Damn Those Second Book Syndromes || Siege and Storm Review

Initial Thoughts: 

UGHHHHH SECOND BOOK SYNDROME WHY YOU DO THIS. There was a lot of development of characters and world building, and the plot doesn’t fully escalate until the end, which then led to the drama and hijinks with Mal and Alina–which led to a lot of bookrage (because the former refused to change and the latter finally grew a backbone and why couldn’t she have just slapped the asshole to begin with?!).

Honestly, I’m still broken up over Genya. I don’t think I can emotionally recover from that.

Okay breathe.

THAT BEING SAID. HELLO SASSY NIKOLAI YOU CAN QUEEN ME ANYTIME JUST LET ME SUMMON THE SUN FOR YOU GIVE ME A MOMENT HOW HARD COULD IT BE.

*SPOILERS WARNING* As this is the second book of the trilogy, expect some spoilers from the first book, Shadow and Bone.


SIEGE AND STORM

by Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt and Company, June 2013
YA fantasy, romance
Rated: 4 / 5 cookies

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

So once again, a fire had to be lit under my ass to get this book read, and mostly because my friend started a rant on it. I can understand why, though, because as far as Siege and Storm went, it definitely paled in comparison to the first book, Shadow and Bone.

BUT. I’m getting ahead of myself.

For all intense and purposes, I am still adoring the world of the Grisha, of the Corporalnik and the Etherealki and the Fabrikators. I loved seeing Ravka being fleshed out in bits and pieces, and the stories and myths Bardugo added into the plot? Fantastic. I even absolutely loved the addition of the technology, because the world changes and even the magic of the Small Sciences is beginning to waver in light of the world of guns and metal.

The story pretty much continues in Alina’s POV, some months after her rather reckless escape from the Darkling in the Fold. Clouded by guilt and repressed in her ordinary, Grisha-hidden life, Alina is not at all satisfied with her station. She is still yearning to become more than what she is, and this becomes a strain in her relationship with Mal. Fortunately, not much drama of guilt is prolonged, because just when she starts feeling bad for herself and resenting her life with Mal away from Ravka, she’s once again snatched by the very guy she hoped had not survived the attack in the Fold.

Which brings me to the characters, because what I loved about Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone was the depth she put in her villain and secondary characters. Genya and the Darkling had been my favorites even through this second book, but we’ve got so many more that were introduced in Siege and Storm that totally stole my squeeing heart.

I’m totally talking about Nikolai Lantsov, duh.

“And there’s no way I’m leaving you alone with Prince Perfect.”

“So you don’t trust me to resist his charms?”

“I don’t even trust myself. I’ve never seen anyone work a crowd the way he does. I’m pretty sure the rocks and trees are getting ready to swear fealty to him.”

This. This quote pretty much defines everything about Nikolai. I have a weakness for cads and pirates, and Nikolai isn’t only that, but he’s ticked off the “confident,” “strategic,” “ambitious,” and “clever and flirtatious” boxes, too. I really loved his banter with Alina and the other characters, and honestly, I want more of him in the last book.

“And I’m notoriously immune to tales of woe. So unless your story involves a talking dog, I don’t want to hear it. Does it?”

“Does it what?”

“Involve a talking dog.”

“No,” I snapped.

I love him so much.

One of the standout character arcs, however, does go to Alina’s growth as a person. There’s a reason why I have this fondness for the Darkling, and it’s because he’s. Not. WRONG. What he’s told Alina, right from the very beginning, is that she’s got a power like his, and to run away from this just to live a normal life is wasting it, which is a detriment to the country. Again, HE’S NOT WRONG. The biggest difference between him and, say, Nikolai, is that the Darkling is cruel. Alright, so he is.

“I’ll return to Os Alta with you, and I’ll consider helping you make a bid for the throne.” I took a deep breath. “But I want the Second Army.”

And eventually, Alina starts to think similarly. She gains ambition. She effing grows a spine, you guys, I love it.

