Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: Science fiction, young adult
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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.
I'll be honest, the only reason I picked this book up was because the cover was gorgeous. Oh, and that little thing in the blurb that mentioned PARALLEL UNIVERSES.
I get very excited about the multiverse. Maybe it's all the Doctor Who binge-watching, but it's so exciting to think about all of the "what ifs" and the "could have beens". The entire universe almost fell apart because Donna Noble decided to turn right instead of left at a traffic light one day (talk about the butterfly effect...), so imagine the little ripples each of us makes and how different the world could be if we all made just one different decision.
The coolest part about this book is that not every parallel universe is drastically different. Just from sheer probability, the chances of me choosing to put on green socks instead of blacks ones isn't going to change the world too much; that's reflected in this book's multiverse where some worlds are very similar to our own. Yet, we also have other worlds that resemble 20th century Russia and other worlds that have technology that far eclipses our own.
I really enjoyed the world-building of this novel, but I didn't care about many of the characters. Yes, it was great that Marguerite was a headstrong and sassy young woman who wouldn't let anyone stand in the way of avenging her parents. I just didn't think her relationship with Paul, Theo, and their multiverse counterparts was very compelling. Marguerite gets really confused about what feelings are hers and what feelings are her alternate universe counterparts, which is understandable, but some of the decisions she made were very invasive and she really didn't respect the lives of the alternate counterparts. Honestly I didn't find either/any love interest particularly compelling, especially given all the different versions of each Marguerite encounters.
One of the relationships I did find compelling was that of Marguerite and her parents. She feels but intense sadness and happiness when she sees alternate universe versions of her murdered parents, which was very believable. No matter what came her way, Marguerite never lost focus of her fierce love and loyalty to her family, which I loved.
This is a very well-thought out take on the multiverse, and definitely is entertaining. I didn't connect with the characters as much as I'd have liked, but I definitely haven't written off this series!