Author: Cristin Bishara
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 288 Pages
ISBN-10: 0802734685 (Bloomsbury)
ISBN-13: 978-0802734686 (Bloomsbury)
Reviewed by: Bridget
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?
Quick & Dirty: Interesting concept with the parallel worlds, but I felt that there was too much going on. It also was a little rushed, so it was really hard to connect with the story.
Opening Sentence: I hold up my phone and snap a photo of the windowless cafeteria, then close-ups of the gory details: paper wedged underneath uneven table legs, yellowed ceiling panels sagging with water damage, deep gouges scarring the linoleum floor.
Ruby Wright has just left her long time home in California to move to some small town in Ohio. Her dad got remarried and decided to move in with his new wife. Ruby had to leave everything behind, her friends, the boys she has crushed on for years, and the comfortable life she had in California. She feels like her father is being completely selfish and she really wishes that she could change her life. Then Ruby discovers a very odd Oak tree in the middle of nowhere. There is just something about it that seems off. As she investigates she finds a door that happens to lead to parallel worlds.
Suddenly, Ruby can change the course of her life. What would happen if her mother was never killed in that car accident all those years ago? What would happen if her father never met Ruby’s stepmother, Willow? What if Ruby had siblings? Would she still fall in love with the same boy? Would she like the same things? What would Ruby’s ideal world look like, and what is she willing to give up to get it?
Ruby was a really hard character for me to connect with. She has a really negative attitude which is somewhat understandable given her circumstances, but it made her seem whiny and immature to me. There were some things I liked about her, like the fact that she is really smart and caring. She has lost a lot in her life, which would be really hard to deal with. I can’t blame her for wanting a different life, but the way she went about things just made her hard to relate to. So overall she was just an okay character for me. I wish I could have liked her better, because I think it would have really improved my experience with the story.
This was and okay read. The idea of the parallel worlds and being able to pick what you want in your life was really cool, but unfortunately, I felt like there was just too much going on. I think there were too many versions of Ruby’s life, which made the story feel, rushed. I think that it would have been better if she had stayed in each world a little longer so I could have connected better with each aspect of her life. There weren’t any specific characters in the story that I really liked or really cared to get to know any better. The plot had a few twists, but mostly it was pretty predictable and a little boring. I try really hard not to skim through books, but I found myself doing that a lot with this book. That being said, I do think that there will be people who probably will really enjoy this book, so if the synopsis sounds intriguing to you, go ahead and give it a try. Hopefully, you have a better experience with it than I did.
Minutes later, I’m out of the cornfield and in fresh air, under the tree’s canopy of cool shade. It seems taller, more splendid than yesterday. Ancient, alive. I take my glasses off and wipe the water from the lenses.
Now, in daylight, the purple glow is hardly detectable. But the humming is louder. And the trunk has changed. Significantly.
A piece of bark has been shed, in the shape of a large, perfect rectangle. Jabs of fear, quick and strong like voltage spikes, tell me I’m in danger, that I should go back. At the same time, I’m pulled forward by a force that feels inescapable, gravitational. Push and pull. Goose bumps spring up along my arms.
“Hello again,” I whisper. The ground beneath me feels charged, a steady thrum of power.
I take a few steps closer and see that it’s not just a rectangle of smooth trunk. There are etchings all over it, and in the middle, near the right edge, there’s a metal knob.
It’s a door.
FTC Advisory: Walker Childrens/Bloomsbury provided me with a copy of Relativity. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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