BOOK REVIEW : A Thousand Pieces of You
By Claudia Gray
BY SULPHIA IQBAL
A Thousand Pieces of You is the first installment in a series about a girl named Marguerite who begins to question where her friends’ loyalties lay and whom she can trust through a journey through the multiverse. The idea of the multiverse is that for every probability, there is a world. For example, there’s a world where the Allies lost the war or another world where the Tsars are still alive. This would mean there is an infinite number of Earths. If you watch the Flash, it might be easier for you to understand the world building in this book.
In Marguerite’s world, her parents are these infamous scientists who have finally proven the concept of the multiverse. They went on to invent the Firebird, an instrument that could potentially allow one to travel between Earths/Realities/Worlds??? Sounds all cheery and jovial, right? Yeah, no. That happiness, like everything else in life, was ephemeral.
Marguerite’s dad is murdered (authors and their love for killing off parents tsk tsk ) and the prime suspect is Paul, her parents’ most trusted advisor. Marguerite, blinded by anguish and distress, decides to go along with her parents’ other advisor, Theo, to hunt down Paul. You might be thinking “YAY! A full out multiverse wild-goose chase!”. Yeah….no. It’s not that exciting.
Not sorry for crushing your dreams.
I mean, to start with, it couldn’t even be considered a wild-goose chase because conveniently, Theo and Marguerite knew EXACTLY WHAT WORLD TO FIND PAUL IN. Based on the premise of the book, it’s kinda obvious Marguerite begins to question Paul’s guilt, but I did not think it would be so early in the book, so no there was barely a chase. Then again, if it came any later I would’ve teared out my hair at how obvious the whole thing was.
MC Marguerite is the perfect character for a story like this. Her family is basically a home to geniuses; her dad and mom are working on a project that will allow inter-universe travel and her sister is oceanographer. Her parents’ assistants, Theo and Paul, are also extraordinary physicists and practically live with them, acting as the brothers Marguerite never had. Paul is a child prodigy, graduating high school at thirteen and starting his pHD only four years later. And among all the intellectuals, there’s Marguerite who is an extremely talented artist. I really like how despite everyone else being nerdy and intelligent, Marguerite isn’t projected as the odd dumb duck of the family. In fact, she’s kinda intelligent in her own way.
In the beginning, we are told that Paul has supposedly left his Earth (like our normal earth that has all the main characters and stuff) to escape the punishment for his “actions”. Marguerite starts to doubt whatever relationship she had with him and consequently is driven by grief and anger to find Paul and kill him. Very early into the book, Marguerite realizes Paul was actually innocent.
Throughout the book, Marguerite goes through a few phases. At first, she’s in the grieving stage, where all she can think of is sadness for her father’s death and anger towards Paul. Then she is nothing but angry and bloodthirsty, ready to kill him at first sight. Very quickly, she realizes she was wrong and basically continues to be in a phase where she is just confused about her feelings (AKA the phase where I seriously wanted to tear the book apart because it was SOOOO BORING.)
My problem with this book was that it was less focused on the plot and more focused on the relationship between Marguerite and, no surprise, Paul. There are way too many YA novels disguised as science fiction. If not for that, I would have probably given this book a 4/5.
(SIDENOTE: The name of this series is the Firebird Trilogy and a lot of this book takes place in Russia. I just read a book that was a retelling of the Russian myth Firebird. Coincidence? I think not)
Check it out at the library and goodreads :
“Now I know that grief is a whetstone that sharpens all your love, all your happiest memories, into blades that tear you apart from within.”