Friday, February 6, 2015

Book Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1)
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: November 4th 2014
Length: 368 pages
Keywords: YA, thriller, sci-fi, romance, dimension travel
Source: Edelweiss

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

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.

Summary by Goodreads

The very best books are those that surprise you! A few years ago I read Claudia Gray's EVERNIGHT series and wasn't that impressed by her writing. Therefore my initial scepticism. But I decided to give A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU a chance. It sounded so good and in the end it was exactly up my alley. I am beyond thrilled that there will be two more books in the FIREBIRD series. Right now after the first book, I can honestly say that I can't get enough of Claudia Gray's new story universe.

The author sends her protagonist Marguerite after the killer of her father. For truth and revenge this girl is willing to risk everything. She even crosses dimensions to other parallel universes. The Firebird is a precious invention. It is the device that allows her to travel and the reason why her father was murdered in the first place. 
   With Marguerite crossing dimensions she has to be in strong shape, mentally and physically. She is constantly confronted with alternate lives that could have confusing effects on her emotions.  

Marguerite's family and the relationships to her father, mother and sister make up a very big part of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU. The reason she is doing all this dimension hopping is because she lost her father and has a big hole in her chest. Going to another dimension could mean her father would still be alive there, or an entirely different person. Meeting a version of her father that was still alive could be devastating for her. 
   The different constellations and how they change and fit back together in every dimension really fascinated me. Claudia Gray did a fabulous job letting us be part of Marguerite's emotional world.

Marguerite, Theo, Paul. They are friends. Or at least they had been, until Paul supposedly murdered Marguerite's father. Now Theo helps her go after Paul.
   Their relationships are all connected by the fact that Paul and Theo are students of Marguerite's father and she has deeper feelings for the two men, too. Marguerite's feelings don't just show up out of nowhere. The three of them have history together and she has liked the boys for quite some time now. Both for different reasons. 
   Bonus, the fact that they were already attending college and them being so smart, gifted and on such a high level of intelligence, gave the story a more grown-up feel.

Pretty interesting is the dichotomy between physics and arts displayed in A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU. Physics, engineering and rational thinking have an enormous influence on Marguerite's family. Both her parents are professors. 
   But Marguerite's interest lies in painting. She is an artist, an aesthete. And in every dimension she is going to, art has an impact on her life. It's her creative and versatile way to look at things the way they are and the way they could be, that defines her. I loved that side of hers!

Marguerite travelling to other dimensions should not be confused with her travelling through time. Meaning that she isn't able to influence her past. In other dimensions her life, her family, the world itself could be quite different from Marguerite's own dimension. Things being different in another dimension would depend on how advanced the other dimension is or how life-changing decisions vary from the version Marguerite is living now. 
   Claudia Gray created a very complex web of plot events and possibilities here. I just love the intricacy she put behind her story. Everything in A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU appeared profoundly and extensively researched and well thought-out.

So Marguerite's journey takes us to California, London, Russia, even to an oceanographic station.  
   Her adventure in Russia was gorgeous! It was by far my favourite part of the story and I was mesmerized by how it influenced Marguerite's story as a whole, but could also create its own story in the story. I wish we could get an entire book with that magical and sophisticated Russian winter wonderland the author fabricated. 
   Claudia Gray's writing in A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU has a great imaginary and visionary power in itself. I never wanted the story to end!

5/5 ***** A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU - My favourite read of 2014! I loved every minute of this book!

With her new book, A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, Claudia Gray outdid herself. Marguerite's story is filled with dimensional travel extravaganza, tech concern conspiracies on a very big scale and one of the most emotional family stories YA had to offer for me in 2014. A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU has a stunning cover. It is artsy. It is dashing. And it is complex. Just how I love my books! 

"Fingers trembling, I unscrew it and scrawl on a tattered poster on the wall of the alley. This is the message I must pass on, the one goal I have to remember after everything else I am is gone.
Then I can only wait to die."  ― p.1-2

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU you might enjoy ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill, PIVOT POINT by Kasie West or UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris. ALL OUR YESTERDAYS and UNRAVELING are just as fast-paced as Claudia Gray's A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU. PIVOT POINT explores the concept of two alternate futures.

* Have a look at the gorgeous cover for the second FIREBIRD book!

* Read an excerpt of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU.

* Click here for a Q&A with Claudia Gray on the cover of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU.

* For more information about Claudia and her books visit

* Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me with a review copy via Edelweiss.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! This was my favorite cover of the year, and I love the cover for the new one too. Wish I could get my hands on it, because I loved the STORY too!