by Cristin Bishara
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Walker Children’s
Obtained Via: I received an electronic advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This influenced my final opinion of the book in no way.
Format Read In: E-ARC
View at the Traffic light:
If Ruby Wright could have her way, her dad would never have met and married her stepmother Willow, her best friend George would be more than a friend, and her mom would still be alive. Ruby knows wishes can’t come true; some things just can’t be undone. Then she discovers a tree in the middle of an Ohio cornfield with a wormhole to nine alternative realities.
Suddenly, Ruby can access completely different realities, each containing variations of her life—if things had gone differently at key moments. The windshield wiper missing her mother’s throat…her big brother surviving his ill-fated birth…her father never having met Willow. Her ideal world—one with everything and everyone she wants most—could be within reach. But is there such a thing as a perfect world? What is Ruby willing to give up to find out?
I found the premise of Relativity SO interesting! While I’ve read a handful of books that deal with parallel worlds or alternative realities, it’s usually just two choices. That’s why when I read the description for Relativity I knew I had to request it. Because instead of just two realities, this book plays with a multiverse of ten possible worlds, and we get to see just a little bit of all of them. The way they mirror each other and break down was incredible, really. I LOVED the plot devices used in Relativity.
I really liked Ruby, the book’s main character. I felt for her. Her mother died when she was four, and her father has just remarried and has made her relocate to an entirely different state. She’s dealing with having to adjust to a lot of stuff all at once, including a stepsister who quite dislikes her. It was easy to believe that someone as smart and unhappy as Ruby would go looking for the perfect world, and have the scientific mind to be able to explain all the different realities in a convincing way.
So if I liked the characters and the plot, you might be wondering why the stoplight for Relativity is yellow instead of red. Well, while I loved the set-up of the plot, the way the plot played out got a bit tiring after awhile. I think it would have been hard to do so otherwise–I mean, Ruby’s searching for the perfect universe where she’s happy, her mother’s alive, etc., and there’s ten universes, so of course she’s going to go through them all. After this happens a few time, it sort of lost the novelty and I was having trouble staying interested. I did really loved the third and fourth realities Ruby explored, and none of the others were quite as captivating as that, though some were quite sad.
On the plus side, I really loved most of the side characters in Relativity. It’s a short book, so none of them really get that much screen time, but they were fascinating. I loved Ruby’s love interest in a few of the universes, and also her siblings in some of the alternative universes as well. I really enjoyed how Relativity really dove into string theory and used real scientific ideas to build the world. The science explorations were by far my favorite part.
Final Impression: I enjoyed Relativity. The highlights for me were the science and the characters, but I thought the plot was a bit slow at times just because of the episodic nature of Ruby’s quest. I wish there had been a bit faster pacing in those parts, though I was quite satisfied with the end result. It was an original science fiction and I liked it on the whole. 3/5 cupcakes.