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 Name: A Thousand Pieces of You
Book Series: Firebird #1
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Harper Teen
Thank you Brett for recommending me A Thousand Pieces of You!