A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity
by Nicole Valentine
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 01 Oct 2019 | Archive Date 07 Oct 2019
Lerner Publishing Group, Carolrhoda Books ®
He believes in science, but only magic can help his mom.
Twelve-year-old Finn is used to people in his family disappearing. His twin sister, Faith, drowned when they were three years old. A few months ago, his mom abandoned him and his dad with no explanation. Finn clings to the concrete facts in his physics books—and to his best friend, Gabi—to ward off his sadness. But then his grandmother tells him a secret: the women in their family are Travelers, able to move back and forth in time. Finn's mom is trapped somewhere in the timeline, and she's left Finn a portal to find her. But to succeed, he'll have to put his trust in something bigger than logic.
"This is an incredible book, no matter which time universe you're in. I couldn't put it down. One of my favorite debut novels of the year."—Erin Entrada Kelly, New York Times bestselling author and 2018 Newbery Medal winner
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 20 members
A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity was a book I never knew I needed to read! But knowing how complicated time travel got, I was trying not to expect too much from this book. However, I was blown away by the plot and characters. It was all well written, and I adored Finn as the protagonist and his friendship with Gabi! There were so many layers to Finn that unraveled throughout the book. His love of science, his initial denial of time travel, his anger towards his parents, but what got me most of all was Finn’s true feelings about Faith and her death, which had a huge impact on his life in ways he couldn’t change. It was both so honest and heartbreaking to read what he felt about it, and I loved what Nicole Valentine did to explain Faith’s death, the consequences of time travel, and what it really meant to be able to travel through time, the past or future. By the time I finished reading, all the questions I had were answered, and all the major loose ends were tied up. Simply incredible book!
First sentence from the prologue: We lie to ourselves when necessary. Some of us are more convincing than others. My family has always been particularly good at it. First sentence from chapter one: Finnegan Firth slid out of his bedroom window and padded on bare feet across the cold slate patio. Premise/plot: Finn, our hero, believes that science holds the answers to everything. But he's forced to question and re-question everything he believes to be true after his grandmother's death. For the night she died, she revealed a huge family secret. The women in their family are travelers. Most have only ever been able to travel to the PAST. But in recent generations--notably his mother and grandmother--they have been able to travel to the future. (In fact the Grandma revealing the HUGE secret is not the Grandma from his time line. That Grandma is lying dead in bed as they speak.) She wants him to try to time travel via a portal that his mom created in order to help save his family from their current crisis. But does Finn have enough faith? Perhaps even enough faith to save FAITH? Who is Faith? Faith is his twin sister who disappeared--believed drowned--when they were three. Her body was never found. What would a great, noble, oh-so-dangerous quest be without a best friend? Finn's best friend is Gabi. My thoughts: I loved, loved, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this one. It was super-compelling and packed with action and intrigue. You should know that I tend to LOVE time travel stories. I do. I always have. I think my first exposure to time travel came via Star Trek and Star Trek the Next Generation. I have never really stopped being intrigued and fascinated by the concept of traveling to the past or the future. I enjoyed the dual narrators. The second narrator--the one of the prologue--is super-spooky. Her voice is a haunting one. I wouldn't say it kept me reading--Finn's voice alone probably would have achieved the same thing--but it added a certain darkness or richness to the text overall. “I don’t want to hear any ancient stories, Gran. I want to hear about now.” She studied him for a moment, her eyes narrowed. “Everything is now, dear boy. And make no mistake, things that happened before you were born have everything to do with who you are and what you do. So much of our lives are built on what happened before we even arrived. The past is never dead. It’s not even past. Faulkner said that.”