Seeing Night Reviews is the next stop in the Relativity Tour by Cristin Bishara. Check out the full tour with ROCKSTAR book tours here.
Last night was Halloween, my first here in Ohio. It was definitely, um, memorable?
A few weeks ago: We were having breakfast and I was trying to convince Dad that he was capable of making amazing pancakes (because I’d tasted them in an alternate universe), and we got on the subject of Ennis High’s annual Halloween costume contest. I’m pretty sure I groaned and said I wasn’t participating. But I could tell that Kandy’s gears clicked into place, because she does that thing where she pulls on her eyelashes a little. The first few times I noticed her doing it, I thought she was checking her mascara coverage. Too much goop, or not enough? But no, it’s what she does when she’s formulating a plan. Which is scary. Anyway, later that day, she told me that I was dressing as her, and she was dressing as me. She did not ask. She informed me. She was a little menacing.
Last night: First prize went to the mermaid who arrived in a giant tank of water. Second place went to the zombie. Third went to us: Kandy wearing my clothes, down to my olive sneakers, which she hates. The black-rimmed glasses, the non-descript jeans and T-shirt. She even shoved her hair under a bald cap, and then put on a wig that looked exactly like my edgy pixie cut. She ordered custom temporary tattoos and stuck one on the back of her neck, and carried around a chemistry text book the whole night as a prop. I have to admit, it was pretty spot-on. Dressing as Kandy, however, was awful. I’ll be wiping makeup off for a week, digging it out of my pores. And she was pissed I didn’t wear designer heels, but considering my leg injury, it was hard enough cramming my feet into her pointy flats. My wig was itchy. I looked ridiculous.
I’m still not exactly sure what her motivation was. Maybe she was just trying to make fun of me, or it could have been an attempt to give me a head-to-toe makeover. Maybe she really thought we’d win the first place prize, a $100 mall gift card.
Whatever. It was memorable. And, OKAY, it was just a little bit fun.
Relativity by Cristin Bishara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
GENRE: Young Adult
THEME: Duel Universes, Science Fiction
REVIEW:I know I’m not the only one who wishes they could change something that didn’t go right or go back in time and do something a bit different. I love the premises, with complex twists and a very detailed idea behind dual universes. But as the protagonist learns sometimes life is the way it is for a reason.
Relativity follows Ruby Wright a young teen who is going through a big change and not very happy about it. Her father has remarried, relocated them to nowhere and she left the one boy she cared about behind in the city she loved. Now she lives with her stepmother whom is not the mother she’d lost and a stepsister who is beyond crazy. When she discovers a mysterious tree near her new home, Ruby learns that it leads to something she really wants; a new life in a new universe.
Ruby is a smart cookie, beyond smart when it comes to math and science. It sets her apart from her father, stepmother and stepsister, which makes her the odd one out. Loosing her mother at a young age, she grew to love what her mother did in math. Throughout the story she uses math to help her through tough situations, discover the truth behind the mysterious tree and in the end learn what she truly is looking for in her life. As much as I love the complexity of math and how it’s connected to a very detailed history, it confused me quite a bit a times. I wish I knew a bit more about string theory but it did make me think and wonder what if? In the end Ruby easily steps into a very dangerous situation, where she can see what it would be like if things were different. She was challenged and made a lot of mistakes, for her age I felt that fit but she also was extremely smart for a 15 year old. I almost felt like I was reading about someone a lot older.
The Tree I felt was a secondary character, it holds all the answers for Ruby and also teaches her the dangers of what she wants and that her selfishness can come at a cost. I love how this tree was also connected to each of her realities by this unusual code, which she is tries to decode. I was always on the edge of my seat wondering what is Ruby going to open the door to next and will she ever get back home.
Overall this was a challenging story with a complex premises and lead character. Ruby goes through many stages in just a span of a couple of days, she learns; that people aren’t what they seems, the reality behind selfishness, understanding of love, and that she should cherish what she has. My only other issue besides the confusion of some mathematical terms is that the ending felt abrupt, I wanted to get some conclusion behind her relationship with George and what will happen next with her stepsister. Nonetheless after reading this I can see how much thought that Bishara put into writing such a creative story.
RECOMMENDATION:This is a young adult novel suited for those who are ready to step into a science fiction world of complex storytelling. Fans of The Taking series by Melissa West and Hourglass series by Myra McEntire will enjoy Relativity.
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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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