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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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Audiobook Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (Sophia is Confused)

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Firebird #1
Claudia Gray
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 9 hours, 18 minutes
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Harper Audio
Reviewer: Sophia

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

A Thousand Pieces of You was an absolute pain in the butt to listen to – that's probably an exaggeration.

The book is one of those novels that needs quite a bit of scientific background for you to fully grasp the entire meaning behind it. There is just so much physics and scientific varbage just purely explaining the concept parallel universes, dimension traveling, and the like throughout the first fifth of the book that I, a high school girl who only finished Chemistry, can only get a teeny grasp on because I was bored enough to do some research on the existence of parallel universes years ago. Still, I was as absolutely confused as a newborn baby.

But back then, I was in middle school. My curiosity might have been insatiable (it still is... in a way) and it annoyed the noodles out of my parents. Well, my mother was annoyed and wondered if I got switched at birth. Congrats, mom. You got a grammar Nazi and not a walking calculator. How does it feel to have someone younger than you correcting your grammar?

Still, getting bombarded with physics varbage isn't exactly my thing – my mind went from, "Whoa, this is cool!" to "Wait... why do I think this is cool again?" to "What is this? Physics class? I'M NOT DONE WITH CHEMISTRY YET." to "I don't understand. I'm reading this, absorbing this, digesting this, but I can't understand or comprehend or grasp this fully."
The whole varbage thing might have been helpful with the world building and better understanding of how the whole dimension traveling worked – if you know enough science. No offense, but I swear, tPhone is the most ridiculous creation ever – a complete carbon copy of the iPhone with a different letter replacing the "i." The Triad here is quite literally the Apple of this book – I'm not too impressed.

There is also A LOT of flashbacks to Marguerite's life – helpful in learning about Marguerite, her family, Theo, Paul, and all the other characters, but only a few were actually helpful later on in the story. The whole physics varbage and the flashbacks felt like a conversation I would be having with a long time friend visiting after many years, or a potential class reunion ten years after I graduate and Lupe talks about this hair salon she opened in Mexico and Rundus talks about a gruesomely bloody game he programmed recently while finally keeping his fingers to himself unless he wants his girlfriend/fiancĂ©e/wife to go after my head in envy.

A Thousand Pieces of You was just that – a story told many years after it happened and the characters look back and reflect on themselves, possibly laughing at how stupid they might have acted. At the romantic notions they each had of each other – Marguerite thinking about never having a chance with Paul or Theo, Theo thinking about maybe he does have a chance with Marguerite, and Paul thinking that he has no chance with Marguerite whatsoever. At how reckless Marguerite was with her thinking – jumping the gun and going after Paul right from the start, because one of the first things I hear is, "Kill Paul Markov." Whoa, gruesome much?

Then I get thrust into a flurry of confusion where Marguerite's emotions are on high tide and a dumpster of information is quite literally dumped upon my ears from the very next chapter about how this whole dimension travel works here, among other things.

While I enjoyed the whole "story around a fire" vibe, I feel like I would have enjoyed this so much better and grasped this so much more fully if I took a physics class before reading this.

2.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.