ARC Review: A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray

I received this book for free from HarperTeen. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray
A Thousand Pieces of You
Firebird #1

Written by: Claudia Gray
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

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.


This is a book that has made it abundantly clear to me that, if I’m in the mood for something, and a book gives me that something, then I will forgive quite a few issues while I’m reading. I wanted a book dealing with awesome parallel universes, a ship I could sail (you know what I mean), and a plot that kept me engaged. I got all of those things from A Thousand Pieces of You — plus characters who were interesting, well-realized, and (though some of their decisions were a bit questionable) ones I found myself rooting for.

However, now that I’ve come down off of that “ooooh this book is so shiny” high, I find myself thinking back on many aspects that weren’t so great. Overall, I’m still left feeling pretty positive about it, but where my original, “I-just-finished-this-book” rating was 4 stars, I think maybe my final feelings are more around 3.5.

But there was definitely a lot of good stuff in this book. It starts off with a bang: Marguerite’s father has been murdered by one of his assistants (Paul), and she teams up with Theo (another assistant), who helps her use the Firebird (universe-hopping technology) to track down Paul and get revenge for her father’s death. But while that’s where we jump into the story, the book itself is mostly told in a series of back-and-forth’s between present-day scenes, and pre-murder flashbacks. I found this method of storytelling it to be totally engaging — it kept things moving and kept me glued to every part of the story — the flashbacks and the current events.

Another awesome thing was the whole system of parallel universes. I feel like parallel universe stuff is usually done by having the parallel universes just be slightly different than the main universe. Well, that’s not the case in this book. We get to see a super awesome futuristic London; a world where technology hasn’t advanced past train travel and Russia is a major power (hello upside-down city on the cover!!); a world where the oceans have risen and much of the population lives in ocean bases… it was just super cool to see all these worlds that were so different from ours. Because really, if there were infinite parallel universes, isn’t it pretty likely that you’d run into some pretty crazy stuff when bouncing between them? I loved that.

Also with parallel-universe stories, you usually have to deal with running into your double, or people who’d know your double, etc… But when you travel to parallel universes in A Thousand Pieces of You, you actually jump from your body into the “you” in that other universe, and basically have to cope with living their life for a while. Which I thought was yet another really unique way of doing things.

However, jumping into the “you” in other universes does cause some problems with, say, important decisions that you end up making on behalf of your other self, without your other self having any say in the matter… >_< I can’t say much more than that without spoiling things, but yeah. While I was reading, I didn’t really latch onto this idea, but there’s some potentially questionable decisions that Marguerite makes on behalf of her “other selves”,  which sort of upset me now, looking back.

Something else that I enjoyed while I was reading, though, was the romance. While I was reading, I totally shipped it. I mean, I still do. This romance is definitely full of feels (I may have shed a tear at one point…).

“I would love you in any shape, in any world, with any past. Never doubt that.”

eARC, 57%

But it’s also sort of weird, because of the whole “multiple versions of the same person” thing. There’s a lot of talk about the soul of the person being the same in every universe, so like, this couple should be in love across the universes — which, hello potentially epic love story that I really wanted to love. But idk. There’s just… problems… with how Marguerite thinks she’s falling for one guy, then insta-loves over one of his “doubles”, and then is totally torn about liking the original guy… And this doesn’t even bring the totally different guy into the equation. It was the weirdest love-square/triangle-thing ever.


In conclusion…

I’m glad I still remember how I was glued to this book as I was reading, because those positive feelings are what will probably encourage me to read the sequel when it comes out. Yeah, it has its issues, but if you’re willing to sort of gloss over those, I think A Thousand Pieces of You is definitely a solid addition to the “parallel universe” category, and fans of multiverse stories should definitely check it out. :)

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10 thoughts on “ARC Review: A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray

  1. Considering how much I love parallel worlds AND how utterly original you found each variation of them to be in this one, I feel like I’ll enjoy myself just as much as you did here^^ even if it does fade after finishing reading! Sometimes it’s easier to set small issues aside though so we’ll see how it goes hehe. I feel like the system of parallel universes is the high point though here – the romance might trip me up a bit and the characters too considering their situation with being ‘themselves’ in parallel worlds and how their decisions come into play. BUT. Since I was mainly into this one FOR the parallel universes, I’m hoping it’ll all work out :D As always, I loved reading your thoughts on this one! x

    • The book was VERY enjoyable, and yes, the world(s)building was definitely the high point. Which is weird for me, being a character-oriented reader, but the worlds were just SO COOL, and the whole “forced to live The Other You’s life” thing was really interesting and brought a lot of intriguing issues into play – not all of which were handled well, but still. If you’re into it FOR the multiverse, then I’d say 100% you’ll at least enjoy it. You might not LOVE it for the same reasons I didn’t love it, but that’s ok. ;)

  2. I gave this one 3 stars & had a lot of the same thoughts you did. I LOVED the way the parallel universes worked & they were so interesting! I could have read more & more of those. The “questionable decisions” you mentioned in your review. . . pretty sure I knew exactly what you’re talking about and I found that really skeevy, which is part of the reason I ended up giving this one 3 stars instead of 4. Sigh. It was such a good book up to that point!

    • Yeah, that’s exactly what I was talking about. That whole situation with him and Marguerite could’ve been handled a lot better… PLUS her insta-love for Other Him, and then her weirdness about liking Original Him, just… I can’t reconcile that in my head, either. I feel like it’s unnecessary drama, and conflicts with the point the book was trying to make about all the versions being essentially the same soul, or whatever.

      But other than that, it was good! I feel like Gray tried a lot of really unique and interesting things with the world(s)-building (lol), and that was enjoyable. So I’m still pretty excited for the sequel.

  3. I love parallel universe stories! They can be so interesting to read about. Thanks for the review! I’m definitely looking forward to picking this book up and to see the love square/triangle thing. I wonder how that works lol.

  4. I’m still planning on reading this book…eventually. But I’m not sure how I feel about this love triangleness. It sounds like it can get pretty complicated, really fast.

  5. I think I need to read those two recommendations and hope I like them a lot more than this one! :D

    This whole jumping into your other’s body thing and how she behaved while being there made me SO ANGRY, I just couldn’t get over that so that I didn’t even finish the book.

    BTW: If you love parallel universes, read The Flight of the Silvers!!!!! Most awsome books about that topic ever!

  6. I’m going to be reading this soon, and I hope I enjoy it too. I do know that feeling about changing how you feel about a book after reading it. Sometimes I change my mind while I’m writing my review, I guess writing my feelings down sort of solidifies them. In any case, I’m glad I caught your review!

  7. Pingback: Book Review: A Thousand Pieces of You | Tales of the Marvelous

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