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Firebird #1

A Thousand Pieces of You

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Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.

368 pages, Hardcover

First published November 4, 2014

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About the author

Claudia Gray

74 books13.2k followers
Claudia Gray is not my real name. I didn't choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn't), because I'd always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven't) or even because I'm hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.

I live in New Orleans. So far, in life, I've been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,992 reviews
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
614 reviews87.8k followers
August 5, 2017

This is an interesting one to review. This is a case of this book just not being for me. It's very classic Twilight era style YA, featuring a love triangle and basically every other YA trope you can think of, including the male characters protecting the female character always *major eye roll*. That's the kind of stuff that I'm just no into anymore. Younger me would have swooned over this story, but now that I'm more of a mature reader, it doesn't appeal to me. It was too predictable, insta-lovey, and just overall too haven't I read this story before?

However, speaking entirely objectively, if you are into the classic style YA, which there is absolutely nothing wrong if you are you read whatever makes you happy, I think you'd really enjoy this. The whole inter dimensional time travel scifi thing was well done, and it added a cool element to the story. The love triangle wasn't the worst I've read, and the writing was solid, cliches set aside. So if you're into that, this would be a great book for you!

I absolutely adore the covers to this trilogy, but unfortunately I just didn't enjoy it enough to want to continue. Oh well, to each their own.

P.S. I listened to the audiobook and that made my reading experience much more enjoyable, or else this likely would have been 2/5 stars.
Profile Image for Jess.
470 reviews598 followers
October 30, 2014
Technically I was the fool in this case. Here’s a tip for all you out there: read the blurb in depth because your cause of complaint may actually have no merit.

I happily allowed myself to be deceived. Do you or do you not see that brilliantly crafted cover. I’m going to go ahead and make a grand exclamation: that may just be the most beauteous cover of 2014. Watercolours, reflections and Russia (which I love, setting wise)—it’s everything Jess could ever ask for. And that blurb. We’re promised a chase through alternate universes. That’s it. I’m salivating. Hand’s up if you’ve got a soft spot for parallels because holy hell, I do. So it’s looking up. The thing is, by going into this thinking, “fabulous cover, the best premise in a long while and so far, great hype” (as I did) you fail to read one line. And that line is everything.

Marguerite is swept into an epic love affair that feels both dangerous and inevitable…

Sometimes I read things and they just don't register with me. If I'd read that line before hand—really thought about it—I would have known what I was getting into.

Because more than anything, A Thousand Pieces of You is a romance. We’re skipping dimensions, running across parallel universes to avenge her father’s death, sure, but that’s all minuscule compared to the bigger picture: love.

Let’s rehash, shall we? Marguerite, daughter to two brilliant scientific minds, must now utilise the prototypes of her parents' Firebird device on a speed chase across dimensions in order to chase down Paul Marakov. Paul was the shy assistant to her brilliant parents who was like an adopted family member. That is, until he betrays them all. Together with Theo—other half of the assistant duo who possesses a tad more charisma—Marguerite intends to chase Paul done and avenge her father’s death. She's adamant—concentrated—up until her adventure uncovers that the truth is just buried beneath lies. Or, let’s be real here, until she falls in love.

I find it so ironic that, when I read this, I’d been having a lot of conflicting thoughts about love triangles and transcendental love. Guess what? They get a special shoutout here because both these feature heavily in A Thousand Pieces of You. Let’s be honest here, two male characters were named. What else were we expecting? Of course there would be a love triangle. And it’s the type where we see Marguerite oscillating like a pendulum. Back and forth, I love you, oh but I love him more. Come to think of it, technically, it’s a love square but you’ll have to suffer through that one on your own. I did my share already.

Instant love, this isn’t, per se. All three characters grew up with one another so I suppose their relationship growth occurs naturally. But in its place we have transcendental love. Unaware of such a concept? Well then you are not missing out. The short definition is this: love where both characters feel blinded by their feelings, heightened by the moment and incidentally, reality is dulled and nothing else matters. When you think about chasing a “murderer” across dimensions on a clock, you’d think the situation was pertinent. The pace is pretty much stagnant in the first half; we don’t get anywhere. It takes a chunk of the beginning to establish the situation, location and past. And even then, “love” comes first. In fact, even as it picks up, love still transpires.

I was confused as to how Russia would fit into the situation. I love Russia—the atmosphere, the culture, the architecture. But honestly, world building in this case was a little underdone. I didn’t get the idea that we were in Russia. Sure, everyone had Russian names and Russian mannerisms but it might as well have been the kingdom of France. Their journey halts for three weeks in this Russian rest. Three weeks. What I don’t understand is why Marguerite wasn’t more of a proactive character. Despite the dire situation that they're caught in, she has no sense of immediacy. But she has time for love. Love, love, love.

Apart from that, the pace was quite fluid. It flowed well. The jump from one dimension to another was well explained. The experience is wondrously portrayed.

My hands shake as I brace myself against the brick wall.

Let's just all take a moment to appreciate that alluring first sentence.

There was however an overuse of parenthesis'. If you’ve read my other reviews, you’d know that I’m impartial to a good parenthesis. Oh heck, you might even say that I have quite the love affair with those brackets. But even I must say that the parenthesis was used way beyond its need. The good old bracket is used primarily for flashbacks and info dumping. With a sci-fi, the hardest bit to integrate is the science. Now, I’m no expert on science and I never, ever will intend to be so I can’t say to much about that. Sure, it was all very interesting but it could have been woven through in a smother manner. But I won't deny it—the scientific explanations were phenomenally researched. The flashbacks were also quite jarring, interrupting the fluidity of the tale; we could've used without the parenthesis'. I’ve read many a book where there was a need for asides, but never have they been put in a parenthesis before (or at least not in great chunks. Hey, the irony of the bracket is before me.) It was an odd element and could make or break it for many.

While the world building was fantastic, I felt a complete disconnection to the characters. What made them different from everyone else? There weren't any unique characteristics and I just couldn't find Marguerite’s distinctive voice. The love triangle is also composed up of two generic love interests. It's been done before. Granted, it is a foolproof method, but that's just it; it's conventional and if you're seeking something more profound then perhaps this isn't for you.

There’s also an abundance of pop culture references. For those who yearn a lifeline to reality then this is for you—we’ve got Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston, Siri herself, Dicaprio gets a shoutout. However, I can also see this aspect being a cause of confusion for many. Pop culture is a hard element to judge. There will always be those who love it and those who detest it. Personally, it didn’t bother me. In fact, I love a good pop culture reference, but only when done satirically. In this case, pop culture is utilised in order to establish a link with the reader's present; to forge a connection between the audience and the book. We even got a Beyonce reference. Marguerite fancies herself to be quite the spirit animal of Queen B. And I’m not talking in terms of girl power (that would be admirable).

So I’m caught, you see. It was a solid start to the beginning of a new series. But if you want prose, that ease that often comes with relationship dynamics, and a handful of good metaphors then you will be sorely disappointed. A Thousand Pieces of You is a brilliant read for all those who love their sci-fi with a less sci and a little more fire. It’s a romance lover’s dream, this, and an interesting take on dimension travelling.

Ultimately I fell into the first category. While Marguerite’s overarching aim was justice for her father, often he got left behind in her journey to love. It’s a shame that I cared not for the romance. It was sweet but they were characters that we’ve seen time and time again; the brooding, shy and quiet boy versus the wild, loud and charismatic bad boy vying for one girl’s heart. The concept was brilliant and the setting was an interesting choice, so here’s to a series that will hopefully dial down on the proclamations of love and get into the nitty gritty. We’ve got great potential for a story concerning mixed morals and grey areas but unfortunately A Thousand Pieces of You just does not deliver.

Many thanks to publisher for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


Sometimes I think: Perhaps you're being too hard on these books. Why are you a picky reader? Maybe you should stop overthinking things?


Who do I kid? This had problems. And I shall pull it apart to show you. So you know the drill. Review to come.
Profile Image for Tess Burton.
Author 1 book92 followers
May 15, 2022
I’ve pulled up my ranty-pants, I’m fuelled by rage and coffee, let’s kick this review off with a summary of my reading experience, shall we?

To my great displeasure, reading this book was like chewing on a lump of black mould just to check it ain’t caviar.

It was not supposed to be like this. You don’t understand; I was excited. I’ve had my eye on this for months. This was supposed to be epic, I honestly had no doubts. With the premise being a daughter of two scientists chasing her father’s killer through alternate dimensions in order to exact her revenge, how can you fuck up?

There is nothing redeemable about this book. I could scrape the bottom of the barrel if I really tried, but what would be the point? I would be saying things like hey, spelling errors were not abundant in this novel, thumbs up! And anyway, I don’t want to deny myself the pleasure of rage-reviewing this hunk o’ crap into next Tuesday.

