Author: Anna Jarzab
Category/Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Romance
Amazon | Books-A-Million
You. Your best friend. Every person you know.
Many worlds. Many lives--infinite possibilities.
Welcome to the multiverse.
Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.
To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.
The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing--and no one--is what it seems.
I probably should’ve posted my review immediately after I finished reading Tandem (which was actually about a week and a half ago) because that is when I had a lot more to say. The reality of it was that at the end of it, I didn’t care much to review right then. It was such a meh moment that I needed time to mull it over. I probably judged the title this time more on the pretty cover, rather than doing research into checking other reviews and seeing if it’d be something I’d like. Though afterward I’ve noticed I’m probably just the black sheep because it seems to be very well-liked among many readers. The good news is that I remember it at least, so that is always a plus sign. And not going to lie… that is certainly one gorgeous cover. One of my favorites this year probably.
The premise didn’t feel too original to me once I got into the story. I did like the sci-fi elements to give the book its own interesting spin on what would've otherwise been a basic and general idea without it-- and that was what had me hold on throughout the book instead of marking it as a DNF. The idea of alternate dimensions with ‘analogs’, or basically almost like a clone-copy of ourselves, was fascinating. I felt there was an excellent explanation to this. Especially with Sasha's love of Twelfth Night (Shakespeare, holla!). So, I didn’t hate this book or anything--I’d likely recommend it to readers that are interested so they can form their own opinions. My biggest complaints were the characters… and since I’m a reader that largely focuses on characters most of the time, this made it a problem.
This was an unusual case of insta-love, one that I can’t explain completely without putting in minor spoilers. But Sasha goes on the first date with our lead guy/romantic interest and it’s all “Oooh I think I’m falling for him” right then on that very date. I almost put it down right there. But then there's the event of going to the alternate world, and suddenly hates him, and within a short time, right back to the feels. Ha! The girl was a bit confused to say the least. And she was confused often. She didn’t understand half the time when one of the others would answer her questions--leaving them to try and explain again. It was a constant annoyance because it made for a lot of unnecessary info-dumping making it drag in places, and repetitiveness within the story. Particularly when the girl is repeatedly told not to run off because it’s dangerous--and what does she do? Yep. Of course.
The villain was obvious from the start, as with a few of the twists, and this made it for more of meh read. One thing I was glad of though was that it didn’t get all clichéd with a love triangle because it could have been easily set up--though the slight attempt at one is there, it doesn’t necessarily happen.
There were details I would’ve liked more of to get a better feel for the background of the other world. I did like what I took away as being their ruling system--a bit old fashioned compared to our modern practices--and found the descriptions of their technology interesting. But I still felt like areas lacked. I only got a simple explanation of the Libertas and their reasons for rebelling. I also would have liked more about Juliana. More about her side of the story. This could have used a bit more back story maybe and information so there wasn’t so much confusion. Just my opinion, I guess.
All in all, it wasn’t terrible. It certainly picked up within the last hundred pages so I am glad I decided to give it a chance and continue reading instead of putting it down. I am undecided as far as continuing the series though. I’ll have to see. The ending here left off fairly closed, but still a bit unresolved. If you’re a sci-fi fan and have been interested in this title, I’d say give it a chance still. It was a slow build-up of a fascinating world and mystery into a thrilling and memorable read.