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Relativity [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Relativity

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Overview

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?
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 7–10—Trying to hide from Kandy, her new, unbalanced stepsister, 15-year-old Ruby Wright opens the door she finds in an ancient oak tree just off her stepmother's property in small-town Ohio. She turns a dial in the middle of the tree and finds herself in a parallel universe where she has an older brother and her mother is still alive. As she travels alternative realities, Ruby questions whether she can find the perfect universe where her mother hasn't died, her parents are still together, and her older brother exists. The more she learns, the more she realizes that her time is running short to find that perfect world or return to the one she knows. The real story here is Ruby's acceptance of her current life. Pacing is steady, and the plot moves forward with each new world. The secondary characters do not play a huge part in the story, other than pushing Ruby to understand each one a little better, especially her stepmother and Kandy. She gets a chance to see what she's been missing, but her traveling through these alternatives may have dire consequences on those she encounters.—Natalie Struecker, Rock Island Public Library, IL
Publishers Weekly
09/30/2013
It seems like Ruby Wright's life is falling apart when her widower father moves them to boring Ennis, Ohio. But Ennis becomes a lot less dull when Ruby discovers a door in the trunk of a grand oak tree in the cornfields behind their house. Ruby enters the tree, and when she exits, this scientifically gifted teen finds herself in a parallel universe where she has a brother, her mother is still alive, and Ruby herself is utterly different. Ruby's fascinating yet frightening experience sends her on a journey through multiple parallel universes in hopes of finding one where she has the life she truly wishes for—one where her parents are still alive and together and where Ruby gets to be with the boy she loves. Debut novelist Bishara's premise and use of string theory are promising, but the identity and storyline changes that accompany each universe shift keep the characters from feeling fully developed, including Ruby. This aside, readers will be intrigued by the possibility of exploring parallel selves. Ages 12–up. Agent: Minju Chang, BookStop Literary. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"Readers will be intrigued by the possibility of exploring parallel selves." - —Publishers Weekly

 

"Smart, suspenseful, and completely unique." —Megan Miranda

 

"A clever look at parallel worlds and the endless search for the ideal life." —Suzanne Young, author of The Program and Just Like Fate

 

"A quick, thoughtful read that avoids both mawkish sentimentality and overthinking its premise, this simple, straightforward novel has appeal for fans of both science fiction and narratives of personal discovery." —BCCB

 

"Fascinating." —VOYA

VOYA - Erin Wyatt
The tree Ruby can see in the distance from her new house in Ohio captures her attention and imagination. When her stepmother mentions some of the mysteries surrounding it, the pull becomes even stronger. After pieces of bark fall off, revealing a door with a strange encryption, Ruby enters the tree and discovers a gadget with the power to move her through alternate realities. Deeply unhappy and realizing that her mom is still alive in other universes, Ruby searches for the perfect reality while trying to figure out the science behind what she is experiencing. Replete with references to string theory and wormholes, the text is full of math and science theory. Ruby, a quirky, likeable teen who is a bit of a curmudgeon, even has one of Einstein's formulas as a tattoo on her neck. The idea of the book is fascinating, and characters from her life and family show up in multiple universes, tying in the idea that some things are just meant to be, despite space and time. Each reality is distinct and gives Ruby new insights. From hearing about alternate versions of Ruby, it is clear that some of the events in her present life have shaped who she has become. The book is quickly paced, particularly in the dangerous struggle, as time is running out and Ruby must make a decision about going home before the option is no longer available and her health is too compromised to allow her to survive. Reviewer: Erin Wyatt
Children's Literature - Danielle Williams
Ruby has always been an only child living with her father after her mother died when she was a toddler. But when her father uproots her from her familiar life in California and into a new town with a new family, Ruby wants nothing more than to escape her reality. When Ruby discovers a magical portal to different realities where Ruby discovers her mother alive and an older brother who loves and protects her, the boyfriend she has always wanted, and a father who cares more for her than she has ever experienced she is determined to find her perfect reality. Eventually Ruby realizes that the life she has always wanted means that she has abandoned her true home and displaced alternate Rubys from their homes. Ruby has a chance for everything she has ever wanted in several alternate universes, but her mother, and her own scientific nature, convinces her to return home. Mixing fiction and physics, Bishara has written an intriguing novel that does not pander to the ignorant masses and forces the reader to consider the repercussions of their actions as Ruby discovers her own actions have impacts on multiple lives. Reviewer: Danielle Williams; Ages 14 up.
Kirkus Reviews
In Bishara's debut novel, a portal to parallel universes offers a tempting escape to a teenager unhappy with a recent family move. Ruby has been miserable ever since her father's sudden remarriage swept her away from the life she loved in Northern California and dumped her in rural Ohio. But small-town Ennis has its share of surprises, as Ruby soon discovers that an ancient oak tree behind her new home conceals a wormhole. Each turn of the steering wheel inside the tree (it glows purple) transports her to alternate realities--worlds where her long-dead mother is alive and her best friend, George, is her lover. Alas, the superficiality of Bishara's worldbuilding mutes the resonance of Ruby's emotional journey as she learns what could have been. Parallel universes are theoretically infinite, but Ruby's tree conveniently limits her to a mere 10. A genius scientist hides his secrets behind a childishly simple substitution cipher. Ruby, a science geek, has the Einstein tensor equation tattooed on her neck and a tendency to pepper her first-person, present-tense narration with scientific terminology--but she can't solve that basic cipher until the plot provides her with the key. This tidy "what if?" adventure isn't clever enough to go to the head of the debut class. (Science fiction. 14-18)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802734693
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 702,044
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Before publishing Relativity, CRISTIN BISHARA worked as a professional copywriter, and taught composition and fiction writing at the university level. She has an M.F.A. in creative writing. Cristin lives in Florida with her husband, two girls, and rescued racing greyhound.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Why buy it!

