Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Timeslip Tuesday: A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity

Timeslip Tuesday is a frequent feature of Charlotte's Library!

Valentine, Nicole. A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity
October 1st 2019 by Carolrhoda Books
ARC provided by Blue Slip Media

Finn's life is a bit sad and small, since his parents have struggled for years with the death of his twin sister, Faith, who drowned in a local quarry at the age of three. Luckily, he has a supportive grandmother and best friend, Gabi. This is especially important, since his mother has gone away and not been in contact, and his father is more and more remote, even going on a research trip and not answering his phone. When his grandmother visits him and tells him that the women in the family have the ability to time travel, and that she has hard news to tell him, Finn doesn't want to believe her, but the next day, he finds that he must. Family secrets emerge, and Finn must find out if he is able to time travel in order to save his mother, his sister, and almost everyone else around him. There is a group of local people who have banded together to help Finn's family, but their motives are somewhat suspect, and Finn has to carefully heed his grandmother's device to "trust no one". Gabi stays by his side through his adventures, but will the two be able to figure out what to do in time?
Strengths: This had a lot of interesting twists and turns, and I don't want to spoil those. Like any good time travel novel, this made my brain hurt a bit, figuring out everything that was going on. The mechanism for traveling is fairly simple, and it's interesting that it hinges on not only genetics, but on following the female line, AND that Finn shared a placenta with a fraternal twin. Hmmm! Faith's appearances, and Finn's interactions with a sister he really doesn't remember much, are fascinating. The grandmother (and her soup!) and Gabi were the best part of the story for me; their support of Finn when he is hurting is very welcome.
Weaknesses: I'm never a fan of the malfunctioning grieving parent trope; after nine years, trust me, the town would have pretty much forgotten all about Faith. The trope doesn't even work very well once we find out more of the family secrets.
What I really think: This was a solid time travel novel with a convincing mechanism that is also right on trend with the current need to have a variety of problems in every middle grade novel.

It's still unseasonably warm here in Ohio, so t shirt dresses are saving the day. By Friday, it's supposed to be cooler, so I can go back to my basic uniform of pleated skirts and jackets. As always, jewelry that can be seen from space!

1 comment:

  1. Two reviews of this book today. It sounds like a captivating time travel book! Always appreciate your reviews and your honesty!