Apparently, when I think covers with a dreamy/whimsical feel, I mean pink-ish covers? Anyway, you all know the drill: join the conversation! Leave us a comment! 🙂
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. – [X]
Janet: “Handsome and enigmatic,” oh dear! Lol. That aside, the cover and synopsis appeal quite a lot. I like how grey skyscrapers are joined to (and, implicitly, parallel with) more fantastical domes and turrets, and how the skyscrapers are both futuristic and mundane North American, while the domes have a Russian vibe. (Unless it’s Indian? That’s the problem with a computer screen; I can’t turn it upside down as easily as I can a paperback.) The synopsis promises a look at family, scientific potential for wonders and disasters, revenge or justice, and a relationship that develops. Not to mention horrible corporate plotting. I would like to read the first few pages.
Yash: Okay, Janet’s comment of “handsome and enigmatic” made me laugh out loud when reading it in the summary failed to do so. One day I will drag Janet to a bookstore and listen to her comments on summaries and record them! Anyway, yes, THIS COVER! DANG! SO GOOD! Nafiza knows that I’ve been touching copies of this book and whispering creepy endearments when no one else is around. I love the sleek, photography feel of the city on top (London?) and the papery-y, watercolour feel of the city at the bottom (which is most probably Russia). I’m not a huge fan of the dimension/time hopping theme (unless it’s fanfiction, ha), so I might pass on this one. Unless Janet likes it, in which case, *pounce*
Nafiza: I like the cover but it doesn’t do anything for me (sorry Yash!) and yes, I have witnessed the not-so-subtle cover caresses being lavished on this book when we go to Chapters, haha. I recently read Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire which is set in Russia so I’m all okay on the Russian front (and oh, what a book!) and I also read Dissonance which in my not so humble opinion is one of the best multiverse novels around and I’m not inclined to keep reading about the same thing over and over again. So I would not pick the book up but I would read Janet’s review of it if she happened to write one. *beam*
Steph: You read Egg and Spoon? How was it!? *ahem* Yes, this cover is lovely, I have seen it also in bookstores and I, as a big fan of sci-fi and time travel, parallel universes and uncoincidental coincidences will probably enjoy this book despite it leaning heavily on the “handsome and enigmatic” Paul. Hopeful he really is just enigmatic and I won’t mind reading him 😉 This actually seems very similar to a short story that I read in Diverse Engergies the book of sci-fi short stories, I mean, it’s different, but a similar concept – well that and Fringe with the alternate universe and different cityscape on each side. Anyway, very into this so I’ll give ‘er a go!
Something is not right with Nadia Cara. While spending a year in Florence, Italy, she’s become a thief. She has secrets. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom only she has seen. Can Nadia be rescued or will she simply lose herself altogether? Set against the backdrop of a glimmering city, One Thing Stolen is an exploration of obsession, art, and a rare neurological disorder. It is a celebration of language, beauty, imagination, and the salvation of love. – [X]
Janet: I like the splatters of colour and the use of light to make an old-fashioned cityscape (old architecture can be lovely), but the half-chopped photograph of a face detracts from this fascinating backdrop. The synopsis reminds me of Amelie, but less warmly quirky; I would not pick this up except for the last two lines. We’ll see. If someone reliable can recommend this, perhaps?
Yash: I don’t love the watercolour-y feel of this one, even though it worked so well in the previous cover. HOWEVER! I totally would have picked this one up, despite the cropped face. And the summary is pretty intriguing! I like that it has a neuro-atypical protagonist, I like the emphasis on art, and hey look, she’s a thief! I think I’m intrigued enough to read a few pages!
Nafiza: Now, I’ve read Kephart’s other books and I can promise Janet that this author has a way with words that can make a reader swoon sometimes with jealousy if the reader also happens to be an aspiring writer. (Small Damages is brilliant.) I also love that Kephart sets her stories in places other than North America (Spain, Germany and this one is in Italy.) Also, I have an ARC of this novel and the first page is, once again, brilliant. Oh, I like the explosion of colour especially since it’s in her head and fitting since the story is about someone with some kind of mental disorder. I can’t wait to read this. I will pass it on to you guys if you want it after I’m done.
Steph: She has to two first names. Just get rid of one and she’ll be fine. Oh me. I’m with Janet on her assessment of the cover, the cityscape is done beautifully, but the cropped photo thing is not appealing, though the paint to indicate a mental disorder is neat. From the summary, I just don’t think I’d pick this one up – the last two sentences cramming in as much as they can about the book without plot try really hard, but I’m not sold. I’ll await Nafiza’s review and mayhaps go from there.
Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep … Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.
Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future. – [X]
Janet: Oh no: there’s a “hot graffiti artist”? Bwa ha ha. So. I don’t care for the cover, because I don’t care much for photographs or for graffiti. However, the synopsis (ignoring one utter lapse in judgement; see exhibit A, aka the phrase quoted above) is interesting enough that I’m tempted. I don’t even like gritty urban, graffiti-type tales, but there’s something about this one that appeals.
