YA Book Reviews

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

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First of all, this cover is GORGEOUS. Definitely what drew me into this book in the first place.

What I liked: The plot itself is very compelling. At first I was apprehensive of being thrown into the story after the murder had already taken place, but I ended up enjoying taking the dimension-hopping craziness, hit-the-ground-running style of storytelling. The idea of jumping into a version of yourself that is not you in each new universe was utterly compelling and original. There are so many issues that come up: first of all, what kind of person is this other you? What is this other dimension like, and how do you move in it without looking suspicious? How do you find an assassin amongst an entirely unfamiliar population, especially when you don’t know where he landed or how long he has been in that body? The way time and space is explored is incredible, mind-blowing stuff. Obviously the science isn’t totally sound, and the rules of physics are bent a bit to make the plot work out, but it’s a sci-fi trip I’ve been missing in my teen fiction for a while.

What I didn’t like: Ack, the accursed love triangle! Theo is so unlikable solely because of this love triangle nonsense. Even the thing with Paul is a little bit of nonsense, although I have to admit I did enjoy the convoluted mess that came out of falling in love with someone in one dimension, but not the person they are in your dimension. The mixed bag comes back with how much I loved the story moving to Romanov Russia, and the consequences that can come with getting stuck in a different dimension when the Firebird doesn’t work, but there was unfortunately very little world-building that went on with this location as well as the other cities they went to. There is so much to explore, but almost no exploring was done. I get that they are trying to look for a killer, although this issue lingers even after solving that mystery. I’m hoping to see an improvement in this field in the next 2 books in the series. Right now all my concerns are easily fixable, though if not dealt with, it could ruin the series for me in a heartbeat.

Overall: Adored the concept, but not as moved by the execution. A phrase I’m seeing in quite a number of reviews is that this book is “far from perfect,” and I can’t help agreeing with them. The fluffy and at times absolutely unnecessary YA trope buffering takes away from the fascinating storyline, but if you don’t mind sitting through that, then I think you’ll be golden. It’s fun, it’s fresh, and I found it highly enjoyable from start to finish.

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

  1. True, true, the cover is gorgeous, and “Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black” is an unbelievably intriguing premise. Despite the fluffiness and dreaded love triangle, I’m thinking I might still give this one a try.

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  2. Omg I’m like so exciiiited to read this book! But a love triangle not well done.. is like a turn off to me huh T_T Hopefully that wont ruin the story! 😀 Great review!! – Trang

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    1. Thank you so much! While the love triangle itself was a bit sketchy, I honestly enjoyed the way the romance was executed, beyond the fact it stole the show for a good portion of the book. Definitely a fluffy thing to do, but sometimes that’s what makes it more fun to read. I hope you like it!

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