Title – Author: Relativity – Cristin Bishara
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Format – Source: e-ARC – Publisher via NetGalley
Ruby wants nothing more than to return to California and her could’ve-been-more friend George, but no such luck. Instead she’s stuck in Ohio with her new stepmother and her crazy stepsister. When Ruby discovers a wormhole hidden inside a giant oak tree behind her house, she thinks she’s finally found a way to get her ideal life. Somewhere out there, there could be a reality where Ruby’s mother is alive, she has an older brother, and her family is happily living in California. All she has to do is find it…but the search may be more difficult than Ruby could’ve ever imagined.
This book had such promise. I’m really digging the whole alternate realities thing. When done right, it can provide a catalyst for some really interesting stories. Unfortunately, Relativity isn’t one of them.
Let’s start with the good: the parallel universes. The oak tree Ruby discovers leads to nine other alternate realities. I loved the differences between these worlds and how key events can change everything about Ruby’s life and the lives of those she loves. Some changes are huge (one universe has a different founding father of America), while others are smaller (her dad is a chef instead of in advertising). I enjoyed discovering the nuances between the universes alongside Ruby.
That’s about where the good ends, though. Ruby is just such a flat character. She loves science, and while that in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, the way it’s presented here is just plain annoying. The reader is basically hit over the head with the fact that Ruby is so scientific. It’s to the point where it just doesn’t read as realistic at all.
The writing is very repetitive too. Ruby repeats the same phrase about breathing in the elements a million times. She gets caught talking aloud a lot too, which led to many similar exchanges.
Relativity had a great premise, but failed to deliver.
4 – bad but still readable – Gilderoy Lockhart