We begin with Marguerite, the daughter of two genius scientists who have invented the Firebird, a device that allows the user to jump into the body of their alternate self in an alternate universe. Marguerite wants to murder the man who killed her father and stole one of the Firebird prototypes to escape to another dimension, so she intends to follow him and totally kill him. Unfortunately, the girl is not exactly filled with blood-lust, so it’s pretty obvious from the start that she’s not going to kill him

Now, when dealing with sci-fi alternate reality whatsits and a plot that could potentially create some pretty intricate plot holes, it’s a good idea to properly explain how yo shit works. The best explanation in the book is literally where the author explains what an alternate dimension is.

“These dimensions aren’t off in faraway outer space. They’re literally all around us, even within us, but because they exist in another reality, we can’t perceive them.”

It’s a bad copy-paste from a child’s guide to quantum physics. We all know what an alternate universe is, boo. What we would like, Claudia Gray, is a decent explanation of how you’ve made dimension leaping possible, how it all works, what happens when you get there. But what do we get? A series of cop-outs.

“When people travel through dimensions.” he said, staring down at the prototypes, “they leave traces. Subatomic – okay, I’m gonna cut to the chase. The point is, I can go after Paul.”

“The devices have to be made out of specific materials that move much more easily than other forms of matter; they have to anchor the consciousness of the traveller, which is apparently very difficult; and about a million other technical considerations I’d have to get umpteen physics degrees to even understand. Long story short: the devices are really hard to make.”

“So does destiny create the math, or does math create our destiny?”“Insufficient data,” Paul said.

This screams laziness. It’s the type of world-building that I hate: this device does this because I say so, I need my plot to work so just go with it. HELL NO. How can I get into a story when you’re making it so difficult?!

I carried on reading. I hadn’t seen any dimension leaps yet, and I was sure they were going to be good. Remember Family Guy‘s dimension leaping episode? Remember Red Dwarf‘s? They were brilliant, and that’s what I thought A Thousand Pieces of You was going to be like. The creative possibilities are truly endless.

In total, Marguerite jumps to four different dimensions.

1. A world where she lives in London because her family all died. This London is exactly the same as our London, only we all have holographic smartphone wristwatches with tracking technology and you can electrify an attacker with a ring. That’s it.

2. A world where technology didn’t advance so quickly and her mother’s ancestors never immigrated from Russia so for some reason now she’s a Russian princess. That’s it.

3. A world where literally everything is the same but her dad is alive.

4. A world where the sea levels rose faster than our world so she lives underwater & her family are oceanologists and still alive.

There is literally nothing else. Where’s the imagination?! Where did the potential go?! These new worlds really just focused on how Marguerite’s life was different, and didn’t give a crap about the rest of the world. And that wouldn’t be so bad if they were remotely interesting. I’m reminded of the film Bedazzled, wherein Brendan Fraser continues to make deals with the devil to change his life, and he goes through some brilliant changes in identity that lead to hilarity as the devil keeps screwing him over.


The only new life which was even slightly interesting was when Marguerite ended up a Russian princess, which just felt unnecessary. It felt like the princess element was added for the romantic subplot involving a royal guard, who just so happens to be the alternate version of the guy who she believes killed her dad. Who she’s also in love with. Because why not add a forbidden love element to the already transcendental love element you’ve already got going on?

The story just felt to me like a dull romp through realities with an annoying teenager who ignored important clues for the chance to flirt with two men. The plot would have been fine (aside from the plothole-ish ending) if it wasn’t completely overshadowed with unfulfilled potential and an unnecessary obsession with the love story. It’s a miracle I didn’t mind the characters, otherwise you’d be in for another paragraph. They were developed enough for me not to have a problem with them, I’ll say that. Though Marguerite’s incessant pop culture references really grated my cheese.

“Conley gets this look on his face, like I’m so cute, like a GIF of baby puppies or something.”

This book failed on every level for me. It was a book I had such high hopes for and it laughed in the face of every last one, leaving me wishing I had been born in a dimension where it had never been written.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
September 11, 2018
me: i have sooo many series that i have started and really need to finish.
also me: i should start a new series.

i have had this book sitting on my bookshelf for ages now, so i suppose it was finally time to pick it up (sorry to the other series that need to be completed). and im so happy i did because i really enjoyed this!!

im pretty sure ive never read anything quite like this storyline before, so i was very eager to dive right into something so fresh and unique. and it really delivered. i thought the whole concept of multiple universes was effectively explained. it was introduced in a really easy way to where i didnt feel like i had to think through all the science, which i appreciated. and the world building in each of the different universes was also really well done. i honestly didnt like marguerite and the love triangle didnt really do anything for me, but i thought the plot was just so interesting that i had to keep reading. some parts were a bit predictable, but it didnt detract from my overall enjoyment of the story.

i also thought this book was paced really well and set up for the sequel quite nicely. everything was wrapped up, but still open-ended enough to make me want to pick up the second book. no cliffhanger in sight, thank goodness. so i would say this was a really strong start to what i hope will be an amazing series!

4.5 stars
November 3, 2015
Yo pensé que no iba a leer otro libro este año que me hiciera dudar tanto de ciertos personajes como lo hizo Red Queen de Victoria Aveyard, ¡pero así da gusto meterse en las historias! Eso de no saber en quién confiar y evaluar con cada página que pasas las lealtades de los personajes es tan agotador como increíble. Gracias, Claudia Gray, por hacer de mi cabeza un lío que tiene nombres propios.

Bien, pues Mil Lugares Donde Encontrarte nos presenta primero a una familia relativamente normal (?) en la que los padres son unos súper científicos/físicos que se han dedicado toda su vida a encontrar la manera de viajar entre dimensiones (que no en el tiempo)... ¡y lo han logrado! Estos dos físicos tienen dos hijas naturales: Josie y Marguerite, nuestra protagonista; y dos "hijos" que son Paul y Theo. Ellos dos son básicamente los pasantes jóvenes que aún están en la Universidad y que han ayudado a los padres de Marguerite con su investigación durante varios años. Lo interesante en el libro empieza cuando nos enteramos de que Paul ha traicionado a toda la familia, ha borrado todos los datos de la investigación de los Caine y ha huido con el único Pájaro de Fuego (el dispositivo que permite viajar entre dimensiones) justo después de, supuestamente, haber sido el culpable de la muerte de Henry. Toda la familia está en shock, pero Theo le dice a Marguerite que tiene dos prototipos del Pájaro de Fuego que tal vez funcionen y que podrían ir a perseguir a Paul entre dimensiones para vengar la muerte de su padre. Marguerite acepta y aquí es cuando empieza todo el viaje que seguimos en Mil Lugares Donde Encontrarte.

Estos saltos dimensionales van a llevar a Marguerite y a Theo a lugares tan extraños como una Londres futurista, una Rusia en la que los zares siguen reinando o dimensiones tan parecidas a su universo real que les costará distinguir lo que es real y lo que no. A mí estos viajes me FASCINARON porque, además de entender un poco cómo funciona cada universo, vemos cómo reaccionan Marguerite y Theo a diferentes circunstancias, al mismo tiempo que la narración nos va introduciendo un poco en cómo se conocieron Marguerite, Paul y Theo, cuáles han sido sus momentos más memorables y otro sinfín de cosas.

En este punto es cuando conocemos más a fondo a los personajes y nos damos cuenta de que Marguerite ama el arte y ve la verdad de las personas a través de él; entendemos que Theo es un chico con problemas y muy coqueto pero que siempre ha querido de forma especial a Marguerite; y conocemos a Paul como el chico introvertido, guapo, centrado en sus estudios y que también quiere a Merguerite, pero nunca se ha atrevido a decírselo. Si bien este planteamiento se podría confundir con un triángulo amoroso, no lo es. Se esboza levemente, pero NO LLEGA A SERLO, gracias a todos los dioses del Olimpo por eso.

Volviendo a lo que decía al principio de la confianza en los personajes, ya que saben un poco más de qué va la historia, puedo ser más concreta. Lo que pasa aquí es que a través de Marguerite vemos todo lo que pasa y por eso sentimos lo que ella siente: su dolor, su confusión, su impotencia y sus dudas. La manera en la que se desarrolla la historia nos da pistas para pensar que Paul es el culpable de todo, pero a la vez nos da pie a pensar que Theo es bastante sospechoso y que no deberíamos confiar en él. Al menos esa es la manera en la que yo lo percibía... y era un tira y afloja durante todo el libro que me estaba volviendo loca, hasta que al final sabemos qué pasa, pero no se los diré porque SPOILER, muajajaja.

Quizá mi parte favorita del libro fue la Rusia de los zares. Son capítulos que te llegan realmente al corazón, que tocan todos tus feels y que tienen escenas tan valiosas, frases tan increíbles y momentos tan únicos que es imposible que no se te queden grabados en la cabeza durante un buen tiempo. Todo es como una montaña rusa que va subiendo y bajando y que va haciendo con tu cabeza y emociones lo que se le da la gana.. ¡y eso me encanta de los libros! Que te hagan sentir, que te hagan contener el aliento, que te hagan hablarles a sus páginas, que saquen algo de ti... y definitivamente Mil Lugares Donde Encontrarte lo logra.