“I’m not a symbol,” I snapped. “And I’m tired of being a pawn.”

That. That right there is indication that Alina is coming to her own.

Now, that being said, I will admit that the book works slowly once everyone gets back to Os Alta. There was a lot of action in the beginning, and the end escalated so quickly that I’m still emotionally torn by the events (I AM STILL UPSET OVER GENYA YOU GUYS WHY) that happened afterwards. This didn’t really bother me as much, because I always expect the middle book to be the build-up and bridge to the conclusion story.

Unfortunately, it also amounted to a lot of drama between Mal and Alina. And while I found Mal to be tolerable and sometimes even cute and adorable in Shadow and Bone, I effing deplored his whiny ass in Siege and Storm. I don’t know how Bardugo is going to make me think otherwise, but I solely believe that Mal and Alina are completely mismatched.

Yes, they’re childhood friends. Yes, they’re going to love each other. But MAL STOP BEING A WHINY BITCH BECAUSE YOUR GIRLFRIEND IS TURNING INTO A FIERCE AND POWERHOUSE CHARACTER. The entire book all he did was whine, sulk, and get jealous over some ONE-SIDED flirtation that Alina constantly rebuked throughout the book. I mean, you know what, Mal? If you want Alina to run to another man’s arms–the Darkling or Nikolai or what-have-you–you’re doing a great job pushing her away.

God, man, he doesn’t even try to meet her halfway, and it’s utterly devastating to see that Alina still tries to cling to this relationship like a lifeline. Like she can’t survive in a world without him.

Alina, you’re stronger than this. You’re Sankt Alina, you’re the Sun Summoner dammit. Woman up and just blow a hole through another roof. It’ll make you feel better. Then move on and snog Nikolai. I don’t mind. At least Nikolai doesn’t begrudge you for being a Grisha. Hell, “like calls to like,” so if you’re into that kind of dark relationship, have your dream sex with the one guy who’d definitely support your rise to Grisha power! YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, ALINA, YOU’RE A GROWN ASS WOMAN.

Again. THE DARKLING IS NOT WRONG. I will be forever saying this, even though yes, the Darkling is a scoundrel and a cruel one at that. (I CANNOT FORGIVE HIM FOR GENYA AND BAGHRA BUT STILL.)

Deep breaths.

4 out of 5 cookies! I still loved this book, and I do look forward to reading the last. That being said, I’m also a little afraid, because in my head I’ve already got three different ways things can go down, and none of them with Mal. Sooooo…that might be a problem.

This book is part of the Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge.


Have you read this book? What did you think?

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What Goes Up Must Come Down || The Thousandth Floor Review

Initial Thoughts: 

This world is pretty damn cool and definitely Gossip Girl of the future. But ohgod the drama I could. Not. Deal. The best POVs were from the peasants below floor 500 and I just REALLY WANTED THE ONE COUPLE TO GO RIGHT.

But let’s be honest, if this had been turned into a TV show I’d so watch the eff out of this dramatic trash. Pity I ended up listening to the book instead.


THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR

by Katharine McGee
HarperCollins, August 2016
YA science fiction
Rated: 2.5 / 5 cookies

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

Futuristic Gossip Girl

Every single description of this book that I’ve seen so far describes it as being the futuristic Gossip Girl, and I’m definitely in agreement with that. If you ask me, it’s what brought me to wanting to read the book in the first place, because I frigging loved Gossip Girl. Chair ship ftw!

But as much as I loved GG, I couldn’t honestly rate this as high as I would have liked, because much of the drama drove me nuts.

How is this drama different from GG, you ask?

There isn’t much difference, honestly. There’s a ton of underage drinking, there’s sex scandals right, left, and center, there are drugs and drug addicts, there are perfect teenage specimens littered throughout the pages, and there’s conspiracy like you wouldn’t believe.

The added bonus is that this takes place in 2118, well into the future, where cities fit into one entire building, all the way onto the thousandth floor.

