Book Report: Our highly scientific analysis of a book, from the characters to the writing style to the swoon. See More...

A Thousand Lives, A Thousand Choices, One You

Mandy C. is super glad she didn’t have to travel to another dimension to read Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You (but she totally would have).

A Thousand Lives, A Thousand Choices, One You

BOOK REPORT for A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray

Cover Story: Montell Jordan
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 9
Talky Talk: Science 101
Bonus Factors: Alternate Dimensions, Fate
Bonus/Anti-Bonus Factor: Series Starter
Relationship Status: Already Scheduled a Second Date

Cover Story: Montell Jordan

This cover is gorgeous. This is the kind of book no one would be embarrassed to be seen reading. Nothing about it screams YA either; no Big Face, no Fancy Dress, no Turn Arrrrroooooound. It’s colorful and interesting, and the designer made great use of white space.

All y’all publishers: Take note.

The Deal:

A week ago, Marguerite Caine’s father was killed, supposedly by one of his most trusted students and one of her (maybe more than?) friends, Paul. Marguerite has vowed to avenge her father, but that might be a bit hard. You see, Paul has fled … to another dimension.

Marguerite’s parents are—were—two of the most brilliant minds of their time. They’ve created a device (the Firebird) that enables energy, in the form of a person’s consciousness, to travel into a different dimension. Paul stole a Firebirds when he fled, but, unbeknownst to him, two more exist. Marguerite and another of her father’s students, Theo, follow Paul in an attempt to bring him to justice.

As they travel into different versions of themselves in dimensions that are both familiar and strikingly different, Marguerite begins to discover that nothing is quite as clear as she assumed when she lept into the unknown.

BFF Charm: Yay

Although she’s the daughter of two ridiculously brilliant scientists, Marguerite’s talents have err more on the side of the creative. Not that she’s not smart, but, as she describes herself at one point, she’s the one right-brained person in her family. This makes her much more approachable. Don’t get me wrong, from the stories we get through Marguerite’s memories and the short scenes we see them in, her parents are very cool super nerds. But I think I would be able to have longer conversations with someone who talked about art rather than quantum mechanics.

Swoonworthy Scale: 9

Dang, guys. For a book about dimensional travel and vengeance, A Thousand Pieces of You is also H-O-T hot. It’s also extremely swoony. Let me give you a taste:

Slowly [REDACTED] leans down over me. My T-shirt is slightly off one shoulder, and his lips brush me there—along the line of my collarbone. The kiss lasts only a moment. It crashes through me like lightning.

He whispers, “Ask me again sometime, when we’re both ourselves.” Then, he lifts his head and his smile is soft. “Next time I won’t stop with your shoulder.”

Talky Talk: Science 101

Much of A Thousand Pieces of You deals with some seriously advanced “science.” I’m not entirely sure how accurate it is, but Claudia Gray has written about the theories in a way that makes a lot of sense. She’s also extremely adept at creating different realities that still feel realistic, which helps keep the story grounded in the now.

Additionally, throughout Marguerite’s quest, Gray weaves backstory into the story in the form of memories, which both serves as world building and makes a situation that could seem like instalove something more well-rounded.

Bonus Factor: Alternate Dimensions

It seems like alternate universes/dimensions are the new vampires—at least, I’ve reviewed quite a few books featuring this factor recently. I’m not complaining, however; I love the idea. During her search for Paul, Marguerite travels to a few different dimensions, one of which is nearly identical to her own, save for the color of a painting. One has slightly better technology, another lags far, far behind. The theory of multiple dimensions in which variations of “you” exist is so fascinating. I’d never be able to understand the real science, but I’m super happy to imagine the science fiction.

Bonus Factor: Fate

The concept of fate comes to play in A Thousand Pieces of You with the idea that the many versions of a person that exist in the multiverses often have similar personality traits, and therefore similar interests. Therefore, a person might be attracted to the same person, no matter the universe. This theory is a hugely hopeless romantic one … but I never said I wasn’t in to that sort of thing.

Bonus/Anti-Bonus Factor: Series Starter

Sigh.

Then again, if more books in this series means more moments of serious swoon and more covers like this, count me in.

Casting Call:

Maia Mitchell as Marguerite

Theo James as Theo

Henry Cavill as Paul

Relationship Status: Already Scheduled a Second Date

Well, Book. You drew me in with your cover—even though I never try to judge—but you hooked me with your story. Our date had it all: intrigue, excitement, laughter, and a healthy dose of chemistry. Let’s go out again soon. Are you busy tonight?

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from HarperTeen. I received neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. A Thousand Pieces of You is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
K