Si bien hay personas que tal vez se acercan a este libro pensando que va a predominar la parte de ciencia ficción sobre la parte de romance e historia juvenil, están equivocados. Sí que hay elementos muy fuertes de ciencia ficción: hay viajes interdimensionales, explicaciones científicas, complots entre empresas y demás, pero predomina la trama juvenil y de misterio que envuelve la supuesta traición de Paul, la tensión y los sentimientos entre Theo, Paul y Marguerite y los lazos que los protagonistas van creando en los diferentes universos.

¡Y HABLANDO DE LAZOS! Es increíble cómo Claudia Gray maneja el lazo que se crea entre la Marguerite real y los personajes que conoce en los diferentes universos. El cuidado con el que escribe sobre las relaciones que entablan y las consecuencias que estas tienen sobre su vida real tienen todo el sentido del mundo. Lo diría más concretamente, pero caería en un spoiler... Sin embargo, les basta saber que todo lo que sucede en Mil Lugares Donde Encontrarte tiene una explicación: lo bueno, lo malo, lo increíble, lo extraño... TODO. Nada es gratuito.

Y nada, de verdad me queda por decir que necesito leer el segundo libro YA porque este es un muy buen inicio de serie :)
Profile Image for Alyssa.
233 reviews123 followers
March 19, 2017
Buddy read with the lovely May!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars
Lead Male Character: ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars (Theo) ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars (Paul)
Lead Female Character: ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars
Plotline: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars
Genre: Dystopian, futuristic, action, adventure, and romance
Will I recommend this book to others?: YES!
Will I reread this book?: YES!
Overall story summed up in one word: Perfection!

This book was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Honestly, there are no words for how beautiful and perfect this book is. You just have to pick it up and see for yourself :)

A Thousand Pieces of You was filled with plot twists, cute and adorable guys, and a whole lot of awesome stuff! It's super complicated to explain and seriously, PICK UP THE DAMN BOOK IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY!

Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,840 followers
March 6, 2019
Alternative titles for this masterpiece:

- A Thousand Pieces of My Shattered Heart
- A Thousand Reasons to Love Paul Markov
- A Thousand Moments of Pain and Happiness

This book was bloody brilliant!! Claudia Gray has spun a gorgeous tale that is dazzling, intense, and so fricken enjoyable to read!

This book has it all; dimension travel, a lesson in physics, heart-stalling plot twists, family values, and a precious love interest that has stolen my heart. And I mean look at that cover, it’s bloody gorgeous!!


So the whole physics behind the dimension travel had my head spinning (I’m not planning on majoring in science, can you tell?) but the author broke it down quite nicely that even I could understand.

And the Russiaverse, can we just talk about how perfect it is??

Damn, the characters travel through dimensions often enough but the world building was create so seamless; is this woman even real???

“Every form of art is another way of seeing the world. Another perspective, another window. And science –that’s the most spectacular window of all. You can see the entire universe from there.”

Now as cute as I thought this book was, there’s some killer heartbreaking moment, so prepare yourself, kids.

And I know, I know, the whole love triangle trope sets alarm bells off for everyone, but AS MUCH AS I DETES love triangles, I didn’t find this one, terrible. Actually, I feel like it was done well in comparison to the other love triangles I’ve had to trudge through in my many years.

Anyways, read this, it’s great, it’s awesome, it’s fantastic, it’s beautiful.

And if that didn’t convince you. . .
. . . do if for my child, Paul Markov.

“I have no need for a world without you in it.”

*screams for ten decades*

4.5 stars!!!


Buddy read with the lovely, Alyssa
Profile Image for Ivan.
436 reviews284 followers
July 16, 2017
Forgive me father for I've DNF-ed.

When I set my gaze upon her she looked so innocent and promised me stories of mystery, intrigue and traveling through parallel universes and I, young and naive, took her in my embrace. Once she had me, she started showing her true nature.Foul temptress tried to lure me into her sinful ways of love triangle and teen romance.

I tried to stay strong.I tired to give her another chance to repent and denounce her wicked ways but as time went by I felt like I had no choice.In order to save my sanity and my soul from further corruption I knew what needed to be done.So on one cold night I ripped bookmark out of her and DNF-ed her @65 % and sent her back to infernal depths she came from.

Oh great God of written word forgive my sins and have mercy upon my soul.
Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,082 followers
January 15, 2019
This book is one of the fastest paced books I have ever read. Usually, an author will take chapter or 2 to introduce the background of the story but this book just immediately starts off at the plot, but it also doesn't confuse you. I really liked the world Claudia Gray built and the 'Firebird' concept was very well written. The inter-dimensional travel is a very crucial element of the plot and is focused on heavily, which is fascinating.

Marguerite's parents are physicists who have successfully created a machine (Firebird) that allows people to jump into another dimension. Each dimension is a reflection of possibilities that could have taken place in our world. Some dimensions are very similar to ours, while some are completely exotic. Our protagonist sets out on a mission to find the person who murdered her father and is planning her parent's downfall.
As I mentioned the inter-dimensional travel is very openly exhibited aspect and protagonist jumps into not just one but many dimensions, in which she discover the many paths her world could have taken.
I really enjoyed this book and finished it in one sitting. The plot grows thicker as we delve deeper into the book and Claudia Gray does a great job in creating the Firebird element of the story. I love the plot and I rate this book 4.5 stars.
The cover of this book is BEAUTIFUL and represents not only 2 different dimensions but also our protagonists love for art, so great job on that front.
Profile Image for Taschima.
869 reviews399 followers
January 12, 2015
Sometimes, all you can do is cry happy tears. I mean, look at that cover, it is incredible. All I wanted was for the story between the pages to be just as good, to live up not only to the awesome cover design but to the hype. And man, did it deliver.


I think A Thousand Pieces of You is definitely my favorite Claudia Gray book. It kind of reminds me of All Our Yesterdays and Dissonance. It is an intricate story that keeps you on your toes. Since the beginning of the story me and my friend Lexie were trying to guess the ending, the bad guy, and the romantic interest (I know, we are bad). While some things we got figured out pretty quickly others came as a surprise. Good Claudia Gray, you kept me guessing!

"I don't know if I'm the kind of person who can kill a man in cold blood. But I'm going to find out."

The beginning of the novel is fast, interesting, and it gets your blood pumping. First thing to come up: Murder. Revenge. Meg is out for blood. Paul's blood to be exact. She believes he killed her father and then ran off with her parent's prized experiment; a machine that can travel through dimensions. So Meg, with a little help from her friend Theo, is out to get Paul and make him pay.

"The universe is in fact a multiverse. Countless dimensions exist, all layered within one another.
Each dimension represents one set of possibilities. Essentially, everything that can happen does happen... Every possibility, every time fate flips a coin, splits the dimensions yet again, creating yet more layer of reality. It goes on and on forever, to infinity."

Meg is the odd one out in her family, but that doesn't mean she is alone. Her entire family is creative of a sort, they just use different hemispheres of their brains to get the job done. Her parents and big sister are into science while Meg is into art. This makes her likable, being the odd man out. She is also ballsy. From pretty early on you get the picture she knows next about nothing regarding what exactly the device her parent's made to cross dimensions does but she still risks it in order to find her father's supposed murderer. All in all I really liked her. She is shown to be conflicted throughout the read and to really take to heart every single version of herself she falls into.

I can't talk much about specific things like the romance because it would just give too much away. All I can really say is that the romance aspect is a BIG part of A Thousand Pieces of You, and that is just dandy. It is a really juicy, edge of your seat kind of romance. There is one dimension that is set in Russia that is BOUND to hook readers. If you were a little "eh" when starting the read when you get to the Russian side of the story you will be hooked forevermore. It was my favorite part and completely brought the book to a whole new level.

A Thousand Pieces of You is a must read this year. The pretty cover does meet the expectations. If you liked the Evernight series by Claudia, then you will love this one. I liked Evernight, but I LOVED A Thousand Pieces of You and I can't wait for the sequel!

Old Update:



Profile Image for Ju.
192 reviews88 followers
Want to read
May 17, 2014
Is it woefully wrong to say that I want to read this because of that absolutely gorgeous cover?
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
413 reviews920 followers
June 21, 2017
"You are not my Marguerite. And yet, you are. This essential thing you share - your soul - that is what I love.
I would love you in any shape, in any world, with any past. Never doubt that."

A Thousand Pieces of You is a book with a 5-star premise, unfortunately laden with a few core issues that drag down my rating. Marguerite is the daughter of two genius physicists inventing a machine that allows consciousness to jump through parallel universes. Meg's father is killed for his research, so she and her boytoy friend Theo track the killer across dimensions. Things escalate romantically; action-wise, not so much.

The fun part of this book is the soap opera shitstorm that results from interdimensional love triangles. Imagine falling for a person in one dimension, then meeting a different version of him/her in another dimension. So, who are you in love with now? One? Both? Neither? This is superfood for drama, and double it because there are two love interests. Basically, I came for the premise but stuck around for the relationships.

