Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (5/5)

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1)
Author:  Claudia Gray
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Time Travel, Romance, Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Blurb:

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’m taking the risk of sounding like a ditzy fangirl when I say this, but this book is FANTASTIC. Easily one of the best books of 2014. It had everything: the adventure, the suspense, the romance. And the fact that it has the whole dimension traveling aspect definitely makes it seem better in my eyes.

To begin with, let me first describe the protagonist, Marguerite Caine. She’s one of the most strong-willed, obstinate, talented protagonists I’ve read about. Being born in a family of science geniuses left Marguerite the odd one out when she wanted to pursue arts. She was the only person in this book who had a regular person’s point of view. This was exceedingly helpful in describing the book, as I’ll describe later. Another thing I liked about Marguerite is her character. She’s a kind, nice girl who’s a touch shy. Sure, she sounds like someone who will stand back meekly, but read the book and you’ll figure out how passionate she can get over what she feels strongly about.

Now onto the adventure part of the book. As stated in the Goodreads Blurb, Marguerite has gone back in time to avenge her father. She, along with her friend, Theo, journey back hoping to kill Paul. The best thing I liked about the adventures was that the action was nonstop. The adventures that Marguerite, Theo and Paul go on are back to back to back. There wasn’t an overly large pause where I was bored and had to flip the pages to remain engaged in the book. No, everything was smooth and seamless.

Another thing I really liked about this book was the world building. And I know. It comes to my attention that for a time-travel (or in this case dimension-travel) book to be good the author has to be exemplary at world building. But I still can’t stress enough how phenomenal the world building in this book was. The main reason I liked the multiple dimensions, which was described through the creative words used to describe the world, was because of the details provided: Marguerite is as much of an outsider to these strange new dimensions as we, the readers, are. Because of this (as well as Marguerite’s artistic eye) not a single detail flies by unnoticed and readers will be able to truly appreciate it.

I also liked the suspense in this book. In the beginning of the book, the reader (as well as Marguerite) is lead to believe that Paul is the murderer. But as the book progresses, both parties realize that Paul is not the murderer. Indeed, something much more horrible and atrocious is afoot. And this is where the suspense comes in. Ms. Gray is able to skilfully weave a tale where the reader is left guessing to the very end. No one is sure who’s killed the father, but as the book continues there are quite a few moments when it feels like the mystery is about to end. These delicate moments of intrigue just made the book so much better. These were the pages that I paid the most attention to, the pages that were the most crucial.

And then there was the romance plot. If you’ve been reading lately, you most probably have noticed that love triangles are EVERYWHERE. At first, I didn’t have a problem with it. But as more and more love triangles started to pop up in books read, I got quite fed up. When I figured out that this book had a love triangle, I actually debated whether or not to read. I’m really glad, though, that I didn’t let the love triangle bit stop me, because this love triangle is one of the best I’ve ever read about. It is truly brilliant.

Now, the thing in this book that I loved the most in the book would be the Firebird. When I say Firebird, I mean the actual value of the Firebird, as in, how important it is in the book and how deeply complex it is. First of all, Ms. Gray does a great job describing the Firebird. She truly makes it sound like a piece of technology that is evolved and is immensely important to the future of the human race. But beyond that, I just liked reading about the Firebird. All those tiny, seemingly unimportant things the Firebird could do were fascinating. All the parts of the book that seemed slightly geeky with all the technology and physics – those were some of the moments that caught my attention – the moments of the book that were quite intriguing.

I have no complaints with this book. None. Not one. Great adventure, suspense, and romance. I definitely recommend this to anybody who likes young adult, romance, time travel, science fiction, or suspenseful books. Keep an eye out for the next book in this series which is to release sometime towards the end of the year (late 2015).

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