Yash: *heavy breathing* Oh my God! A POC! Front and centre! That expression! *sobbing with joy* Yes, I will read this. Yes, please. And the summary is all good for me: a girl who kicks ass by being an artist, Caribbean folklore, and supernatural creatures! *grabby hands* Gimme now, please. (Also, I think I’ve said it before but the writer’s Twitter is incredible– smart and political and funny.)
Nafiza: Basically, everything Yash said. Now I have to go hunt down the author and see if he wants to be on The Book Wars because we all need diverse books and diverse authors telling fantastic stories. I just want to read the book.
Steph: Haha, I’m kinda with the other white girl (Janet) on this one – except that I do generally like gritty inner city stories and the “shadowshaper” idea and Caribbean folklore really appeal to me as they seem so fresh and interesting. I will wait for Yash and Nafiza to get through it first, to make sure I’ll like it for more than just the character (concepts people! I love concepts!).
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.
Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.
Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive. – [X]
Janet: The ink calligraphy-style cover! Oh, wow! Any other time, that head tilt would annoy me, but this ink look is so gorgeous I’ll let it pass. I would like to know why, in synopses in general, any member of the opposite sex to the protagonist must be described in terms of his or her good looks. But. Now I want to read fiction set in Japan. I might have to look at the first few pages of this one.
Yash: I like the style of the cover and I totally would have picked this one up. But the summary rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s the protagonist’s inability to take her shoes off? I mean, people literally learn a whole new language so they can immigrate to a “more developed”, English-speaking place and she can’t remember to take her shoes off?! Perhaps an unfair comparison to make– she does have some sort of family crisis going on– but it still annoys me. Pass.
Nafiza: Yes, I had major issues with this one where cultural misappropriation and colonialist attitudes are concerned.
Steph: I think the cover is kinda pretty, if not the exact opposite of the previous cover. The character is already annoying though – who wouldn’t love to live in Japan and learn about something new? I feel like I’ve read this character before and I don’t really like her… I’m curious about Tomohiro, but I think I want a character with a little more spine. Also, I have to wonder, if she is naturally curious about Tomohiro’s arm, why isn’t she curious and excited about Japan? Just… no.
Sasha expected things to go back to normal once she got back on Earth. But now that she knows parallel worlds are real, and that an alternate version of herself exists in a world called Aurora, her old life no longer seems to make sense . . . and her heart breaks daily for Thomas, the boy she left behind. Troubled by mysterious, often terrifying visions and the echoes of a self she was just beginning to discover, Sasha makes the difficult decision to journey once more through the tandem.
Thomas is waiting for her on the other side, and so is strange, otherworldly Selene, Sasha’s analog from a third universe. Sasha, Selene, and their other analog, Juliana, have a joint destiny, and a new remarkable power, one that could mean salvation for Selene’s dying planet. With Thomas’s help, Sasha and Selene search for the missing Juliana. But even if they can locate her, is Sasha willing to turn her back on love to pursue a fate she’s not sure she believes in? – [X]
Janet: Not another half-hidden, expressionless girl’s face. The R of Tether keeps confusing my eyes; they insist on reading it as a D, and tethed makes no sense, so my brain suspects that an ER is missing… Sigh. That font and I do not get along. However, neither do the synopsis and I, so that’s all right. There isn’t enough of a sense of character for me to care about this distraught star-crossed lover, her (relationship with a) boy, or her (relationship with her) eerie analog. Mention of destiny or fate is never a good sign for the story, in my books.
Yash: The font doesn’t annoy me, but ARGH another half-hidden face! WHY! I do like the shiny pink though … but that’s just because I probably was a magpie in my last life. *gasp* Wait, does the shiny have anything to do with the bird. Is that a magpie?! SOMEBODY TELL ME! About the summary, well, I do like the protagonist trying to make sense of her life without annoying heart-breaker around. But again with AU/dimension hopping– not for me, I think. (Unless the romance is not as obvious as the summary makes it out to be.)
Nafiza: I stopped reading at “her heart keeps breaking daily” because me and YA romance are on the outs. And I’m not a fan of the cover or this style of the cover. It’s not attractive and no, the pink does not make things better. Nor does the shiny.
Steph: But the shiny and the pink! The cover is pretty – despite the bird-girl symbolism (AGAIN! I think I might name this a pet peeve… It’s really gottabe justifies or else I want to tear my hear out. I mean, Alice Munro did it and I accept that. Can you beat Alice Munro?) The back copy, despite the dimension hopping, has me very wary. In the end she’s just going to have to make a tough decision blah blah blah…. Fate? I’m with Janet. It’s not good to have “fate” as the driving force.