The plot structure needed some work. In a book that takes place not only in several different settings, but several different universes, the plot is bound to be put on hold for explanations every now and then. But Gray attempted to force so many infodumps and lapses between the action (especially in earlier chapters) that the book really dragged sometimes. Perhaps the story would have benefited from hints of info dropped along the adventure, rather than pages and pages of flashbacks/boring text.

Plot content was also lacking - mostly because some major points didn't make any damn sense. Take the villain, for example:

Where's the motive? What is there to gain from a venture like that? If this was explained in A Thousand Pieces of You at all, then not well enough.
Also, Meg's extraordinary abilities when it comes to interdimensional travel - the way these are explained away is really lazy and questionable.

I call bullshit.

Is the series worth continuing? I'm in need of some advice here.
Profile Image for Simona B.
898 reviews3,011 followers
December 22, 2020

"Eventually you'll get used to the pain. You'll forget who you were without it; you'll forget what you looked like without your scars.”

Let me start by saying that I am perfectly aware of the scientific and logical nonsense present in this book, some of which I consider unforgivable. But this story had me hooked, it thrilled and excited me, it's well-written, compelling, wonderfully crafted, and I enjoyed it more than not. And, ultimately, that's always what matters the most. To me, at least.

To begin with, I love science-fiction. I love, like, totally crazy for it. And I'm not talking exactly about spaceships and green aliens; I am talking about the kind of things that A Thousand Pieces of You offers. New technologies. Made-up explanations for the said devices/discoveries built upon incontrovertible scientific truths, andcomplex plots that put into play their practical implementations. If it comes with all the related set of thorny ethical issues, then, all the better.

•The thing is, the more complex the science you put into play, the harder it is to be coherent and aware of all of the consequences that the strict applications of that concept may and must have. If you tell a story about a world in which gravity works the other way around, you cannot assume that Newton discovered it thanks to an apple fallen from a tree. If in the world you're building objects, namely, everything having mass, cannot be moved from a dimension to the other, you cannot in any way assume that the object used to move a coscience from a dimension to the other -the Firebird- can move along with it.
Is this that hard to grasp?
But I get that this whole book wouldn't have been written without this "oversight", so let's bend the rules of physics to make the story work. Why bother to come up with a rational explanation for it when no one will notice?
I noticed. Sorry.

And speaking about matter, let's talk about the bodies (this is not a spoiler, since we know since the very first page and before that this book wheels around interdimensional journeys).
When a person uses the Firebird to jump into another dimension, it's only their coscience, a form of energy, according to Gray's point of view, that travels, not the body, which, as I said, can't be moved through different dimensions being made of matter. But then, what happens to it when the coscience is gone? Gray says it becomes 'no longer observable', calling upon the Schrödinger's cat, choice that I find a leeettle bit gratuitous, but yes, okay, let's go with it. In practice, a no longer observable object is there, but you don't see it unless someone else who can draws your attention to it. Now, my point is, even if you can't see it, the body is still there, and when Marguerite leaves for the first time she's sitting on the steps of her home's deck. Honestly, how many chances are there that nobody stumbled on her in almost a month she was gone? And moreover: while the coscience is away, its body's heart is pumping? Its lungs are working? If it is so, what about food? How can an empty body survive that long without nourishment?
I'm sorry, I really enjoyed this story, truly, but I can't honestly get past holes like this. If a scientific background has to be created, it must be done properly.

I'm done with the technobabble, I promise. It's just that I expected much, much more from this point of view.

•The plot on the contrary, was an utterly delightful surprise. Fast-paced and far, far more entagled than I had guessed at first glance. I truly appreciated the various twists, although I had predicted some of them. The writing is also another strong point, undoubtely: magnetic and delicate, sensitive and deep. Sometimes it was as soft as a melody, and I lost myself in it. It's not always at its best, but its quality is always good.

•The main character, Marguerite, is not irritiating nor totally idiotic, but questionable indeed she is. Also, I found her to be a little slow in some moments and a little silly in others, but nothing over which I can't get.

•And, yes, I regret to have to tell you so, but there is a love triangle. It's not as overwhelming as you may think, though -even because it's pretty clear from the beginning who she'll end up with- and towards the end the author manages it in a way I definitely appreciated. It ruined my enjoyment only a little; I've seen far worse. Besides, I liked (and swooned over) Paul, so, yup, for the love story it's a yes.

In a nutshell, this book is far from perfect, and these three words are the ones I would probably choose to describe it as briefly as I could. But there is a thread of poetry interwoven in this story's weave, and I can't ignore it, not even in the face of all its flaws. What I loved about it is that it is a book about love: and not merely the love we harbor for our dear ones, but the one some people harbor towards science, and the one others harbor towards arts too. And speaking about the latter two, you know... I've never been so sure they are totally different one from the other.
Profile Image for Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net.
242 reviews562 followers
March 12, 2017
That's it. I'm starting a campaign to end love triangles as a staple of the Young Adult genre. Or I'd like to anyway, but you know, I've got a lot of books to read.

I'll admit it, I'm kind of scared to review this one because so many of my friends LOVED this, but I was let down...

Those of you who have followed me for any length of time know that one of my biggest pet peeves are love triangles. I get why authors feel the need to include them. Romance adds a bit of sizzle to the middle of a book where the plot feels a bit slow. However, it's when the main plot starts getting overtaken by the relationship dynamics between the characters that I start getting frustrated because that's when the action also starts suffering.

It's especially frustrating considering that this book has such a strong opening and close. You hit the ground running with the characters from page one, setting the expectation that this was going to be fast paced universe jumping - which I was totally down for! What I got instead was a slow burn love triangle as Marguerite decides which boy she likes the most and can trust the most, which was repeated in each universe and in my opinion killed the pacing.

I think it's important to consider plot as context for relationships in the first place, because there is a time and place for romance.

I don't know about you, but if my father had just been MURDERED and I wasn't sure which of my friends did it, romancing either of them would be the last thing on my mind.

Of course, we can't talk about love triangles without talking about the motivations of female characters. I love kickass female heroines in novels, television shows and movies. My favorite characters are the women with agency, who effect the plot and don't let external plot devices (such as men) affect them. Unfortunately, Marguerite just isn't one of those characters.

Her narrative point of view centers almost totally around men! Each time she jumps into another universe, instead of learning about the new world she's in, Marguerite immediately starts thinking about boys. And lets face it: her reasons for trusting both Theo and Paul in the first place are flimsy at best and ludicrous at worst.

For example, she immediately trusts one of the two because his eyes look sad when she sees him.

In my opinion, this novel would have benefited in a big way from shelving the romantic love triangle entirely, in favor of fleshing out the different universes and the larger mystery around Marguerite's father.

It was still a fun and quick read, and I commend Claudia Gray for creating different worlds that I would have loved to have seen more of. The ending gave me hope that the next book will improve on the areas I took issue with here, so I'll be continuing with the next book soon while maintaining my zeal for stronger focuses on plot in YA and less on forced romantic triangles.


★★★✩✩ = 3 average, hoping-for-better-in-the-sequel, stars

This review and more can be found on my blog: Book Bastion
Profile Image for Anja H..
761 reviews458 followers
December 28, 2018

"Every form of art is another way of seeing the world."

Let me just cut right to the chase: I didn't like this book.
When I first read the plot and saw the stunning cover, I thought this was going to be awesome and badass but in the end this book left me really disappointed. The whole plot with the time travel and different dimensions could have been really interesting, but the author didn't use it to their full potential in my opinion. So much more could've happened but this book only contained three dimensions, in which Marguerite started this weird love quadrangle involving Theo and two Pauls (yeah, you read that right), and it left me completely confused.

I can't really put my finger on what exactly I didn't like about this. I mean, I definitely loved the whole idea of time travel, but not the way they went about it. The first 100 started off quite good, but it all went downhill from the moment Marguerite caught Paul. Claudia Gray's writing style was good, but not great. Every time Marguerite changed dimensions, I felt like she was running away from the problems she caused in the previous one.
And even though all the characters in this book are older than some of the other young adult book characters out there, they somehow seemed really juvenile and childish to me, especially with all the dumb decisions they made.

The one character I really liked is Russia's Lieutenant Paul Markov, I mean, he's just so sweet and not as distant as the original one, but oh man, I didn't like the insta-love-thing that happened between him and Marguerite. And then when she feels attracted to the Paul from her own dimension, which I don't get because he's an antisocial awkward turtle, she thinks that she's cheating on the Russian one.. I mean, come on! I do like Theo as a character but I don't really ship Marguerite with anyone, which is weird for me because I'm usually an avid shipper. I just didn't really connect with any of the characters.

Honestly, I found the whole story to be quite boring. There was way too much focus on the weird romance and not enough action and suspense. This book ends with a happy ending, so I'm really unsure about what they'll do with the next two books, as it seems like this is going to be a trilogy.
Since I've decided that I'm only going to be reading books and series I really want to read from now on, I won't torture myself with trying to continue this series.
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
260 reviews4,947 followers
October 14, 2016
(Full review update..)

