Review: A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray

17234658Title: A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1)

Author: Claudia Gray (twitter) (website)

Publisher//Year: HarperTeen//November 4, 2014

Source: Purchased.

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Synopsis: Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

Rating: ★★★★☆

I’ve had this sitting on my shelf for a while now – that’s a trend with me, isn’t it? – and, seeing as the conclusion of the trilogy will be out in a couple of weeks, I figured this was the time jump into this world. Or should I say worlds.

Let’s break it down…

What I LOVED:

  • The Premise. Instead of the ever popular time travel, A Thousand Pieces of You involves inter-dimensional travel. Time moves forward, never back. Something somewhere in each dimension is different than our own, but there are things that never change. It’s presented in a way that is not difficult to understand and its utterly fascinating. It also has a built-in solution to the “two places at once” scenario that inevitably occurs in every novel about time travel: dimension-travelers inhabit the bodies of themselves in that particular dimension. This, of course, has its own set of drawbacks. Long story short, I love it. Easily my favorite thing about the novel and the reason that I immediately went out and purchased the sequel. Also, this has ABC Family/Freeform/Whatever TV Show written all over it. Would someone get on that please?
  • Marguerite’s Voice. I can’t put my finger exactly on what I liked about this so much but I loved the writing. It felt like a teenager telling her story, but it didn’t sound young or overly verbose. She’s snarky but not too snarky. I loved it.

What I Liked:

  • The Characters. The main characters are all extremely likable and fun to follow through the story. I really enjoyed the relationships between all of the characters, especially Marguerite, Theo and Paul. There is a kinda-sorta love triangle going on, but it is resolved (as far as I can tell) within this book. However, the characters felt a little flat. They weren’t three dimensional – more like 2.75 dimensional. I got to know things about the characters, but not the characters themselves. Granted, it is difficult when there are multiple versions of every character running around. I hope this is something that’s improved upon in the sequel.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The set up. There is no buildup in this book. We launch right into Marguerite and Theo their dimension-hopping adventure. All the exposition we need to know to understand the story is told – not shown – to start everything off in one massive info. The relationship between all of the characters is either inferred or shown in flashbacks sprinkled throughout the book. It was like starting a new TV show with the 2nd or 3rd episode. It felt like everything should have been common knowledge by this point, but it wasn’t. Everything settles and is more understandable after a few chapters, but wasn’t the best beginning to a book I’ve ever read.

All in all, while the beginning is weak and the character development could have been stronger, A Thousand Pieces of You takes a inventive premise and likeable characters on an adventure through multiple dimensions.

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