So what’s not to like?

Honestly, I rolled my eyes every single time Avery’s POV showed up. The way she’s been characterized is that she’s “practically perfect in every way,” and honestly, the ONLY problem she seems to have is that she is in love with her adopted brother. This in itself is cringe-worthy in all ways (it’s just wrong, so wrong, and nothing in the world will make this OKAY–AND GOD WHY THE HELL DO THEY NOT STOP). A lot of the girls want Avery to like them, because at the end of the day, she’s Queen Bee, and I don’t know, but most queen bees are not characterized as being “nice.” Avery is NOT nice. She’s as P-E-T-T-Y as everyone else clamoring up near the thousandth floor, and she’s quite honestly my least favorite character ever because every single time her POV shows up, all she’s doing is whining and pining over Atlas–when she’s not heavily drinking and hosting pity parties for Eris, that is.

Which brings me up to the love-hate relationship I have with Leda, Avery’s best friend. Leda’s obsession is definitely creepy, and things escalate to a point where she does really unforgivable things. But ya know, I love batshit crazy when it comes to story, and Leda is as batshit crazy as you’re going to get, drugs included.

On the bright side, I do want to highlight some really good things I found about the book that will eventually lead me to reading the rest of the trilogy (please just let this be a trilogy, because I really don’t want to keep reading this if it’s a series…).

Rylin and Cord – Of all the pairings that get introduced in this story, I’m really hoping this is one that eventually pans out at the end. The ending in the first book frustrated me to no end, but let’s face it, the two still have feelings for each other, and I’m always a sucker for poor girl and rich boy stories (I’m also currently watching Meteor Garden and I absolutely loved Hana Yori Dango and Ouran High School Host Club…if that says anything about my mentality). I MEAN, HE TOOK HER TO PARIS COME ON.

Watt – I’m still not sure how I feel about Watt entirely, but his storyline does bring a bit of technology back into the book. Watt and his quant Nadia get embroiled in the story because of Leda and Avery, and while Watt lives well below floor 500, like Rylin he eventually manages to drag himself into the dramatic lives of the upper floor miscreants.

The futuristic environment is probably the most intriguing part of the book. If there’s anything more appealing about this world, it’s the fact that hierarchy quite literally means the higher you are, the more powerful your family is. In this case, the Fullers–with their massive property ownership–are the richest of the rich, even going so far as to genetically create their daughter Avery to perfection. I also liked the idea that the upper floors seem spacious enough that they look more like the outside world than what we eventually see as apartment floors.

I guess I want to defend the rating by saying that had this been a TV show, I would have watched the crap out of it. It’s just the right amount of YA angst that would entertain me. It’s definitely the right amount of teen drama that could get super addicting really quickly (hell, I binged GG at some point…), and heck, the first few pages hooked me because the book started with the death of a girl (which, of course, made everyone ask “Which girl died?!”). It has every formula for being fantastic. And yet I found myself cringing a lot and skipping a few chapters just to get to ones I wanted to read about.

2.5 out of 5 cookies! As much as I would love to rant about this book, I’d probably continue reading it if only to see how many of these hooligans die off and whether or not my ship actually makes it through.


Have you read this book? What did you think?

Breakfast Club Murders || One of Us is Lying Review

Initial Thoughts: 

I pretty much ripped through this story like nobody’s business, and while I had some problems along the way concerning the big reveal and how stereotypical and cliche the book was for the most part, honestly I still stayed for the characters. I would definitely recommend the audiobook because the cast was stellar in their portrayal. And that ending effing deserves a Breakfast Club fist pump.


ONE OF US IS LYING

by Karen M. McManus
Delacorte Press, May 2017
YA contemporary, mystery
Rated: 4.5 / 5 cookies

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.


When this book was described as The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, I didn’t actually think it was going to be so close to the comparisons. Normally I take books being compared to other things with a grain of salt.

