A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

a thousand pieces of you

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.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Every once in awhile, there will be the rare book that will succeed in circumventing all of my criticism, that will make me fall in love with it despite its shortcomings. There will be the rare book that will make me think, “Okay I know it’s flawed and it has all these problems, but I don’t care! I LOVE IT.” A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray was one of those books. I saw it coming too – when I was told that A Thousand Pieces of You featured parallel dimensions and fate, I was sold. Stories with such themes have a direct line to my heart (and feels).

A Thousand Pieces of You is a science-fiction romance that takes you on an incredible journey across different universes. As Marguerite traverses across different parallel dimensions to avenge her father, she inadvertently travels through worlds different and similar to hers in the most minute and significant of ways. The dimensions were masterfully crafted and vividly imagined, each having palpably different social, technological and cultural contexts. Gray’s excellent writing adapted to convey unique atmospheres, tones, and language; each world having a distinct feel from the last. Marguerite’s journey filled me with so much heartfelt wonder; I was absolutely captivated, excited about where Marguerite would venture next. What’s awesome about A Thousand Pieces of You is that the journey feels like a crossing of genres as well as dimensions – part science-fiction, part historical, part environmental dystopia, part futurism.

Inherent in the novel is the ambitious question of what if? and never does this curiosity waver. What if an actuality in our lives were different? Would that change who we are as a person – would we essentially be different people? What if we were different people? Do we exist beyond our physical bodies? The plethora of questions that A Thousand Pieces of You raised were riveting, at times wonderfully evocative, and at times, really sweet.

But, if there was a question that really affected me, it was: are we inevitably tied to certain people in our lives, no matter the distance in space and time? Does love transcend life — can it transcend life? There is something strangely, beautifully poetic about the romance in A Thousand Pieces of You. The emotional connection that the two characters shared felt so visceral, so deeply-felt and earnest. Although I loved the romance very much, the romance is one that you either love and forgive its shortcomings, or you just don’t. For me, it was the former; the idea and the circumstances of the romance, and less the characters, enamoured me.

Romantic love is not the only kind of love explored in A Thousand Pieces of You – whilst I enjoyed the romance, Gray also explores the power of familial love, and the bond between parent and child. Marguerite’s journey across alternate universes is not only an exploration of love, but also a quiet meditation of grief and its pervasive presence. However, this is sensitively juxtaposed with its illumination on the beauty in life, and how we can find wonder in the seemingly mundane. The beauty of this book is that it evokes a curiosity of the endless possibilities in life.

If I had any criticisms, it was that the supporting characters were underdeveloped, their characterizations based more on tropes and lacking the character development to move beyond them. Thankfully, the characters were likeable and had small strengths despite, which offers a slight leeway to this flaw. Its plot also falls short – war and its manifestations are interesting concepts, particularly with dimensional travel involved, but ultimately lacked precision. As a consequence, the plot may feel more like an afterthought, rather than something that provides structure. Nonetheless, I enjoyed Marguerite’s narrative; the quirky humour was balanced with its delicate and more introspective moments, the latter true to the story’s themes whilst remaining self-aware.

A Thousand Pieces of You is a beautiful book that masterfully captures the big and small joys of life. Whatever you may think of A Thousand Pieces of You – it is guaranteed to be two things: one, that it is absolutely heart-warming, and two, that it epitomizes the ‘whirlwind adventure’. With all its ambitious goals, A Thousand Pieces of You is a book that delivers what it promises – dimensional travel, a heart-sweeping romance, and worlds that will set your imagination alight.

Rating: 3/5 (2017 rating adjusted)

Book Information
Book Name: A Thousand Pieces of You
Book Series: Firebird #1
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Harper Teen

A Thousand Pieces of You in:
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


Thank you Brett for recommending me A Thousand Pieces of You!

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34 thoughts on “A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

  1. I still have yet to read this one… but I’ve heard people with either love it or hate it.
    But I liked the points you brought up in your review about being tethered to one person no matter time or space or dimension. That’s pretty cool!

    Great review CW! :D

    • I can definitely see why this book would have such a polarizing opinion. It is! It’s a theme that REALLY gets me emotionally, hence why I liked it. I suppose if someone isn’t particularly moved by that stuff, it wouldn’t be their cup of tea.

      Thanks Jesse! ❤

  2. This. I mean, this review, and you, and, SERIOUSLY. I feel like I want to print out your reviews and read them forever, they echo so much in my mind and in my heart, especially this particular review. I think you managed to perfectly sum up, using the words I’m thinking and the feelings I couldn’t get rid of, while reading this beautiful story. This graphic is absolutely gorgeous, by the way. You’re amazing, loved reading this review! <3

    • Oh wow, Marie… thank you!! ;_____; Your comments always leave such a big smile on my face, and they brighten my day! This book made me very emotional, and I think how I write mirrors my experiences. :’)

      Ah yay!! I’m glad you liked this book too! It’s just, I don’t know. One of those books that just move me so much.

