A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray | Magan Reviews

Book Review of A Thousand Pieces of  You by Claudia Gray


A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray (website | twitter)
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 368
Target Audience: Young Adult Fiction
Keywords: parallel universes, time travel, death of a parent
Format Read: ARC received from the Publisher. (Thank you!)

Summary: Marguerite seeks answers about her father’s death and travels between parallel universes using the Firebird, the device her parent’s created that make such travel possible, in search of his suspected murderer.

Marguerite is the artist in a family of award-winning physicists. When her father dies and her parent’s assistant, Paul, takes off looking like the most obvious suspect, she has no choice but to emerge herself in her parent’s scientific world to find answers. Even if that involves learning how to use the Firebird, the device her parents created that allows her to jump to alternate dimensions. Marguerite has always felt like her parent’s assistants were adopted family members and there were these inexplicable moments she had with Paul that make her wonder how she could have been so fooled.

The strongest component of A Thousand Pieces of You is seeing Marguerite take a crash course in survival and physics to seek answers. Essentially with a turn of the Firebird, Marguerite finds herself in a parallel universe where the people she knows and is familiar with exist, but things can range from being ever-so-slightly altered to feeling centuries behind technologically. When she takes over another Marguerite’s body, she has to quickly adapt to her surroundings so she can cleverly figure out where Paul is located and when the proper time is to move on to the next place.

There are elements of a great chase paired with this very mysterious relationship between Marguerite and Paul. Her search is for more than closure and justice, but it’s a sweet, wild ride to see how Paul and Marguerite’s story morphs through each dimension. It’s a beautiful, tangled mess of cat-and-mouse paired with a confusing “what-if” love story as we flash back to learn about Paul and Marguerite before her father’s death. There’s a huge internal struggle to believe that Paul couldn’t have done something so destructive and devastating, but when all evidence points to him, how can it be denied? I absolutely loved how complex and intelligent the storyline was, but how the majority of the story focused on the simplest question: What lengths will we go to for the people we love? 

A Thousand Pieces of You is my first Claudia Gray book, and I’m incredibly anxious to get my hands on more of her work and to see where the rest of this story goes.

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Travel Tales: A Guest Post from Author Pam Mingle

Last month, I shared my review of Kissing Shakespeare by Pam Mingle, which *yay* hits bookshelves today! The time travel tale focuses on Miranda, an aspiring actress, who is roped into going back in time to help save Shakespeare from making a decision that could change the world as we know it.

Author Pam Mingle was kind enough to provide a great guest post on writing historical fiction for young adults and also give us one copy of her new shiny book to giveaway! Coincidentally, Kissing Shakespeare fits in perfect with this month’s travel-themed event we are hosting with Alexa and Elena! We hope you enjoy what Pam has to say and enter the giveaway at the bottom.

Thank you Pam!

Kissing Shakespeare, as Stephen says about Miranda, has one foot in the present and one in the past. Indulge me and try to imagine a book with feet!

When I started writing this story, I intended it to be a straight historical. I love historical fiction, and doesn’t everybody? Unfortunately, it’s a hard sell for teens. Middle grade kids and adults love it…but teens, not so much. So I was back to square one, with no clue what to do. Me, clueless. Imagine that.

Initially, I planned to have two protagonists. Miranda, from the present, and Jennet, from the sixteenth century. The problem was, they’d be telling two completely different stories, and I wasn’t sure how they would intersect. That’s when the idea of blending the present and past jumped into my head. I decided to stick with Miranda as my main character, and use Jennet as a secondary, though still important, character.

Now I had to establish the link between past and present—Shakespeare—and the vehicle for getting my main character to the sixteenth century—time travel. Miranda has a strong connection to Shakespeare because of her acting background. And Stephen, her guide to the past, knows the workings of time travel.

Once the groundwork was laid, story took over. Miranda, the fish out of water, attempting to fit into the sixteenth century without anyone noticing she’s, well, different. Scrambling to prevent Shakespeare from making a huge mistake. Witnessing horrifying religious and political unrest. Receiving mysterious notes. Falling in love. Trying to keep it together despite fear and confusion and anxiety. I hope readers will identify with Miranda because her emotions are universal, and we all share them. All of us, in our own way, are attempting to make sense of the world, just like Miranda, Stephen, and a young Will Shakespeare.

Speaking of story, Estelle asked me to mention some of the great books I’ve been reading. I recently finished Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler. It’s different, but I liked it. An ingenious way to tell the tale of a break-up, through the memorabilia Min saved and is now dumping on Ed’s doorstep. I just started Warped, by Maurissa Guibord, and I can guarantee you, if you’re into Kissing Shakespeare, you will love this book. Fantasy readers, no news here, I loved Laini Taylor’s wickedly creative Daughter of Smoke and Bone (along with the rest of the world). Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue is on my nightstand, along with The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green.

I freely admit to being a Game of Thrones addict, and I’m currently reading the third book, A Storm of Swords (it’s taking me forever because it’s so long). And I just finished Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, a complex psychological mystery. I love mysteries and always have, ever since Nancy Drew!

Thanks to the gals at Rather Be Reading for inviting me to write a guest post. I hope all of you will love reading Kissing Shakespeare!

Where you can find Pam: website | twitter
Where you can find Kissing Shakespeare: goodreads | amazon

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travel tails feature with rather be reading, alexa loves books, and novel sounds

Alexa Love Books (blog)
a birthday giveaway
transportation through books
– review of unbreak my heart by melissa walker

Novel Sounds (blog)
– traveling through harry potter’s world