YA Weekend: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Genre: Young adult, science fiction
Series: Firebird #1
Publisher: Harper Teen (November 2014)
Author Info: claudiagray.com
Wendy’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
“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.”
I’m not fond of YA books that put romance first, but Claudia Gray proved herself capable of formulating a story around a romance, rather than making it the entire focus with Lost Stars. While I don’t feel as strongly about this book as I did Lost Stars, I am still very impressed with the way Gray weaves her magic.
In A Thousand Pieces of You, Gray writes about a young woman named Marguerite Cain who is at the centre of the science that can cross dimensions. She herself is not a scientist, but her parents and their assistants are, and their brilliant minds have created the firebird device, which allows users to jump into alternate versions of themselves in other dimensions. The science is a bit iffy at times, but as this is told through Marguerite’s perspective, it can be appreciated that her artistic mind does not grasp many of the concepts (and frankly, mine wouldn’t either).
Marguerite is also at the centre of a love triangle involving her parents’ assistant. The problem is that one of those assistants is responsible for murdering her father and stealing the firebird. Marguerite races across dimensions with Theo to catch Paul and make him pay. But things aren’t that easy, of course, and there are other sides to every story — especially when there are other sides to the people involved.
As Marguerite jumps from one life to another, the plot slows a bit to focus on that romance. While this jaunt seems to stray from the main in order to get the romance on, several important elements and ideas are subtly raised that solidify the plot, as well as the character development of both of the men in Marguerite’s life. In other words, I can forgive the delay to make kissy face when the ramifications of their actions and the reality of who a person truly is, no matter what dimension they are from, are still integral to the development of the people and the events to come.
Somewhere towards the end of the book when the plot thickens, the story very much reminded me of the events in Fringe, but with Gray’s own unique twist on the implications of interdimensional travel. At this point, I fell into all my Fringe feels and emotional twirling.
This was a pretty solid book, but I did not find the characters as endearing as I have in Gray’s other writing. In particular, Marguerite was not nearly as interesting a protagonist as she could have been and I found myself wishing to see the story from other perspectives instead.