But seriously, One of Us is Lying is The Breakfast Club. With murder. So I suppose that’s where Pretty Little Liars comes in as well. I haven’t seen the latter, so I’m going with a Gossip Girl feel here, too, what with Simon Kelleher’s app being so similar to the format of Gossip Girl.

If this were a television show, I’d watch the eff out of this, hands down. There’s just something about high school teen drama that looks so deliciously petty and addicting on screen. That said, this book was just as great on the page–granted I didn’t read this on the page.

I read One of Us is Lying as an audiobook, which I highly recommend as well as reading the book itself. Like the book itself, the audiobook narration is divided up into its four main characters: Bronwyn Rojas (Kim Mai Guest), Nate Maccauley (Robbie Daymond), Addy Prentiss (Shannon McManus), and Cooper Clay (Macleod Andrews). Now, I’ve listened to a good number of audiobooks at this point, and I am normally wary of multiple-cast dramatizations. Sometimes, there’s a voice in the narration that pisses me off that it ruins the entire audiobook. But in this case, I’d have to say the narration worked wonders. You could definitely get a sense of each character and his/her perspective just by listening to how the narrators read their sections. Robbie Daymond’s Nate was particularly awesome, because he also managed to get the southern twang that Cooper reverts to when he’s nervous.

Anyway, now that I’ve tooted the audiobook horn a bit, time to get into the nitty gritty of the book itself with the help of Gossip Girl and The Breakfast Club gifs, of course!

WARNING: This blog post is a little graphics heavy. #sorrynotsorry

The book pretty much opens up straight into the heart of the action itself: detention.

And a roll call of your stereotypical high school students, five of the school’s mismatched kids a representation for a clique within the student body: a homecoming queen (Addy), a popular jock with his own Facebook fanpage (Cooper), the chic geek (Bronwyn), the rebel drug dealer (Nate), and the gossipmonger (Simon).

Cough. FORESHADOWING.

Unlike TBC, though, one of the five don’t make it out, and by the end of detention, Simon chokes on it. Honestly, I’d feel a little bad about this, but he was kind of a douche-canoe with a bloated sense of self. I mean, he has an app that takes investigative journalism to a whole new level of ugly. Like, to a Gossip Girl level ugly.

And that’s the problem, you see. Because with Simon dead in extremely suspicious circumstances, police investigations start shedding light on the motives of the four students who were in the room with Simon. And check this out, all four stand to gain from Simon’s death. In some level, Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper, and Addy have one thing in common: a secret that could ruin each of their reputations.

Naturally, one of them has to be involved with Simon’s death, right?

This makes many things awkward for the four detention survivors, because now their lives have been upturned, from police investigations, reporters, and buried secrets that inevitably come to light in the most heartbreaking manners ever.

That’s really where the character development comes in, because the story is told within the four perspectives of Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper. And honestly, as cookie cutter stereotypical as the characters were, there were dimensions to them that added to the flavor of each suspect.

I grew to adore Cooper especially after showing that he’s not altogether just a “jock.”

CC and “K” ftw! *coughtheotherKthat’snotKeelycough*

I absolutely loved Addy’s growth throughout the story. She went from a Princess Blondie to someone who’s gotten a more independent spine. Her makeover was not just skin-deep, though I also appreciated the fact that she went all out and went purple, hair-wise.

Yaaaas AP yaaaaas.

And Bronwyn and Nate? I definitely ship it. But then of course the geek girl falls for the bad boy. Not that I’d blame her. To be honest, Nate’s POV was my favorite to listen to.

I guess BR can be considered princess and geek girl in one. Regardless, she falls for NM all the same.

Now, it wasn’t all fun and games, of course, and unfortunately there was no dancing on tabletops or heart-to-heart camaraderie moments on a regular basis. It is a high school murder mystery, after all, and a killer must be brought to justice!

