The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer
Publication date: October 17th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
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 novel: recommended for 17+ due to mature themes and sexual content
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Kendall is sitting on my bed playing with my laptop. I’m hovering in front of
my closet, looking for my favorite Montclair State University sweatshirt. “I hate your
hair,” I call to her over my shoulder. “Sorry, I couldn’t keep that in any longer.” I
did notice right away that the reddish-purple tint of her new hair color made her blue
eyes pop. Nonetheless, I don’t like it. I mean, what natural blonde ever wants to go
auburn? Women drop hundreds of dollars at hair salons trying to attain the golden
perfection she was born with. It’s ludicrous.
“It’s for my next role.” She laughs. “You could at least pretend to like it.”
“No, I can’t. And you shouldn’t either. Lawrence made you do it. I know you
“Of course I didn’t want to. You should have been there when he came to me
with the idea. He was all like, ‘You absolutely have to do this. Don’t worry, it’ll be
great.’ God, he sounded just like my mother. It took everything I had not to punch
him in the throat.”
I chuckle at that. There’s a lot to be said about Kendall Bettencourt. She’s one
of those people who were put on this earth so that the average human can give the
word ‘beauty’ a definition. Between having the body of a Victoria’s Secret model and
a face that should be immortalized in a Da Vinci painting, she never stood a chance
at living her life in the shadows. It didn’t really come as much of a surprise that this
girl—whose genetic makeup is, by no fault of her own, startlingly akin to that of
a Greek goddess—would become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after up-and-
comers. But my favorite thing about her is not her physical beauty or even the fact
that she has genuine talent. It’s that she doesn’t take shit from anyone, including her
legendary publicist, Lawrence Mackin.
“How did the Today Show go yesterday?” I wonder. “I didn’t catch it.”
“I didn’t even want to do it. I honestly felt like saying, ‘Well, Matt, I don’t think
anyone should bother wasting their money on In Heaven’s Arms. It’s a total gagfest.’”
She sticks her finger in her mouth and makes this half-retching, half-gurgling sound.
“‘It’s all Ghost Girl meets Living Boy. Ghost Girl falls in love with Living Boy, Ghost
Girl tries to figure out how she can be with Living Boy without inhabiting a rotting
corpse, which is sure to be a major turn-off to Living Boy. Blah Blah Blah.’”
I take a seat next to her on the bed. “Funny. If it’s so horrible, what the hell
possessed you to star in it?”
She shrugs. “I don’t know. I guess I figured I couldn’t sit around waiting for
an awesome script to come my way. By the time someone writes a strong, intelligent,
independent, twenty something female lead, I’d be too damn old to play her. Besides,
everyone and their mother read the book it’s based on. James thought it would really
put me on the map. I know he’s one of the best agents around, but I still can’t believe
he was right! It was such a piece of crap book, you can imagine how much shittier the
movie adaptation is.”
“So, we won’t be going to see it tonight then?”
“Not unless you want me to upchuck violently in a public place. That would be
a perfect headline for The Inquirer! ‘Movie Star Visits Home Town, Vomits All Over
Friends and Former Classmates.’”
I’m laughing so hard now, I’m afraid I might pee myself. Oh man, I’ve missed
her so much. “We don’t have to go to the movies, but we should do something fun.
Otherwise, I’m just going to sit here obsessing over the sixty-four bars I have to write
by Tuesday for my Piano Theory class.”
“I don’t care what we do. You know I’m leaving for a shoot next week. I have
no idea when I’ll be able to make it home again. The only reason I came home this
weekend is because I was afraid I was forgetting what my best friend looks like.”
I cannot argue that. The last time I saw her was around the Fourth of July. A
few years ago it would have been unthinkable to go three months without seeing each
“Let’s go to the Grind House,” she says. “For some reason I’ve been craving
their terrible coffee.”
“Sure, as long as you make sure to put those hideous things on your face.” I
point to the metal-framed sunglasses sitting atop her head. “Otherwise, it’ll be a mob
scene. Everyone will be tripping all over themselves to meet you.”
“Yeah right,” she says. “Everyone around here knows me, Payton. It’s not like
I’m Angelina Jolie or someone cool like that.” She throws me the keys to the sleek,
silver Beamer she rented. “You’re driving. I can’t stand the potholes around here.”
Author Interview :
Q: The Gravity Between Us is a great title – where did that come from?
A: Thank you! I went through three titles before deciding on this one. Kendall actually says it in
chapter six, “It’s like there’s gravity between us, like she’s the only thing anchoring me to the
world, keeping me from floating off into the upper stratosphere and being lost in space.” I knew I
had my title the second I wrote that line.
Q: What was the hardest part of writing The Gravity Between Us?
A: I often write late at night, so I’m usually beyond tired when I have to get up early the next
morning. I’d say that’s the hardest part of writing in general.
Q: Despite half of the book being set in Hollywood, and one of the protagonists being an A-
list movie star, your characters are very much normal girls – what came first for you, the
setting or the characters?
A: The setting came first. I knew from the get to that this story was going to be about fame and
the challenges that come with celebrity life.
Q: Your descriptions of celebrity life and designer dresses seem so real… do you have any
real-life Hollywood connections that you’re not telling us about?
A: Ah! I think I’ll just continue to not tell you about it, keep everyone guessing.
Q: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A: Oh god, I have an ever-growing list of favorite authors; it’s so impossible to choose only one.
I really love Margaret Atwood. Malinda Lo and John Marsden are also on the top of the list.
They all have such beautiful, descriptive prose, even though they’re quite different stylistically.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
A: The Gravity Between Us is my first novel, and it took me a very long while to get myself to sit down and start writing it; my life always seemed too hectic to fit it in. It’s easy to say, “I really don’t have the time, between work/ my children/ school/ etc…” So, if I had one piece of advice to give to other writers, it would be this: Just do it. Make the time, even if you can only afford to give yourself an hour a day before you pass out from exhaustion. The end result will be so worth it.
About The Author :
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.