Sunday, November 29, 2015

Book Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Genre: Young Adult - Science Fiction - Romance

Summary: 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.

Review: I'm torn between liking and loving this book, but for good measure, it's getting a 4/5 on Goodreads.

Margueritte is the daughter of brilliant inventors who have invented a way to jump between parallel universes, along with their lab assistants, Theo and Paul. But as soon as they make their big breakthrough, their one perfect Firebird disappears, along with Paul, and Margueritte's father drives off a bridge in a rigged car accident. Headstrong and heartbroken, Margueritte and Theo chase after Paul in search for answers in a multi-dimensional sci-fi romance.

Well, that's what it is, a sci-fi AND a romance. It's almost like there are two books co-existing in one. At first, the romance seemed to heavy. 17-year-old Margueritte lives in a house with grad students Paul and Theo and just can't choose *eyeroll* between her two hot housemates. Both have fairly interesting personalities for romantic lead men, but it's Margueritte who falls flat romance-wise. She jumps between being a confident and unique girl (see sci-fi plot) and wetting her loins every time a boy appears. 

The love triangle, needless to say, is quite boring. But the real love triangle arises within the sci-fi story line.

The way that Firebird works is that only consciousness is transferred between dimensions. In every world, slightly different events have taken place, which result in slightly different versions of every human being. By jumping between the dimensions, Margueritte, Paul, and Theo are actually hijacking other versions of themselves and temporarily living in their lives.

One of the dimensions, and the one that got the most time and attention, was a version of Russia. It is here that Margueritte finds the most character growth, including coming to terms with who she is as an artist (in the primary world, she does portraits, but in her dimension jumping there's this cool aspect of growth where she finds what is consistent in her different kinds of works) and learning what really makes Paul himself across dimensions. Without going into spoilers, this story line follows a romance both in terms of the Russian-world versions and the real Margueritte. THIS plot, not the whole Theo sidestory, was the really interesting romance to me.

The sci-fi, granted, is some pretty thinly veiled science, and a lot of details get swept under the rug to keep the plot going. But aside from some faults like oddly placed hot-and-steamy sexy times and some obvious plot twists, there is a great concept to this book and a lot of twists I totally wasn't expecting.

The beginning is hard to get through, but if you give it a chance, I promise you won't be sorry!


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