Only, I totally called the culprit, and it was kind of underwhelming. A lot of the plot and drama could have been highly prevented if SOMEONE had the right mind to report their friend’s behavior going the deep end (honestly, a sociopathic behavior like that really needed to be reported, for everyone’s general safety). With the mounting increase of school-related violence, you’d think the message of “see something, say something” would be more important. I’m kind of bummed that it was mostly glazed over. And unfortunately a lot of the stereotypes here included a large amount of bullies, control freaks, and slut-shamers. Barely anyone outside of the Murder Club had minds of their own, which was a shame.

Also, how the hell are the police so terribly incompetent? I did feel like a lot of the drama depended on the fact that the police had absolutely no regard to privacy during their investigations. Absolutely EVERYTHING was revealed to the whole school within a day of private investigation. It was kind of unnatural at how the “culprit” knew almost everything that happened in each interview.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I cannot wait to read McManus’ next standalone; it’s bound to be just as juicy!

4.5 out of 5 cookies! Other than the blips mentioned above, I would read and listen to this again given the chance.


Have you read this book? What did you think?

Damn Those Book Onions || The Hate U Give Review

Initial Thoughts: 

EFF THESE BOOK ONIONS MAN. I’M NOT CRYING YOU ARE.


THE HATE U GIVE

by Angie Thomas
Balzer + Bray, February 2017
YA contemporary fiction
Rated: 5 / 5 cookies

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


Honestly, I debated on whether or not to make this a full-blown review, because I’d only be reiterating every other one of the 20,000+ reviews on Goodreads that laud The Hate U Give with praise. That said, this high rating–and the fact that it’s been at the top of the NYT bestseller list for weeks on end after its release–is not without merit. If nothing else, read it for how realistic it is and how important an addition it is to the conversation we are still having today about race and racism.

As a disclaimer, this is not often the type of book I would review. Mostly I read to escape reality, not to emulate it. And yes, much of fiction–especially the fantasy and scifi that I read–have great bases in the real world, but enough of “fiction” for me to know that honestly, shit like that’s not gonna happen to me anytime soon.

But then there are books like The Hate U Give, and escape at this point is furthest from my mind.

Angie Thomas hits hard and hits quickly. The book itself left me numb in certain situations, and I was definitely not immune to the onions in the pages. By the time I’d gotten to Seven’s breakdown during his birthday party, I was already done in, not to mention the fact that the bittersweet but hopeful epilogue made me bawl for several minutes before I got my shit together. (And then I ended up watching the movie trailer and I started crying again. Ugh, I’m a mess.)

I could not recommend this book more than many people already have. For a good cry, read The Hate U Give. For a good insight to the conversation about #BlackLivesMatter, read The Hate U Give. For a look at injustice and how a young adult deals with it on top of an already tumultuous period in her life, read The Hate U Give.

Hell, on a lighter note, read The Hate U Give just to see your outlook on the Hogwarts houses turn upside down. (Okay, not really, but that bit really did blow my mind…)

5 out of 5 cookies! Seriously, read the book. And have tissues ready.


Have you read this book? What did you think?

Love in the Multiverse || A Thousand Pieces of You Review

Initial Thoughts: 

Well this was cute.


A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU

by Claudia Gray
Harper Teen, November 2014
Science fiction, young adult, romance
Rated: 3 / 5 cookies

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

That cover though

Okay, so can we talk about the cover just a wee bit? Because how could anyone not talk about the gorgeousness of it? Seriously, I would have picked it up out of a bookstore just because of the colors alone. That said, yes, this is definitely me judging the book by its cover, and normally I let the premise and the title take me along the ride. But this? Claudia Gray was blessed with the cover gods.

Now that that’s over with…

Dammit, romance

Again, this is probably another case where I didn’t read the book jacket summary in its entirety, and most of what I’d known about this book was that it dealt with the multiverse. And, honestly, I already said “hell yes” to the fact that this book has a multiverse.

So…kind of like Dark Matter right? Except for young adults and a less complicated explanation of how the multiverse works?

Well…ah, who was I kidding. It’s a young adult book, so it reads like a young adult book, with young adult problems.

