Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: Sci-fi, Young Adult/NA
Series: Firebird #1
Hardcover, 368 pages
Publication: November 4, 2014 by Harper Teen
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher and Kaye Publicity in exchange for a honest review.
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.
There’s been a lot of alternate/parallel books cropping up, many with intriguing synopsis but the few that I’ve read fell into two categories: good or bad. None of them had that ‘wow’ factor that blew me away…till I read A Thousand Pieces of You. Most alternate/parallel books play with the idea of another world, one other world to be exact. But A Thousand Pieces of You exceeds that idea by exploring multiple worlds, where the worlds are either freakishly similar to our own just somehow slightly tweaked or extremely different, advance (or behind in terms of technology).
Marguerite,Theo and Paul are constantly jumping dimensions, thanks to a nifty invention called Firebird, a device (necklace) that Marguerite parents’ created. The Firebird enables the wearer to jump to parallel dimensions and temporary inhabit their ‘other self’ for a short duration. Gray’s world building was incredible and the concept for this book extremely unique. I don’t think there’s any book like this, nor as well done. The science behind the idea of alternate/parallel multiverse was very in-depth; the information was explained in a way that’s easy to understand and made the idea/story believable. I loved all the different dimensions that the characters ended up in. Each dimensions had its own elements that made them standout which also made it easy to differentiate one from another. My favorite, like the cover is alternate Russia; which happens to be where Maguerite and Paul were at the longest. I thought the incorporation of the Tsar family and Maguerite as a princess during the second imperial dynasty was a fun play on the Romanov family history.
I really liked all the characters. For one thing, they’re older. Early twenties I believe, which makes this book more NA than YA in my opinion. Marguerite is an artist living among a family of scientists, trying to carve a different path from her physicist family. For the most part Marguerite is a strong, smart, and likeable heroine. I liked that she always listened to her gut, and never let what others say influence her thoughts/feelings. Then there are the two men vying for her heart, Theo and Paul who is both her parent’s assistant. Both men are also likeable and wholly different. Theo is more laid back, always making jokes, and has this confidence that borderlines being cocky. And there is Paul who is quiet, shy, extremely smart but isn’t so great on being social or expressing his feelings. And the thing they have in common is how much they love-care for Marguerite. With that said, there is a love-triangle in this book (not my favorite) but it doesn’t last long thankfully. Marguerite does make a definite choice midway and I was glad to see she didn’t flip-flop back and forth between guys or lead anyone on.
Like many reviewers stated, A Thousand Pieces of You is heavy on the romance. As someone who isn’t all that crazy about romance (I’m more of an action kinda girl), I actually loved the romance aspect of the novel. LOVED it! It might have overshadowed the importance of Marguerite finding her father’s killer but I mean once readers get to the end, and find out the truth…no one can really get mad lol. The love story was so sweet, it literally made me feel all mushy inside (and again, I never get all swoony about this stuff!). While the book explores multiverse dimensions, it also explores the topic of destiny/fate (which is what one of the character proposes, that there IS a scientific explanation behind the idea, and that it’s real). And readers will get to see that idea in play throughout the book, as two characters find themselves together regardless of time, space or dimensions.
A Thousand Pieces of You is hands down the best young adult sci-fi book I’ve read all year. I’m a big fan of Gray’s Evernight series, but I gotta say I love this book more and am excited to see where it go. I highly, highly recommend this book; words aren’t enough to express how much I enjoyed it. There’s a little something for everyone, mystery, action, romance, historical, and sci-fi. Pick up your copy of A Thousand Pieces of You NOW, you will not regret it!