Here's a nice little spoiler free full review of my FEELS. Because that's all I can talk about without giving anything away.

The entire plot its nuts. If you, a smart reader like myself (eh, or what I tell myself that I am...) -you probably will think you can guess simply based on the description/back of the book summary that Paul Markov who is accused of killing Marguerite's father is an innocent guy and this book is all about her realizing he's innocent and blah blah blah end of story. Maybe you're clever enough to figure out that not everyone around her is trust worthy. Simple, right?

Wrong. If you think that is the gist of the plot, you're in for quite a surprise. Not only are there (obviously) other dimensions, but there are about as many plot twists to match. In fact, I'm willing to bet that you will have no idea who to even root for.

Honestly, overall, it was a bit complicated and I'm willing to bet there are a few plot holes just because of the complexity and enormity of the general idea... but this book was down right fun. I like not knowing who to trust.. who to ship... or where this will end up. I did not expect to get so emotionally involved. I literally cannot give ANYTHING else away because everything would be a spoiler.

I had a few minor complaints - the writing being just a bit hard to follow at times... but I was so invested that even when I got a little lost on where Marguerite was or who she was talking to, it was never that big of a deal.

Really, I'm just shocked this series isn't more popular. My heart is now invested. In fact, I've just finished book two and I'm not OK. So have fun, if you give this ago. Bottom line is that I loved it and I think most of you will too.


Initial impression...

2. What in the heck do I feel?? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEEL BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW. Why do I like
3. Don't even try to guess. Just don't even try. You're wrong.

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Kiki.
197 reviews8,525 followers
September 5, 2018
Edit: I read this again while on holiday and it's still fantastic. Has there ever been a fictional man more perfect than Paul? I don't think so. He is simply incomparable.

Not to be Unpopular Opinions Angela, but I'm going to have to swim against the tide with this one. I know that a lot of people think this book is shite, but I'm here, I'm queer, and I'm ready to stand up on my soapbox and yell at all of you through a crackly loudspeaker: I loved this book.

I loved my salty daughter Marguerite, with her grand gestures and her dramatic inner monologue and her total disregard for the consequences of her foolish actions (insert: that Vine where the kid screams "when will you learn that your actions have consequences?" RIP Vine, you'll always be remembered with a fond little chuckle and a jaunty head tilt).

I could have done without Theo, but he did add another dimension to this (ha ha ha) and, having read the rest of this series, his character is a lovely and complex shade of grey. In particular, his relationship with Paul was this edgy, dangerous thing, barbed at the edges. He belittles Paul fondly, as "brothers" do, but with that underlying slant of jealousy that invites unsavoury questions. I like that.

Speaking of Paul: I mean, what can I say? Paul is my husband and we're happily married. Thank you. We registered for gifts at TK Maxx Home and the Bohemians (you'll have to travel for the latter, but I've got my eye on that big clay oil pot). I love everything about him and if you come to my house for a bevy I'll set up my projector and show you my Powerpoint that details the 96 reasons why. The abridged version is that Paul is perfection and I will defend him until my dying breath.

This book was a blast, and so is the rest of the series. It's unique, it's flashy, it's paced so frenetically but with just the right balance of conversational prose. It does something interesting with its characters, too: nobody's the good guy, and nobody's evil. It's grey, it's complicated, and we've all got to live with the uneasy notion that, had the trajectory of our lives been angled slightly differently, we might not be who we are now. For me, that was a concept that blew this book out of the water. It makes this series compulsively readable, time and time again.

Good job, Claudia Gray. And thanks for bringing Paul into my life.
Profile Image for Jiana.
296 reviews824 followers
August 17, 2017
Aaaaaand another review that's almost 2 weeks late.



I've been wanting to read this book for so, so long! I admit I only originally added it because of the cover. Can we take a moment (or 10 moments) to appreciate the cover? It's hands-down one of the best covers I've seen!! I bought the first two books a while back and they've been sitting on my shelf since then. I finally decided to read book 1. And my friends, I should've read it sooner.

I love time travel. I haven't read many novels with that theme, but I love it. The world-building of this novel was spectacular. I love the many concepts Claudia Gray managed to include and how she gradually made them all clearer as the story progressed (there's so much Physics in them!). I loved the many verses this story had; my favorite most definitely being the Russiaverse. Oh my God. I smiled like an idiot, laughed, swooned, and cried reading that verse. It had it all! Such a perfect verse.

“I would love you in any shape, in any world, with any past. Never doubt that.”

Yes, this book has a love triangle. Is it annoying? For me, no. I've stated many times that love triangles don't bother me if they're done right. This is the case here.

Paul Markov. Theo Beck. AAAAAAAAAAA THESE TWO! I love them both so much I want to protect them.

And the big twist... oh damn that big twist! I was left so shook by it! I didn't expect it at all. The pacing was great, the plot was crazy and I just want more, more, more.

Prepare to be amazed when you read this book! You'll smile, laugh, be shocked, and cry. It has it all.

I rarely start sequels directly after. I usually like to take a small break between sequels. But here... I was so happy I already had book two and I quickly dove right into it!

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for vicky..
386 reviews158 followers
December 12, 2014

Don't get me wrong, I've read a couple of Claudia Gray's books and enjoyed them, but what the fuck is this?

Marguerite's parents are geniuses who built a device called the Firebird, that allows people to travel to parallel universes. But then her father is murdered and their assistant Paul is the only suspect. But wait, he also stole the Firebirds! So Meg joins her BFF Theo (who also works with her parents, how convenient) in a quest for revenge.

Don't get too excited though, it's less:

or maybe

actually there's a lot of:

The book had so much potential I AM ANGRY. The explanation for the parallel universes is that they are around us but just can't see them

This is YA so of course there are two love interests. Theo who is hilarious, easy-going and super hot, and Paul who is shy, quiet and mysterious.
But at the beginning of the book she isn't in love with either of them, she just wants revenge! So she makes the first jump and ends up in a high-tech London, she manages to track Paul and when she confronts him, demanding to know why he killed her dad..

“What?” His face pales so suddenly that I think for a moment he might pass out. “What—you said—Henry’s dead? He’s dead?”
The astonishment and pain I see are very real. Some people are good enough actors to feign shock, but shy, uncertain Paul Markov has never had that kind of game. There’s no way he could fake this kind of horror, or the tears I can see welling in his eyes.
It hits me then, a blow more stupefying than sharp: Paul didn’t kill my father.

She just simply believes he didn't do it BECAUSE HIS EYES GOT SAD :(
So Paul escapes (yeah again) and Meg follows him. They end up in Russia, or a version of it, where Meg is a tsarevna, a princess.
Long story short, she falls in love with the Paul of that universe (let's call him R!Paul). No, not in love, she truly loves him even though they met each other for two weeks. But maybe R!Meg loves him too so is okay!

But the thing that annoyed the fuck out of me is that in every single chapter Meg remembers Paul, the way he used to be around her, how he looked; and with every motherfucker chapter she slowly falls in love.

Nevermind that he killed her father (but he didn't do it remember? he got sad eyes :( ) or that she left her grieving mother and sister just to find him and get justice. No, perhaps she was in love all this time, she just realized now... Awful timing, this girl.

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?

Profile Image for Tiff.
581 reviews537 followers
June 22, 2015
Holy cow, A Thousand Pieces of You was a serious ride.

What works so well in this book is that author Claudia Gray sets up the very complex world building, then spins philosophy, art, mystery and romance around it. There are so many threads here to think about, and the story deftly switches between them. Except for a bit of confusion and clunkiness I felt at the beginning with all the exposition (this book really does start in media res), the story flowed smoothly, with a ton of twists and turns. Every time I thought I knew what was happening, it turned out that Gray was already two steps ahead of me. 

I also loved how much time we got to spend figuring out the different universes, how they were different and how they were similar to Marguerite's own world. For instance, in one universe, John Lennon and Paul McCartney never met, so the Beatles didn't exist; instead, Paul and George Harrison form a band called The Gears. Little details really made the different worlds believable. 

If I had to nitpick a little, I would probably say that the character work could have been more developed in this book - the characters definitely suffered a bit in service to plot, theme, and world-building. I felt like I was told how amazing Marguerite was, but I didn't really see it as much as I should have - I knew she was an artist, but it was hard for me to tell if she was funny or silly or serious. I also felt like the guys were archetypes: Paul was the silent, mysterious boy, while Theo was the bad boy with the good heart. I wish I'd known more about them than just that. I'm looking forward to finding out more in book 2, though, and honestly, this is one of those books where the plot necessarily carries you forward.
Here's the thing: I fully admit that I did not expect this book to live up to its epically fantastic cover. I mean, look at that gorgeousness! But guys, let me tell you: it does. This book slayed me in twenty different ways, and I can't wait to get my hands on book 2. 


Addictive Writing: Writing-wise, I was really impressed by Gray's vivid descriptions, and the way she could turn those at a moment's notice into heart-pounding action. There was a great balance of beautiful writing and writing that kept me on the edge of my seat. The action scenes reminded me of how I felt when I read Divergent the first time - I was totally hooked.