Let’s backtrack a bit before I start raving about things first. Marguerite Caine is the daughter of two famous and brilliant scientists. In her world, she is sort of the black sheep of the family–while her brain isn’t completely out of left field, Marguerite chose to follow the artistic route rather than her family’s scientific calling. Hard to imagine, considering her parents are the inventors of the Firebird, a multi-dimensional traveling device that becomes the focal point–and the plot-mover–of the book.

The book itself opens up rather well, to be honest. It starts out with enough action and contemplation to get me interested. Heck, when Marguerite spends most of the first chapter filled with hate and planning to kill some guy named Paul, I was like, “DO TELL, MARGUERITE. WHY YOU MURDEROUS?”

Honestly, Marguerite’s resolve to kill Paul made me wish she’d gone through it like Uma did. Just saying.

So Marguerite–with the help of Theo, her-other-love-interest-but-that-is-honestly-mostly-arbitrary-because-seriously-nothing-comes-out-of-it-at-all–travels several parallel dimensions in search of Paul in order to exact vengeance for a murder he supposedly committed. Let’s all just blatantly trust our narrator, because of course she’s got all the facts and information, the logically, scientifically-minded girl that she is. Oh, wait, she doesn’t have all the facts. But nevermind because this being a YA, the guy she’s chasing will probably managed to be the same guy she’s going to fall in love with. I mean, the title is A Thousand Pieces of You. If that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is.

Which brings me to the brass tacks. This book is predominantly a romance. Yes, it has a wonderful backdrop and several worlds that I could see expanded rather well in future installments. Yes, it has an awesome plot-driven premise that boils down into some crazy conspiracy that is much bigger than I’d imagined. But also yes, it’s a romance with a love triangle. A frelling. Love. Triangle. Not only is it a love triangle, but both guys were pretty much the same archetype of a typical romantic interest: geeky, hot, intense, and overprotective. The only difference between Theo and Paul are that one’s more sociable than the other and one’s just a wee bit smarter.

Sigh.

It didn’t help that Marguerite was probably the least interesting character to me. Sophia would have been a great POV. Katya would have been a great POV. Josie would have been a great POV. Instead, the perspective fell on a girl who just happened to become a special snowflake due to circumstance (BECAUSE SHE DOES BECOME A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE). Instead, we get someone–whose sole reason for multi-dimensional travel is vengeance–who gets sidetracked because she fell in love with the guy she’s been chasing. I mean, Marguerite, seriously, remember the time when you adamantly believed Paul was a murderer? Yeah…

That being said, I will say I enjoyed the book. I had listened to the audiobook version of this book, which was fantastic because of the different accents performed by the narrator. I also particularly loved that the multiverses were varied and rather interesting in their changes. Claudia Gray gave not just one world, but several, and that in itself is worth a lot of kudos. My favorite dimension has got to be the Russian world, which took up a chunk of the book. A lot of the characters in this dimension got fleshed out, and I would definitely read a sequel that returns to this world later on. The love affair between Marguerite and Paul was certainly more palatable with Russian accents in tow, and I’m kind of glad for this (also, sue me, I have a weakness for my “the princess and the guardsman fall in love” trope).

All in all, A Thousand Pieces of You is not a book without its fair share of faults. The love story was predictable, and it gets cheesy from time to time. Marguerite as a character could have been better written. There were still a lot of questions I would have loved to have answers for, and the multidimensional travel explanations were definitely lackluster in comparison to another multiverse book I’d loved (Dark Matter).

But while the book had elements I didn’t like, I thought the story picked up quite a bit once the truth about the conspiracy was fully revealed. I ended up listening to the audiobook really quickly, I was never really bored, and I adored every single time Henry and Sophia were iterated in each dimension. I’d totally read the rest of the trilogy because I’d love to see more of these characters show up again.

3 out of 5 cookies! I’d recommend this book because cover, Russia, and multiverse. Yeah.


Have you read this book? What did you think?