ARC Review: Relativity by Cristin Bishara
by: Cristin Bishara
Publication Date: Sept. 10, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Genre: Science Fiction/Time Travel
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 288 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars
I really love reading books about parallel universes. It's fascinating to think that there is another version of you out there living life- yet that life could be completely different than the one you are currently living. Our main character Ruby gets to test out this theory firsthand in Relativity. While a lot of the scientific jargon went way over my head, I was still able to enjoy the story and not overanalyze how it could all happen.
Ruby is a likeable character, though I have to say: my heart broke for the girl. She has just moved from California to Ohio with her dad, as he has remarried to a woman named Willow, who lives in Ennis, Ohio with her daughter Kandy. Moving across country is never easy, and leaving behind your best friend and the life you've always known is very difficult. Her father is a work-a-holic, her step mom is not someone she's bonded with, and her step-sister is HORRIBLE. It's no wonder Ruby is drawn to this old tree in the middle of a cornfield. I would be looking for an escape of some sort also, if I were in her position.
After accidentally finding herself in a different universe, Ruby is definitely scared and confused. People that shouldn't be alive are, and Ruby really struggles with this information- it doesn't seem fair that in a parallel universe her mom is still alive and she has a great big brother. Seeing this reality sends Ruby on a hunt for the perfect parallel universe- one where her parents are happy and together, she has a big brother, and her best friend George reciprocates her feelings. Watching Ruby land in the different universes was exciting and heartbreaking at the same time. I was excited to see what each place would be like for her and who she would find there, but I was heartbroken for her at the same time because no matter what- none of these were her universes. Not to mention, there always seemed to be something missing.
I was really torn up over the scenes with Ruby's mom. In her universe, her mom was killed in a car accident when she was younger. However, her mom lives in some of the other parallel universes, and watching Ruby try to let go of her mother was really hard to read. In my opinion, her parallel universe mom plays the most important role in this book. She offers Ruby wisdom and insight that Ruby is too blind to see on her own. Ruby realizes that she must make the best of what her own life has to offer and that even though things are difficult now, seeing these parallel universes provides her with hope.
There is not a whole lot of romance in this book. Ruby is in love with her best friend George, who she left behind in California. She wishes she could tell him how she feels, yet she doesn't. We get to see George in some of the parallel universes, where they are together. He is quirky and a bit nerdy just like her, so watching them interact was really sweet. She really feels hopeful for her and George's relationship- that somehow the universe will bring them back together, as it did in some of those parallel universes.
I wasn't crazy about the ending though. It's not that it left off in a bad place or anything, but I just felt a bit unfulfilled. It offers the promise of hope and acceptance for Ruby's life, but I guess I just wanted something more.
While I enjoyed reading this, I would have to say this book was still just an okay read for me. I would recommend it to big fans of time travel and science fiction, however.