Us, I knew I also wanted to create characters who had already survived high school (and all the drama that comes with it), and who were just beginning to embark on grown-up adventures, while still having the mindset of teenagers. Sometimes, life seems to throw things at us that force us to grow-up pretty quickly, as is the case with Kendall, who, at just 19, has skyrocketed to fame. She’s got boat loads of money and one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood… I imagined changes of such epic proportion wouldn’t be easy for anyone, let alone someone so young. On the flip side, Payton is a pretty average, American college student who is faced with not only the prospect of uprooting herself from her home and family to move cross-country and be on her own for the first time, but learning how to navigate her changing feelings for her childhood best friend and what that might mean for their relationship.
While writing, I came to one very simple conclusion: the difference between Young Adult and New Adult goes beyond curbing myself from dropping however many f-bombs I may deem fit throughout my book, or even crafting a racy-yet-appropriate “intimate” scene for an under-17 crowd; it’s recognizing that adolescence doesn’t necessarily end once you graduate from high school, that no miraculous chemical reaction occurs in your brain the day you turn eighteen, thus magically transforming you into a fully mature adult. Adulthood takes many years to reach, and everyone gets there at their own pace. I honestly believe that most people learn more about who they are, who they want to be, and life in general between the age of 18 and 22 than they could have handled in their younger teen years. The problem is, YA fiction doesn’t always address the real-life issues that older teens and twentysomethings encounter—moving out of your parents’ house, finding an honest-to-goodness job, paying rent, utilities, student loans, etc... Basically, just learning how to stand on your own two feet without toppling over and hurting yourself.
So, did I nail it? What’s your take on the differences between NA and YA?
Kristen is a New Jersey-based freelance writer and editor. A member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, she holds a B.A. in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Montclair State University. She also studied Music Performance with a focus on percussion instruments at Five Towns College. When not busy writing or burying her nose in books of the YA/New Adult fiction persuasion, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family, which includes two adorable Black Lab mixes and a very patient Better Half, and making electronic music. The Gravity Between Us, a contemporary New Adult Romance, is her first novel.