Relativity by Antonia Hayes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Twelve-year-old Ethan is a bright boy, who loves physics and science. His mom, Claire, loves him with a fierceness that she can barely fathom sometimes. It's just Ethan and Claire living happily together in Sydney. However, a sudden accident forces Claire to confront her past, especially what happened with Ethan's father, Mark. At the same time, Ethan must deal with his own emotions about his absent father.
Hayes' book is well-written, with strongly developed, complicated characters who jump off the page. It's a small cast of characters: Ethan, Mark, Claire, and a few others. I fell immediately for Ethan, who is lovable, sweet, and slightly nerdy. Claire and Mark are slightly more problematic. Mark especially is a very difficult character with whom it is hard to sympathize. Hayes does an excellent job of unfurling her plot in such a way that the reader is as perplexed as the characters. The storyline is tense and runs the gamut of emotions.
The book revolves a lot around science. While much of the storyline uses science and physics to its advantage--for instance, I found the idea of genetic memory fascinating--at times, I also found my eyes glazing over at the scientific passages. Sometimes the science overshadowed the actual plot. Still, overall this is a sharp, well-written novel with in-depth characters. A strong 3.5 stars.
I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in return for an unbiased review (thank you!); it is available everywhere on 5/3/2016.
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