    After skimming the reviews there is no need to buy it. Thanks for the details...NOT!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2013

    I really love reading books about parallel universes. It's fasci

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2013

    What a pleasure it was to read this book. I absolutely adored R

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2013

    What if life was a choose your own adventure story? For Ruby Wr

    What if life was a choose your own adventure story? For Ruby Wright, a wormhole found in an Ohio cornfield of all places, gives her access to variations of her life, but is the grass really greener on the other side? Relativity by Cristin Bishara explores the possibility of accessing parallel realities in a fun and engaging way that will keep you on your toes until the very end!

    This is one of those endearing stories that really touches the core of all of us. What if my mom was still alive? What if my friendship with that boy went beyond just friendship? What if… Ruby definitely goes through her fair share of life’s twists and turns and feels slighted by life until she finds the potential to experience different realities but those alternate realities come with costs that not only affect her, but those around her.

    This read is one of the few “parallel” type stories that I actually felt had a sense of realism behind it. I say that because a lot of the novels today talk about time travel and parallel universes in a way that seems far-fetched but Bishara really develops and examines the math and science behind this possibility, which I personally really appreciated.

    Relativity loosely reminded me of The Butterfly Affect, only in the way that we experienced alternate realities but none of them seemed absolutely perfect. Just like life, there is, and always will be, something that we’d like to change…life isn’t perfect and you really have to examine what is important and appreciate what you have in the present. Relativity is a fun, fast-paced, mind-bending look at life and appreciating those that surround you and the reality you live in.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2013

    4.5/5 stars Why You Should Buy It This thought-provoking scien

    4.5/5 stars

    Why You Should Buy It

    This thought-provoking science fiction novel will have you on the edge of your seat.  You'll learn a little about science within the realm of one teenage girl's life and her discovery of the perfect world.

    My Thoughts

    *I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review via the author/publisher.*

    I LOVE SMART BOOKS.  I am a nerd.  I took AP Chemistry for fun.  Yes, I repeat, I AM A NERD.  We're talking circa 2000 when nerds weren't cool.  If there is one thing I love it is reading a book that isn't afraid to push the limits of the reader's mind while not 'dumbing down' the ideas.  If I'm confused and the science is legit, I'm perfect okay with being confused.  I'm SUPPOSED to be confused.  But, I'm also learning about something useful and important in the world in a fun way.  This is one of my favorite things about YA.  I've used so many concepts I've read in ya books in my graduate level college courses.  There is no one saying that a book for teens has to be a lower standard of concepts and ideas.

    SO, that is why I was completely engrossed and enamored by Relativity.  Sure I've learned the basics of what string theory is and I've read gobs of parallel universe books, but this one brought everything to fruition.  I suddenly understood just a little bit better what it is Sheldon Cooper spends his days doing.

    Beyond the science, the writing was superb flowed well.  The story itself was unique and refreshing: it was so different from other parallel universe books.  I loved that Ruby kept her chart in her notebook of the details of each world.

    Ruby was really a dynamic character in my eyes.  I can SEE people thinking she is flat and one-dimensional.  However, I understood her way of thinking and her interactions with all the different people she met.  When Ruby wasn't comfortable with a situation, she brought something of comfort in -- and to her the most comforting thing is science and knowledge.

    My one critique is just how blind and oblivious the parents in the story seemed to be.  Here we have troubled teens, especially Kandy, and no one seems to be doing anything or saying anything.  It is obvious that she had some deep rooted issues, and maybe for sake of time they weren't addressed, but I just found it sad.

    The interweaving of the history of the scientist and the town and how the tree came to be was also so well done.  It had this creepy, historical vibes (like the journal and the cemetery) and brought some new elements in that gave the book an extra oomph beyond just the science fiction.

    This book was hands down my favorite in terms of parallel universes.  A great standalone novel that I HIGHLY recommend!

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