Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Series: Firebird #1
Genres: YA | Sci-fi | Fantasy
Published: November 4th 2014
Publisher:  Harper Teen
My rating: 
Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

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 think the synopsis is a teensy bit misleading. This is not a sci-fi book that explores different dimensions and takes you on a scientific adventure. This is not a book that has romance brewing in the background.

What this is, is a romance novel focused on a character who falls in love, which also happens to have sci-fi as part of the backdrop.

Did I also mention the unnecessary love triangle? Because, of course, it just wouldn't be complete without two guys.

By the time I made it past a hundred pages, I was ready to murder Marguerite and her two sidekicks.

As for the writing, there were some quotable parts and some horrible parts, but overall, it wasn't that remarkable.

It's very sad this book had to end up on the heap of books with wasted potential. I'm usually dubious of sci-fi novels that involve multiverses because even one single scientific error could mess everything up and there are simply so many things that could go wrong. 

It turns out I shouldn't have worried about any of that since this book was basically composed of romance. That aside, I did like whatever sci-fi bits the story had to offer. The world-building and the time travelling facet was fantastic. It's the execution that's at fault.

The first half of the book was tolerable, be it marginally. But when 18th Century Russia happened, it was like the romance exploded right in my face.  None of it was particularly pleasant, mind you.

"I fell in love with one Paul. I fell in love with his unchanging soul. Does that mean I fell in love with every Paul, everywhere?"
Now, imagine something similar occupying 80% of a book.

One word to describe Marguerite would be whiny. Whining about the boys, and her life. As opposed to the girl who does things, she's the supposedly tough, badass heroine who doesn't really do much to deserve the title of a heroine. She was also extremely naive in the way she trusted Paul so easily all because she looked into his hurt eyes and simply new.

The romance was everywhere, like I've already mentioned. It's not like I'm an anti-romance reader. I like that stuff, but when the main plot was to be something else and it feels like the romance is stopping the flow of the plot? That's my cue to start complaining.

I didn't read this book to hear about two characters making love by the fireplace. I wanted the plot to progress. I wanted the science, action AND the additional romance. Isn't that what the synopsis suggests?

A Thousand Pieces of You had so much potential, it's actually a little sad.

So, have you read this book? What do you feel about it?
If you haven't read it, will you be giving it a go?
Do share.

Ugh, this reading slump was definitely not what I wanted with the new year.