Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... A Thousand Pieces of You

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Just Finished Reading ... A Thousand Pieces of You

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1)
by Claudia Gray
Published on November 4, 2014
by Harper Teen

Source: ARC sent for review

Synopsis from 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.

My take: This was the first book I've read by YA author Claudia Gray, and I was impressed. A Thousand Pieces of You is sci-fi romantic suspense -- a parallel universe book with a mind-bending concept that was still easy to grasp, an appealing heroine, and a fantastic travelogue. I didn't completely connect with the romance -- and not for the reasons that I see some readers are citing -- but overall I enjoyed this story.

Marguerite is the daughter of two brilliant physicists who have invented the Firebird, a device that allows a user to move between parallel universes. After her father's murder, Marguerite uses the Firebird to pursue the man she holds responsible for her father's death, a journey that will take her across continents, into the past, and into the arms of a man she may not be able to trust? (Does that sound like a movie voiceover, or what?)

I liked Marguerite a lot. She was a great blend of smart and vulnerable. The travelogue aspect -- both in terms of geographical travel and time travel -- of this book was a lot of fun. Marguerite first ends up in modern day London. Then, in the longest section of the book, she ends up in an alt-history Tsarist Russia. This part of the book was great and had a fantastic Dr. Zhivago feel. Finally, we're in the South Pacific.

As I said earlier, the romance presented just a little bit of a sticking point for me. I've seen other readers say it feels like a triangle, but I don't completely agree. The problem I had -- and I'll be general to avoid spoilers -- is that the main love interest had slightly different personalities in each universe, making it hard for me to get a handle on who he was. I mean, imagine falling in love with one version of a person, then discovering he's a totally different person in a new universe. This problem was mostly resolved by the end of the book, but that was a little too late to make me to jump aboard the ship that the book seemed to be promoting.  I felt that another recent YA book, Trial by Fire, did a better job of handling the whole multiple universe/romance issue and using the multiverse as a romantic complication without making me feel like the love interest had multiple personality disorder.

That aside, I did enjoy A Thousand Pieces of You. I found it easy to read and thought it had a lot of nice plot twists. I will definitely check out the next installment!

30 comments:

  1. I have heard mixed reviews of this one, mostly that two of my reference bloggers and friends had quite different opinions on it...
    Interesting take on the romance... glad to hear that the love triangle wasn't too bothersome!

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    1. I didn't really see it as a triangle. Two guys were interested in her, but she only seemed interested on one. To me, that's not a problem :) I hate the triangles where the girl (or guy) in the middle goes back and forth....

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  2. I, for one, is interested to see how this romance was played out. It may have a love triangle feel to it, but it's almost impossible considering it's one person. I like how the parallel universe is done as well.

    Great review, Jen.

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    1. Well, it's even more complicated than that. There ARE two guys involved, each who start out seeming to have slightly different personalities between universes. The book explains why she is able to be pretty much the same person throughout.

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  3. Thanks for the review! I'll add it to my "to read" pile. And by pile I mean mountain. XD

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  4. Good to know! I got an ARC of this that I meant to get to before the release (whoops! Though I just got it a few weeks ago). I met Claudia at a YA signing event and she was so funny and clever when talking about her stories in the panel. I've been looking forward to reading her work.

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    1. I haven't read her Evernight series, but maybe I will try it!

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  5. This looks so good, but I've read such conflicting reviews. *Nods* I totally read that in that announcer guy voice. I hadn't heard the love interest's multiple personalities thing before. Yeah that would make it hard to get to know him. I'm mostly worried that the romantic aspect will overshadow the revenge. Who has time to fall in love when avenging your father? Maybe in the next book she'll find a nice universe that her father's alive but she died and live happily ever after. Probably not.

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    1. There was a lot going on. Perhaps since this seems to be a series, there was time to play things out a little more slowly in the romance department...

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  6. Marguerite sounds interesting. I like the blend of smart and vulnerable. I have this book coming up next, so I can't wait to read it.

    I am a little nervous about how much it might have going on, but I am happy you enjoyed it

    Great review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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  7. I can see your point of view with multiverse and love interests . I enjoyed this book along with trial by fire too. Totally reminded me of Sliders :)

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    1. The "love in the multiverse" thing can be confusing -- but in a good way :)

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  8. Thank you for the review. Definitely interested, looking forward to getting hands on it.

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  9. great review, i like the sound of the main protagonist and the worlds too! not sure i will like the romance.. something i've come to expect with YA books so it's fine by me.

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. Ha -- doing a discussion post on this for next week. I may be tweeting for your opinion!

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  10. I'm listening to this one right now! It seems like the hard core scifi lovers don't like it that much because it has too much romance. I'm not that far in but I don't think I would have a problem with that. I hope I like it too.
    and I still need to listen to Trial by Fire.

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    1. I can't speak to the science because ... *head explodes*
      I think it is hard in a book like this to make the science believable to those who really get it but still understandable to those of us who aren't PhDs in physics!

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  11. I guess it's not a love triangle but a love infinity since every version of the love interest is a little different? Hahaha it kind of sounds like fun and I'd like to see if I'll feel the same way. Thanks for the review Jen!

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    1. Yes, exactly. It was like a "love crowd" to me at that took some getting used to!

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  12. I saw it like a love-multiverse-triangle, and I hated it. Mostly because I didn't like how Marguerite handle it. I mean, for me, it was like she was possessing the other Marguerite’s body and she stole her decisions. That was my main problem. I loved everything else.

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    1. In Russia I agree that it did feel that way. And that was the part of the book where the romance was supposed to blossom. It may be that for some of us, multiverse and romance don't quite go together!!

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  13. Hm, I don't know why but I didn't think that the romantic lead would have a different personality in each realm, that DOES make sense though.

    Thanks for your thoughts Jen, I can't wait to get my hands on this!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

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  14. I heard that this book is very good. Makes me want to read it right away.

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  15. I rarely like parallel universe books - especially if a romance is involved but I've been a little more open about things lately and might give it a go. This sounds better than most.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  16. "Imagine falling in love with one version of a person, then discovering he's a totally different person in a new universe." That's... kind of weird. I think I would be conflicted about the romance then as well. I am liking the sound of the heroine though, and I do like books that you can easily get into. That cover is so pretty!

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  17. I'm going to read this one for sure....eventually. *covets the cover* I did love Trial by Fire with the alternate universes and everything...but, weird romances?! I can see how that would be a problem. Like with the not really knowing who the guy is if he keeps changing. I read a book with a girl with super-bad-memory-loss like ALL THE TIME and it was hard, because if she couldn't connect to anyone because she forgot them all so much, how could I like them?! >.>
    But I do adore this gorgeous cover and I want to try it!!

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  18. I felt very similar to you on this one. I will be reading the next in the series for sure.

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