Sexy Times: I can't talk about this book without talking about the steamy romance going on. There are some seriously sexy times here - for younger readers and parents, just know that there are a few moments of R-rated-ness. Those moments are lush and added a lot to my emotional investment in the story.

Love Triangle That Works: The love interests in this book really worked for me - in part because they are so different, but equally good choices. This isn't a case where you're going to be Team Paul or Team Theo immediately (and heck, the triangle gets even more complicated because of the different versions of characters that are jumping into each others' bodies). This genuinely feels like two guys who really like this girl and it really is her choice.

The Final Word: 

A Thousand Pieces of You is so many kinds of awesome. There's a bit of everything in this book: romance, adventure, suspense, mystery, time travel, historical, sci-fi...trust me when I say that you need this one on your TBR immediately. It's definitely one of the most fun and addictive reads I've had in awhile, and I will definitely be re-reading certain bits over and over again.

Recommended for: fans of Every Day or Cloud Atlas (both very apt comparisons), people who like time travel or sci-fi reads, people who like genre-benders

Review originally posted at Mostly YA Lit
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,509 followers
September 17, 2020
Okay, okay. Am I the only one who gets really freaked out when books DON’T end in a cliff hanger? Like I know there are other books after this series but this book ended on a more than mildly happy note. So I feel like… super calm and just want to know what is going to electrocute me / drown me / tear me apart in the books to come.

That’s probably just my anxiety talking.

So this very artsy girl (Marguerite) has two super brainiac parents who invent this gadget that can take you to different-yet-parallel universe. There are zillions. What I gathered is that every time there is a decision and you make one, another universe is made with you making the other decision which could spiral into a completely different world with different progresses in technology.

I know, now you are thinking “so when I decided to brush my teeth this morning, there was all of a sudden another universe where I didn’t?” Okay, I don’t think those particular one’s count per-say BUT hey, what do I know? I’m not Claudia Gray, aka the woman I believe is going to ruin me.

So anyway, Marguerite and her sister basically have adoptive siblings. Wait no, we can’t say that because LOW AND BEHOLD THERE IS A LOVE TRIANGLE. How about Marguerite’s parents adopt Theo and Paul and they are nothing like siblings to Marguerite at all? Yah… yah, let’s go with that.

So someone killed Marguerite’s father. And that someone seems to be Paul. The kicker is that Paul took a firebird (that thing that allows them to jump dimensions and into ‘themselves’ in that dimension) and escaped before he could be caught.

Marguerite is absolutely crushed (duh, it was her dad) and convinces Theo to let her go along with him to go and find Paul, bring him back, and actually probably maybe kill him because she is so infuriated.

So then there is a twist, then there is a twist in the twist, then there is a twist within the twist that twisted before and then when you look really REALLY closely, you can see that there is an explosion of twist right there in the center of it all.

Bringing it back.

Things I absolutely loved:
1. We visit so many awesome places. Like futuristic London, Medieval Russia to air-bowl-in-the-ocean-progressed-science land.
2. You actually get to see the pain of losing a parent with Marguerite. Now, I myself have not lost a parent thankfully, but I believe it isn’t something that you can just forget. Especially when your parallel-self has that parent still.
3. Some of the twist I saw coming AND SOME I ABSOLUTELY DIDN’T.

Things I could have done without:
1. The ever-fan-favorite love triangle.
Now two things on this. One, if you are anything like me, you don’t really see one as the obvious choice. I mean, Marguerite ends up with who she saw as the obvious choice, but I, for some reason, don’t see that choice sticking very well. I am not sure why and I could be completely off track. That is something I do like about it though, that it isn’t a Edward/Jacob thing where you know she is going to end up with ****.
Two, I know we are all tired of love triangles, but that does make things interesting for books so I see why they do it.
2. I wish the romance was less of the focus for this book. Romance isn’t a particular genre that I feel pulled to, even though I have read a lot of romance and fallen in love with certain books. I like the down in the dirt and gravel type of books where the action stays tall and the story gets bigger and bigger. This story is probably going to blow up in my face here soon, but the action was lacking for my taste.

Overall, I really enjoyed getting into this book and I am itching to get my hands on the next one to figure out which way my heart is going to break and my brain is going to explode. If I was a betting girl, I would say that the action picks up. The book was leaning that way. But then again, it ended really happy.

It’s going to get bad.

I’m so ready.

Profile Image for Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books).
605 reviews346 followers
February 28, 2017
Not gonna lie, A Thousand Pieces of You was a book I added to my TBR list solely for it’s cover. I didn’t even read the description of the book before I added it because the cover it so gorgeous! I mean really, just look at it! It might be one of my favorite covers ever – I’m kind of obsessed with it. That said, I’m SO glad I decided to read it because I looooved the book!

Marguerite grew up with physicists for parents, so she’s no stranger to experiments and gadgets strewn about her house. Her parents and their research assistants Paul and Theo develop a device that they call the Firebird that allows people to jump through different dimensions. This invention is set to change science forever…until her dad is killed and Paul appears to be the killer. Paul takes off to another dimension, and Marguerite and Paul quickly follow, hoping to get justice for her father. Before long, Marguerite starts doubting Paul’s guilt, and begins to realize her feelings for him. As she jumps through dimensions, she begins to learn there was far more to her father’s death than she ever could have imagined…

Let me just say again, I loved this book! I’ve never read a book with the same concept, so that made it unique for me. I really enjoyed that the book was told with a scientific mindset, similar to Dark Matter. There was a lot of talk about the science and physics that allowed Marguerite to jump between dimensions but it was never overwhelming to the point where I was confused. I also likes that there were rules put in place, such as not being able to jump backward or forward in time, or to dimensions where Marguerite hadn’t been born.

There was a brief time where I thought we were going to end up with a love triangle, and I got slightly annoyed for a few minutes, worrying that we had another young woman who fell in love with any man who showed her attention, HOWEVER, the author did a great job at making Marguerite quickly learn who she actually had feelings for without dragging that decision out. I appreciated that.

I found myself really engaged in the story and I was dying to find out where the story would go and whether or not Marguerite would make it home safely. All of my questions were answered and the resolution of this book set the second book up perfectly, without leaving us with a huge cliffhanger. I cannot wait to read book two – I’m planning to start it tonight so I can find out what happens next! I definitely recommend this one to fans of YA sci-fi who are looking for an adventurous story!
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,406 reviews11.6k followers
February 27, 2019
Although I wouldn't have read or finished this book if it weren't my book club's pick, I didn't hate A Thousand Pieces of You.

I sometimes forget that YA novels are actually written for TEENS, not middle-aged women like me. I don't know why other adults read YA, but I read teen books mostly because some of them are outstanding works of art.

A Thousand Pieces of You however is not a work of art, it has no adult cross-over appeal, it's not intellectually or morally challenging, and it doesn't try to be. It's a story aimed at teens, and if Claudia Gray knows anything, it is how to write for her audience. The final product is an adventure story with the most popular type of a teen protagonist ever - a bland, but super speshul girl who is hunted by moustache-twirling villains and loved by not just two hot guys, but also EVERY VERSION OF THESE TWO GUYS IN EVERY PARALLEL WORLD she ever visits in this multiverse fantasy. I see why this scenario works for the readers, I really do.

And speaking of multiverse? Who doesn't like a multiverse scenario? From Sliders to Fringe, to Sliding Doors and Run Lola Run and Edge of Tomorrow. His Dark Materials and Life After Life... There is so much of this trope to love, in so many iterations.

Does A Thousand Pieces of You have anything remarkable to offer? Eh, not to me. The world building is weak. There are parallel worlds where nothing seems to be different from the real world, another appears to be different in only the existence of a tPhone instead of an iPhone.

The most developed (if you can call it that) is the world I was most interested in (for reason of liking to rant about depictions of Russia in American lit) is the Pre-Industrial Russia where Marguerite is a Grand Duchess. And here Claudia Gray did something truly brilliant, if you think the goal of world building is to make the least number of factual mistakes. She established this "Russian" world by using just a handful of Russia-adjacent words - snow, tsar, caviar, fur coat/hat, borscht, dacha, Faberge eggs. (No bears, no balalaikas? My, I am disappointed!) She gave her characters Russian names, and spelled and used them correctly! I am even willing to overlook the fact that all these characters are supposed to be addressed by their first+middle name (for example, Marguerite should have been called Margarita Alexandrovna). But I get it, this is WAY too hard.

The only real error I noticed is the use of the word "golubka" (Russian for "dove"). You see, Russian words have "genders" - there are feminine, masculine and neutral nouns. "Golubka" is a feminine noun. So you can use it to address Marguerite, but not Paul. Paul would be "golub.'"

