Sunday, November 2, 2014

Six Star Reviews: A Thousand Pieces of You

The highest rating a book can get on Goodreads is five stars. Five stars means the book was awesome, worthy, well-written, etc. But sometimes I wish I could give six—YES 6—stars. These instances are rare, but there are some books that stand out that extra bit. They are truly unputdownable. They are not just great, but extraordinary. They speak to me, and I love them.

Here’s a book that deserves six stars:

A Thousand Pieces of You—Claudia Gray

Marguerite Caine grew up surrounded by cutting-edge scientific theories, thanks to her brilliant physicist parents. Yet nothing is more astounding than her mother's latest invention—a device called the Firebird, which allows people to leap into alternate dimensions. When Marguerite's father is murdered, all the evidence points to one person—Paul, her parents' enigmatic star student. Before the law can touch him, Paul escapes into another dimension, having committed what seems like the perfect crime. But he didn't count on Marguerite chasing him.

With the help of another physics student, Theo, Marguerite chases Paul through various dimensions and wildly different lives-- a grand duchess in a Tsarist Russia, a club-hopping orphan in a futuristic London, a refugee from worldwide flooding on a station in the heart of the ocean. In each new world Marguerite leaps to, she meets another version of Paul that has her doubting his guilt and questioning her heart. Is she doomed to repeat the same betrayal?

There are a thousand things I love about A Thousand Pieces of You. Seriously. And if I had a couple days to spare, I’d write a giant list! But I don’t because it’s NaNoWriMo time, so I’ll just share a few of the reasons why I love and devoured and couldn’t put down this book!

First of all, Marguerite! She’s got backbone! She’s smart and brave! She’s not genius-level like her parents, but that just makes her relatable. At the start of the novel, she’s reeling because Paul, a graduate student who works for her parents, killed her dad and she’d highly interested in revenge. However, Paul used the one and only Firebird to escape where no one could follow. So when another grad student, Theo, says he has a couple spare Firebirds, Marguerite jumps at the chance to chase Paul through the multiverses.

The concept of the novel, while complex, is well-explained in the beginning and goes a little something like this: The Firebird, an invention of Marguerite’s mom, allows a person to leap into alternate dimensions. However, Marguerite has to exist in that dimension to be able to travel there, as she takes over that person’s life temporarily. Interesting, right? And what makes it even more interesting is the alternate dimensions themselves. Some have progressed faster than our world, and therefore have better technologies (like when Marguerite travels to a futuristic London), some have progressed slower than our world (like when she travels to a Tsarist Russia) and some have just progressed differently (like when she travels to an underground station due to worldwide flooding).

The concept itself is killer. And then there’s the plot! I won’t say much, because it changes so quickly that even saying something from Marguerite’s first jump to futuristic London is a spoiler. One thing though: keep an eye out for hints. There are plenty tidbits that factor into the final twist, and it’s awesome to see them all come together. (Speaking of "Come Together", the Beatles don’t exist in some of the alternate dimensions, because they didn't meet!)

Also, Paul and Theo! Argggg I want to gush over one of them in particular but that would be a spoiler. So I’ll gush over both! Paul killed Marguerite’s dad, but we learn through flashbacks that he’s not a faceless killer. Since he was a grad student for Marguerite’s parents he spent a lot of time in their house and was practically family! Paul was brilliant, quiet and socially awkward, and we learn in the flashbacks that Marguerite had a connection with him. Theo is also one of Marguerite’s parents’ grad students, yet he’s a social butterfly and takes Paul under his wing so much so that they have a brotherly love going on. This dynamic makes things interesting as they travel through the multiverses.

A Thousand Pieces of You is everything. It’s mystery, fantasy and historical fiction. There’s suspense, love and enough twists to put a crick in your neck! It hits the shelves Tuesday, November 4, and I’ll be grabbing my copy that day! How could I not have a cover that lovely and a story that intriguing on my bookshelf?

A Thousand Pieces of You is a 6 out of 5 stars book, and I can’t wait to stroke its spine and smell its pages and wrap it (carefully) in my arms and squeeze it (gently) onto my bookshelf.

My recommendation: READ THIS BOOK. (Especially if you like gutsy females leads and/or intricate plots and/or ALL THE GENRES and/or the idea of fate.)

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