A Thousand Pieces of You
Published November 4th, 2014
Goodreads: See Review
Plot at a Glance:
Marguerite Caine’s parents are world renowned for their work in the scientific community. Physicists by trade, they have just completed work on their Magnum Opus, (a device that allows travel across all universes) when Marguerite’s father is murdered and his suspected killer escapes across dimensions with one of the inventions. Hellbent on getting revenge, Marguerite and her friend Theo follow him across the divide, jumping into other versions of themselves where they find their lives caught up in increasingly confusing ways. A Thousand Pieces of You calls into question the permanency of Fate, as Maguerite struggles to unlock ever elusive truths.
That’s it. I’m starting a campaign to end love triangles as a staple of the Young Adult genre. Or I’d like to anyway, but you know, I’ve got a lot of books to read.
I’ll admit it, I’m kind of scared to review this one because so many of my friends LOVED this, but I was let down…
Those of you who have followed me for any length of time know that one of my biggest pet peeves are love triangles. I get why authors feel the need to include them. Romance adds a bit of sizzle to the middle of a book where the plot feels a bit slow. However, it’s when the main plot starts getting overtaken by the relationship dynamics between the characters that I start getting frustrated because that’s when the action also starts suffering.
It’s especially frustrating considering that this book has such a strong opening and close. You hit the ground running with the characters from page one, setting the expectation that this was going to be fast paced universe jumping – which I was totally down for! What I got instead was a slow burn love triangle as Marguerite decides which boy she likes the most and can trust the most, which was repeated in each universe and in my opinion killed the pacing.
I think it’s important to consider plot as context for relationships in the first place, because there is a time and place for romance.
I don’t know about you, but if my father had just been MURDERED and I wasn’t sure which of my friends did it, romancing either of them would be the last thing on my mind.
Of course, we can’t talk about love triangles without talking about the motivations of female characters. I love kickass female heroines in novels, television shows and movies. My favorite characters are the women with agency, who effect the plot and don’t let external plot devices (such as men) affect them. Unfortunately, Marguerite just isn’t one of those characters.
Her narrative point of view centers almost totally around men! Each time she jumps into another universe, instead of learning about the new world she’s in, Marguerite immediately starts thinking about boys. And lets face it: her reasons for trusting both Theo and Paul in the first place are flimsy at best and ludicrous at worst.
For example, she immediately trusts one of the two because his eyes look sad when she sees him.
In my opinion, this novel would have benefited in a big way from shelving the romantic love triangle entirely, in favor of fleshing out the different universes and the larger mystery around Marguerite’s father.
It was still a fun and quick read, and I commend Claudia Gray for creating different worlds that I would have loved to have seen more of. The ending gave me hope that the next book will improve on the areas I took issue with here, so I’ll be continuing with the next book soon while maintaining my zeal for stronger focuses on plot in YA and less on forced romantic triangles.
✩✩= 3 average, hoping-for-better-in-the-sequel stars out of 5
What did you think about this book? Have you read the sequels? Would you say they improve over the first?