But all these things would not interest the book's real target audience. Neither would the aspects of this novel deserving of the most exploration - the ethical consequences of possessing other people's bodies, or the hardships of being in the worlds with foreign languages spoken or serving in absolutely unknown professions. The ease with witch Gray resolves these difficulties is quite remarkable. You end up in a body of a British person, oh, no worries, your body miraculously remembers to speak with a British accent. You are in a body of a Russian princess - yeah, your body knows and understands Russian for you. You are supposed to ride a submarine - can you believe it, one of your boyfriends has JUST taken a submarine simulation course! Ugh.

Instead readers get a competently crafted story that moves along quickly and provides a multitude of opportunities for Marguerite to touch and swoon over and fall into beds with her 2 (3,4,5? I am honestly not sure at this point) love interests, consequences to the bodies they "wear" be damned.

Not for me.

May I suggest this Netflix's recent multiverse-like experience to those who, like me, want something fresher and richer and juicier to sink teeth into?

Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,393 followers
March 18, 2017


Profile Image for Lo.
201 reviews54 followers
January 17, 2020
I would be lying if I said that the cover of this book was 80% of the reason that I picked it up. Like come on look at it! It is beautiful! Thankfully, when I started reading the book I was as enraptured by story as much as I was with the cover.

A Thousand Pieces of You comes off the starting blocks with a speed that I did not expect. Gray doesn’t spend the first few chapters building the world and introducing the characters instead the reader is thrust into this world where inter-dimensional travel is possible and Grey catches us up with everything else along the ride. The pace works perfectly for the book as it fits with the flow the story, at times where she wants us to take a breather and get the know the characters she slows down the speed and at others we feel like we are on this wild ride together.

The main focus of the story is inter-dimension travel and the possibilities with that and the author builds this possibility beautifully and intricately. It is so smartly delivered that I was left feeling like I didn’t have to suspend my disbelief for too long in order to get lost in the worlds created. Each world also felt complete and I got an entirely different feeling from each one, although I do have to say that I think the dimension where they are in Russia is my favourite one. This is my first foray into a story based on the muti-verse theory and I think this was a wonderful one to start with.

I know that a lot of people hate on the love triangle trope that is in a lot of YA novels but I can admit that I am a sucker for them (unfortunately, I always seem to prefer the person that they don’t end up with - the only exception to that one is the Hunger Games!) so I can’t pretend that I didn’t enjoy the dynamics created in this love triangle, made all the more interesting with the different presentations of the characters in the different dimensions. One of the reason that I think that love triangles are so hated on is because they tend to get dragged out for a little too long, especially when a book is part of a series. Thankfully, A Thousand Pieces of You does not fall into this trap and the whole book is not consumed with the love triangle.

5 Stars for A Thousand Pieces of You and I can’t wait to read the next one!
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
July 30, 2017
5th for Booktubeathon 2017 DOWN!

Some 3 books are just meh I didn't like it, but this is one where there are things I intensely liked and things that I just as intensely disliked.
The whole concept of this book was fascinating but when we finally started getting into the plot? Was so boring. Nothing was moving or happening and it felt like it just switched to a historical fiction book instead of a sci-fi. There were also lots of tropes including one of my least favorite ones, and it was VERY predictable, but I still ended up liking this book?
Even though the plot was not all there at first it really really came together in the end. I also liked how one trope I'm tired of seeing was really turned on it's head and made into something different. The characters and the concept of fate that was explored in this book were both so great. Even if the romance HEAVILY overshadowed the plot so so so many times. And even though I was annoyed at the once section that felt heavily like historical fiction, I still loved that world.
All in all, a really interesting book that has convinced me to at least carry on with the series.
Profile Image for Vaishali • [V.L. Book Reviews] .
276 reviews179 followers
April 25, 2023
RATING: 4 stars to A Thousand Pieces of You ★ ★ ★ ★

'Mathematics or fate: Whatever that force is that keeps bringing us together in world after world, it's powerful. Undeniable. But I still don't know whether that force means my salvation or my destruction.'

'The possibilities crash into one another; the emotions tie themselves into Gordian knots. A thousand ways for me to love and doubt and lose Paul Markov, and I feel like I'm only starting to discover them all.'

A Thousand Pieces of You is precisely the type of book I would have read (should have read) in my Shatter Me days when the YA era raged on into the souls of its audience and the epoch became defined by a set of literary stylistic hallmarks that gushed a fanatic trend. I can't say I remember the concept of the multiverse being thrown about like a mainstream stimulant however. How fun that this speculative piece of sci-fi fiction where dimensional parallels have been proven by and for science for a very observable audience took a departure from the norm. Like Shatter Me, A Thousand Pieces of You does play to a unique conceptual setting. Speculative play brings the theory of parallel universes to life with this trilogy opener. Also like Shatter Me, there's a love triangle, but that sounds like a defective term without considering relativity; to the entire science of parallel dimensions (and your parallel duplicates). I could definitely go on a tangent. They're both Sci-Fi/dystopian-ish but in different ways. Aaron Warner's not quite the academically gifted student to a pioneering physicist, though he is a multi-talented prodigy in his own aptitude, an unmatched leader of his region, misunderstood, private and socially aloof like one Russian Paul Markov, though I think fashionista Warner would frown aghast with great issue at such lack of an extensive wardrobe. Green jumpers anyone? Adam Kent is... nothing like charismatic bad-boy-with-a-good-heart Theo Beck, and I think we should leave that poorly approached symmetry there because to make a juxtaposition here would be akin to setting the moon next to the sun. And where Juliette Ferrars had a lethal touch, Marguerite...doesn't, but she does have digits made for fine art. Clearly, the narrower we get, the similarities dissolve, but sweepingly? They were babies of a similar age. For obvious reasons I'm not here to comparatively examine both books but there's a simple explanation for that: the original Shatter Me Trilogy was a sacrosanct soundtrack above most other fictional melodies for me, a series I've been mulling over a lot recently. What Claudia Gray does give us though is a very unique situation in a multiverse romance that spans dimension and searches across worlds for the truth. Not forgetting the bigger conspiracy that begins with a death, a betrayal, and a justice mission as Marguerite and one third of that love triangle make a hasty decision to track down a murderer (aka, the final third to that love triangle).

A bit of backstory: Testing out the sensational piece of construction that is the era's most miraculous contraption - materialised beyond every doubt - and transcendentally living the discovery that her parents' impossible invention actually works feels like a small victory in the face of a certain death. Mind made up, travelling through alternate universe channels isn't an experimental achievement for a young artist. It's a quest to avenge. Marguerite's on a multiverse mission. One fuelled by the epicentre of the grief ripping through her. Grief stabbing her from moment to moment and moved by rage, loss and justice for her parents, their reputation and hard-earned scientific legacy, she's driven to give chase through every parallel universe she has to. Alongside her parents' other research assistant, Theo Beck, they're to apprehend Paul Markov, who turned from ingenuous student and friend to murderer in the space of a day. To trace his every step and make him pay for an unbelievable betrayal. Not only is he a thief in possession of her parents' priceless prototype that would change the course of modernity, he's responsible for splintering her family to pieces. This was supposed to be a triumph for the Caine family, her parents breakthrough changemakers of dimensional physics, but now she only hopes quiet, unassuming Paul's days are numbered. She's the same Marguerite, hunting the truth in a very unconventional fashion, jumping from one alternative timeline to the next, one life to the other, exposed to multiple lives that are not her own while she wears the skin of each multiverse twin. Following Paul through the endlessly infinite collection of potential universes might seem ambitious but It's only a reflection of the lengths Marguerite would go to in aid of her loved ones.

A Thousand Pieces is You corals the quintessence of the teen YA generation. If you fan-personed yourself through the popularisation of the young adult craze of classics you'll likely enjoy this too. The concept is a big thumbs up. It has a really strong plot-based opening that doesn't waste its breath in getting to the point. I was intrigued and wildly entertained. It's also fairly fast-paced which buttresses the mystery/suspense elements and the following inter-dimensional chase to track Marguerite's father's murderer. Can we scream conspiracy? yes, yes we can. Can we equally bellow the overarch of a dimension-spanning love affair? To the bottom of our lungs. Fair warning for readers: this isn't the sort of full-potential, densely philosophical plot/worldbuilding tour de force of intrigue that it might be expected to be with the allotted themes included. The unique combination of the premise, the mesmeric cover illustration that speaks to the vantage of an artistic Marguerite and a promise of parallel universe travel is a compelling gift-wrap. If there's ever a fictional genre to armchair travel to it's to step a foot into a sci-fi multi-dimensional setup of interminable possibility, where anything could happen. Literally anything. This is where readers have seemingly become discouraged though; mainly from the lack of greater possibilities. A head nod to all who make fair, accurate and well-discussed points for critique since I fielded through similar central hiccups. Though, this is what I love: A Thousand Pieces of You doesn't attempt to be anything else other than what it is. It's YA, it's readable, it's intense, it's fresh, it's wonderfully scribed, it's poetic, it's mission-centred, it's interesting and I was happy to be a voyeur in between worlds. The worldbuilding is admittedly undercooked and doesn't quite follow suit with the intricacy of the science that likely created the elegant piece of tech that is the Firebird. The plot structure combined with the romantic Interference could have been better-balanced, the story wasn't as action/mystery-dense as I was hoping, the heroine is perhaps too feelings-driven without portraying a deeper sense of character and plot explanations can read as flimsy next to convincing. There's enough reference and definition that lays the groundwork for the changing setup, on the other hand. All of that being said, did I still enjoy it? Of course I did. A thousand pieces of it. (Note: this little quip may henceforth be reused and repurposed throughout this review).