      Thank you! I think this graphic is my favourite so far – it took me the longest, but the result was satisfying!!

      YOU’RE AMAZING TOO, MARIE. ❤❤

  3. Grumble grumble, my TBR list is far too long already, I really don’t need to be adding more…. but you make this sound so good!

    • LOL I know the feeling! But trust me, this book is a very easy read and it’ll just FLY by! I listened to the audiobook for this, and enjoyed it a lot, especially with the four different accents! :D

  4. Oh yay! I’m so happy that you liked this one because I just bought it for myself the other day. I won a copy of the sequel at a book event so I had to buy the first one, of course :D I’m really looking forward to reading it now! I recently read The Next Together, which was about love transcending time and life, so I’m interested to see how this one handles it.

    • AH YAY. Please read so we can cry together. :’) AHH YOU LUCKY BUTT! Power through those books like the beast you are! :’D

      Oh gosh, transcendent love is my ultimate weakness. I will definitely read The Next Together. Though, did you like it?

      • I really liked The Next Together but your enjoyment of the book depends on if you like the two main characters because the whole story is just about them being reborn over and over and falling in love. Even though they’re different people, they’re also the same… so there are lots of similarities between the four couples featured in the book. If you dislike one couple, you’ll probably dislike them all. But I don’t think you’ll hate the book even if you don’t like the characters. It has some cool formatting and some mysterious sci-fi elements. I have a full review actually: here

  5. I currently have this book sitting unread on my bookshelf and you make me want to run over and devour it right now! I am very tempted to read it after I read The Shock of the Fall, instead of Unravel Me! Oh the struggles!

    • I know your struggles, girl! I saw your pic on instagram today – so jealous! One day I shall possess the beautiful book and show off the cover to all my friends. <3

  6. I’m glad you have such wonderful things to say about A Thousand Pieces of You! I tried to start it this weekend but kind of failed, probably because I was on a bus with people who kept talking and I couldn’t concentrate. I’ll need to give it a try again when I’m in the mood for romance/multi-dimensional stuff. :P

    • Fair enough! I have to admit, I think this book may require a certain mood. I was especially emotional while reading this, which I think really affected my reading experience. And yes! You probably will need to be in that mood, otherwise every fibre of your being will work against you (or at least, that’s how it is for me)!

  7. I was so fascinated by the differences in the alternate universes. I totally would love to see what my alternate universes would entail. I wasn’t actually a fan of the romance in this because it was too quick and there were consent issues I was uncomfortable with, but I’m glad you liked this book. It’s otherwise a beautiful book. :)

    • Hi there Cee!
      I would too! Though I think I like my life as it is now – flaws and all. I feel like seeing a universe different to mine would really overwhelm me. XD

      Hmmm you raise a really interesting point. Are you referring specifically to the Russian universe?

  8. I would have to agree with all the people on Twitter, YOUR GRAPHIC IS PRACTICALLY A REPLICA OF THE BOOK! So so awesome, CW! :D

    So glad you love this book! Hands down, this is another one great review of yours, girl! I’m thinking of reading this bc the synopsis is a little similar to A Wrinkle in Time (time travel-themed, sci-fi by Madeleine L’Engle). I totally get you about liking books with flaws, good-stuff-compensates-for -the-bad kind of thing. And yes, it’s absolutely ok to love it! After all, no book is ever a hundred percent perfect. :D

    • Haha, thanks for understanding me Trisha! If we chose to not like a book for its flaws, I think it’d really curtail our reading hobby!

      Aw, thank you!! Let me know when you read it? It’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster though (if you read the comments, Cee wrote a really interesting and valid point about consent – I’d love to hear what you think when you read it!

  9. I’m so glad you appreciated this book for what it was cw! I thought the way it approached alternate dimensions and everything was done perfectly. I loved the questions that it raised and how it felt that the possibilities were endless. Lovely review Cw!

  10. I have not read this book, sadly. I really, really want to, because of the cover, and I love the whole subject of parallel universes. Hopefully, I can pick this up for myself and enjoy it too!

  11. […] A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray – This book had everything – dimensional travel, adventure, romance, fate, war, transcendence – as well as a protagonist who was close to her family and loved them immensely. In fact, her whole journey is spurred by the love she has for her family (and partly because of revenge as well…), and shows that some of the people that we love are constants in our life, no matter the dimension. (Goodreads, my review) […]

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