Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

I will openly admit that the number one reason I was so interested in this book is because of how gorgeous the cover is. Is that not one of the most photogenic books you've ever seen? Its seriously working it.

The cover was not the only reason I was eager to read it, though. As soon as I read the synopsis I knew I needed this book.

A Thousand Pieces of You follows the young Marguerite Caine as she attempts to avenge her father's murder. This is not your typical revenge story, however. Marguerite's parents are brilliant physicists, you see, and they invented the Firebird, a revolutionary technology that can transport its wearer into alternate dimensions. The primary suspect, one of her parents' graduate assistants, Paul, disappeared into another dimension, and now Marguerite is going after him.

Of course things are never quite so simple, and soon Marguerite discovers her father's murder is a part something much darker and more complex than she had ever imagined.

I really enjoyed this book. Yes I found some aspects of it rather predictable, but there were also parts that went quite differently than what I had been expecting. The romance in particular took a turn that I wasn't expecting and I loved it; I love when things are made realistically complicated. Some YA fiction has a tendency to cling to the "insta-romance" trope and I hate it. Hate it with the burning passion of all the fire in Mordor. (Do I have enough geeky readers to make Lord of the Rings references yet? We shall see.) The point is this book complicates the relationship development in a really cool and interesting way and I really appreciated that.

I also think it did a lot of really cool things. Not only does the book introduce this cool new technology, but it grappled with the ethics surrounding its use. When you jump dimensions using the Firebird your body doesn't go with you; your consciousness jumps into that world's version of you. I found it really interesting that the book plays with the grey areas here. Its you, but its also not you. Where are the lines of what you should and should not do while occupying another body, even if that body does belong to an alternate version of yourself?

The alternate universes were all pretty interesting too. I think the author did a great job creating a variety of alternate versions of our world and of the characters as well. I loved getting to see how all the characters knew- or in some cases didn't know- each other in the alternate worlds. The portion of the novel spent in czarist Russia was definitely my favorite.

All in all I found this to be a really good read and one that I would most definitely recommend. I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series!

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