To disclose too much about this trilogy opener would be to brandish spoilers like a careless chatter box (which I am not) so I'll be doing my utmost to keep the plot as sealed as possible *zip to mouth gesture*. Where I usually consider myself a three-steps-ahead kind of reader whose theories typically pan out to near-precision, Claudia Gray was three steps ahead of me, and she carries that sleight of hand unassumingly. While some plot pieces can be discovered with nimble guesswork, this book did dash my theories in a very surprising turn of events. And in surprising ways. There really is a bit of everything here: multiple worlds, multiple lives, a larger mystery, well-paced suspense, love in multiple forms (all of which transcends), familial values, romance, states of bereavement, destined interrelations, philosophy lite, science play, collusion and the complication of shifting experiences through the uncertain route forward. As complicated as that might seem in theory, the author keeps it very simple, digestible, comprehensible and shifts the threads of concoction quite smoothly. I understand why Gray chose to keep it as simple as she did. There isn't the greatest sense of discovery within each visited dimension. Even as I desired more descriptive worldbuilding to really feel the difference between dimensions in the same way I wanted more intricacy, I appreciated the differential details between universes no less, some more similar than others, but always clearly different. My favourite dimension would have to be a royal Russia, where a grand duchess Marguerite claims a resplendent heritage.

I did love the Initial pacing and structure of the story. It sets the action of the present plot against memories that speak to Marguerite's recall; which services the gaps in character profiling/relationships while also playing a subtle game of suggestion as we try to determine motives, incentives and, most importantly for me the 'do I trust Theo or do I trust Paul' chestnut since history suggests I seem to be a characteristic team picker. The author had other plans with that though. As Marguerite travels in the present, she travels through her memories, which question her pointed finger at a private Paul. The first dimension is an ultra advanced London, the second is a pre-modern primitive Russia where our heroine is of the highest standard of royalty, the third is basically a replica of her real life with minor differences and the final exemplifies the result of a climate emergency where she lives on an underwater vessel. I have to say there's a really charming thoroughline that captures the love that penetrates timeline, space, life and world. That it's especially the ties that bind that trace the story of every dimension, and your familiars within each one. I'm not just speaking to romance in its conventional perception, but the kind of romance we have with every loved one, that has us coming back to each other, time and time again. It's rendered quite beautifully, not just by way of the lengths Paul would go to for her, the ones Theo would go to for her, the ones both would go to for the Caine crew but the ones our heroine would go for her father and her family. The ones their duplicates would go to to help Marguerite on her way. As she's put in the extraordinary predicament of seeing a dead parent alive in another world, interacting with them and feeling such a depth of loss and love and appreciation for added time she'd never have had in ordinary life was touching. Marguerite gains a lot of familial perspective with her own family, through every other one she meets. As such, love becomes a dominant theme that eclipses all acreage, proportion and measurable dimension.

Claudia Gray's heroine? she wasn't quite the well-beloved protagonist, though I was no less interested to live through her lens. I didn't have many concerns larger than that, but I did have some. Marguerite's motivated by her impulses and can/does make questionable choices. Her age added to the equation but her reactions aren't all that inappropriate. I didn't always feel she played by the ethics of embodying her multiverse others however, even though commentary over ethical responsibility and bodily influence was given minor mention. With the violation of what happens to a central character especially (and the consequences he has to face in book 2) Marguerite often lacked that sense of consequential sensitivity. She had the awareness sans will to stick to her boundaries. Where the author aims to take that remains to be seen. Specifically when she rationalises a decision made (an emotionally motivated one) by stealing a choice that wasn't hers to make because she assumes it would have been consented to. She's perhaps too quick to be beheld by the blind faith on destined principle without considering nuance. Like most things in life, the truth is often more complicated than one belief unquestioned. I speak mostly to a certain staunch romantic perspective she later has without considering every other alternative of this person out there, in every other universe. They're not as interchangeable as she might desire to believe. Her impulses do really service her in being as driven and actionable as she is, which I can say for her. Then again, she's isn't the science-minded member of the cast. Of course, destined love is a romantic notion, and in this one it's an experimentally verifiable one too, enter the science as it binds with philosophy. Romanticist that I am, I appreciated the larger scope of destined connections, but again, Marguerite felt too quick to believe a certain someone is hers in every dimension of the innumerable ones in existence. In lieu of just the belief, I wanted real relationship development paired with it. Hopefully, book two develops in this regard too. For me, Marguerite's character construction could have been stronger; even as we're told about her personality type, her arc didn't seamlessly catalyse that. Since we're reading from the perspective of the artsy Caine family member, readers won't find themselves lost to the complex long-winded verbiage anticipated via plot themes. Marguerite offers a very readable perspective.

While Marguerite may be the anomaly in having a super special skill to carry her mindfully through her universal travels I just might be one of few reader anomalies in remaining impartial to the love language that is "the love triangle". Oops. Maybe one day I'll get there but for now I enjoy the indecisive melodrama. We have one here but Marguerite's heart is the concealer of nothing but transparency, so we know which love interest is her endgame so to speak. She has an affection for both Paul and Theo but there's adequate amounts of to and fro, all whipped up by a young heroine's confusion. Even though love itself is a ruling theme It also isn't exactly a very well-discovered romance. Paul, for example (her dimension's Paul) was absent for a strong portion of the story. Theo is her constant companion but all gets twisted up when we're exposed with the revelation. I am hoping book two turns a corner with romantic relationship charting. Fingers crossed that it provides, though I think the lack of an established relationship was deliberate on the author's part to keep the doubt alive. While somber, uber-intelligent and taciturn Paul was the villainised wrongdoer, I loved him from the start. His quiet, private disposition lends itself to clandestine motivation, known only unto him, but I had no desire to doubt him, not from the start, not in the end. There's a secret path to my heart. I have a gargantuan soft spot for withdrawn, socially un-acclimated heroes who just want to be loved, and I never doubt the quiet ones who shouldn't be doubted. Paul Markov, welcome to my heart. If actions speak louder than words then Paul Markov is the equivalent of someone who never needs to use them, though maybe sometimes it wouldn't provoke such havoc to be a little bit less MOM. I loved him to pieces, a thousand pieces of him. I want us to be socially inept and underdeveloped together. Theo was a character with some attitude. Though, for obvious reasons if you've read the book, the twist makes one wonder how much we know of his actual character at all, especially with the journey of guided suspicion we're taken on. He's the day to Paul's night and does his equal best to protect and aid Marguerite. Described as the hipster who Paul hero-worships, he's much more laid back, quick to charm with social grace and physicist-smart, of course. What sets the love triangle apart is the body swapping twist and the burgeoning suspicion that leaves characters in a state of doubt, even though you want to believe in all of them.

The story's quite condensed to the chase, the abstraction of the plot and marguerite's single minded version of events. In different ways, this works in favour of the narrative intrigue as much as it lacks orient and falls to the shadows in others. All of this in mind and I was pulled by a force I like to call YA romance, and Paul Markov. Love leaves the turf of Marguerite's home dimension but is never far from every universe travelled. We're shown what this group of characters would do for each in the name of love, faith and family, the risks they'd take to save each other and the lengths they'd go to ensure it. A multiverse family drama meets a multiverse romance meets a conspiracy that penetrates dimension in A Thousand Pieces of You. All of it blends and tangles in a temporal, universe-hopping, dimension-spanning, culture-shocking embarkment. There's also a seedy magnate who operates like an unethical goon. Even its title holds a certain romance, a poetically loaded meaning. The metaphysical is given intellectual form and scientific truths, principles and curiosities get their turn to play in a piece of hardware called the Firebird. Marguerite's faced with the fantasy and the flaw of this little prototypical contraption on her travels. A spoiler (non-spoiler): nobody dies a tragic death into a thousand pieces of themselves, though we never know what could happen with such a multi-applicable title. It's technically not at all a timelined time travel (time takes the same space and pace) but because of the culture changes it can and does feel like one. This was a pick from the scared, untouched-in-a-very-long-time vessel that we call my corporeal bookshelf. What was been keeping me from reading this? I'd like to claim innocence and say I don't know. If you follow my reading life, you'll know that there's a certain genre that keeps me busy. A multiverse-inspired fantasy trip that gives new meaning to the term 'long distance interrelationships'. And I can't conclude without just one more tribute to such brilliantly interpreted cover art so a special artistic mention for the art team that finalised such a vision!

Content Warning/Listing: drinking, mentions drug taking. General warnings for violence. Sex scene (brief, non descriptive, very YA but you definitely know what's happening). Very minimal swearing. Death of a parent.
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