Written by: Claudia Gray
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
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.”
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.
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. :)