Relativity by Cristin Bishara

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 17286818wishes 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? –

What a pleasure it was to read this book.  I absolutely adored Ruby and her deep love of all things science, her open-minded acceptance of possibilities, and her methodical approach to problem-solving.  She was a very mature and wise-beyond-her-years 15-year-old taken away from everything familiar and thrust into a difficult situation.  But deep down, she wants what many teenagers want – a stable family life and the boy she crushes on to see her as more than a friend.

Who hasn’t wondered what would have happened if they’d taken a different path at some point in their life?  Ruby has the rare opportunity to travel to nine alternative realities and see what life could have been like, hoping for the “perfect world”; however, like most of us have realized, life is a give and take and “perfect” doesn’t exist.  It’s a tough lesson to learn, but in this way, I felt like Relativity was a coming of age story.

During Ruby’s journey, I loved that she was able to spend some time with her mother and a brother she never knew was a possibility.  At times, it was heart-wrenching, but so worth reading.  She also learned more about her stepsister, Kandy, and the potential reasons for her actions, which enabled her to be more sympathetic, although at times, I felt like Kandy didn’t deserve sympathy.  Traveling to nine different realities could have been a little repetitive and slowed down the action, but that didn’t happen in this book – the story was well-paced and compelling.

The author has created a superbly written, thought-provoking, heart-warming, intelligent story, one I would recommend to anyone who is a sci-fi/fantasy fan.  The story is appropriate for ages 14+, although the science/math aspects may be somewhat confusing.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

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