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.
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.
What can I say about this book other than I was absolutely fascinated? A Thousand Pieces of You gets pluses for everything: plot, characters, execution, writing. But no book is perfect.
The strongest part of this book was its plot. The concept of parallel dimensions isn’t an easy one to handle yet Gray pulls it off with aplomb. She explains how the dimensions work throughout the course of the novel rather than an infodump at the beginning. This way the reader is able to digest the workings of the concept while simultaneously seeing it in action. And guess what; there was a romance that I actually rooted for! Yes, Gray was also able to weave a well thought out love triangle into all of the physics mumbo jumbo for an added touch of uniqueness.
A Thousand Pieces of You makes heavy use of flashbacks which I absolutely loved. Most books I read all have a linear plot that can get old rather quickly. It’s almost as though we think forward progression is the only way to tell a story. So when I picked this one up and was thrown into the chaos right from the first page to have it grow slightly less chaotic via flashbacks was a refreshing facet of the story.
I had little to no problems with the characters. I loved Marguerite from the start. She felt very different to most YA protagonists to me. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it was a side effect of the way the story was told or maybe it’s something else that will become evident in later books. All I know is that I’m glad to read from her perspective. The rest of the cast consisted of Marguerite’s family, and her parents’ graduate assistants: Theo and Paul, the latter being accused of killing her father. They both have their likeable traits, although I will admit Theo is significantly less likeable than Paul for me. While it may seem that the characterisation is reminiscent of a typical YA novel, note that in each of the dimensions all of these characters have subtle differences to the point where the concept of one’s identity becomes a major theme throughout the novel. And I strongly believe that it was these subtleties that made the romance interesting for me.
But while I sing praises for A Thousand Pieces of You I do have to nitpick. My major problem had to do with the pacing; sometimes it was on point and enough to make me wish I could stay up all night reading, but at other times I was just vaguely interested. Some of the dimensions hooked me from the start while others felt underdeveloped and were just outright boring. Then there were some other events within the novel that also felt underdeveloped or rushed which disappointed me greatly. Nothing is worse than becoming emotionally invested in a character(s) and then they don’t get the attention they deserve.
All things considered though, A Thousand Pieces of You was a completely pleasant and much needed surprise. Most people I know who have read it wanted to go straight into book two, Ten Thousand Skies Above You, but I can wait. I’m going to space it out so that I read book two closer to November and the release of the final novel in the trilogy: A Million Worlds With You.