Book Review: Tandem

Book Review: TandemTandem by Anna Jarzab
Series: Many-Worlds Trilogy #1
Published by Delacorte Books on October 8th 2013
Pages: 448
Buy on Amazon

Everything repeats.
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.

Tandem is a really unique take on the idea of parallel universes, and what you think you will get isn't always the case.

Tandem starts off well enough. Sasha lives a pretty normal life. School. Friends. Normal teenage girl stuff. Until Sasha is kidnapped by a guy she thought she knew, a guy that Sasha has secretly been crushing on since elementary school. But as Sasha soon learns, he was definitely not who she thought he was. Nor is the universe as small as she once thought either.

At 448 pages, Tandem was a much thicker read than I thought it would have been. And while I hate to admit it, those 448 pages did not always fly by like I had hoped.

Even after stewing in my thoughts about Tandem for a few days, my mind is still not made up.

On one hand, Tandem was pretty freaking amazing. Great world-building. Concept. Twist.

On the other, I had a bit of an issue with our characters.

First off, Sasha. She had the potential to be a really great character, she just has to mature a little bit more, maybe. There is something off about her, and sadly, I still haven't figured out exactly what it is bothers me so much. Next, Thomas, the love interest. Thomas fits basically in the same category as Sasha. I liked him, but there is something that just doesn't fit right with me. For both of them, I was just not 100% on board with them and their issues. Maybe it was the lack of full characterization, or that the characters weren't given the full spotlight that I felt was needed. I am really not sure. But in the end, I felt as if their progression and personalities possibly suffered a bit more than needed from all the world-building and parallel universe explanations.

Speaking of…

In order for Tandem to have worked, for me, a lot of world-building and parallel universe explanations were needed. While Anna Jarzab really made this world come to life with her explanations… I hate to admit it, but sometimes, it all went over my head. For the most part, there were no major offenses of info dump, except for in one instance, and yes, my eyes did glaze over a bit. However, this is a case of the lesser of two evil. For example, I would rather get lost a bit or have my eyes glaze over from all the details, as compared to feeling completely lost as to what was going on from the lack of details. So in Tandem's case, the world-building and parallel universe explanations were definitely needed. Especially since Tandem isn't your standard parallel universe type read.

Final Verdict:

Even after sitting here and thinking about it, I am still on the fence with Tandem. Part of me devoured this book and didn't want to stop, no matter what. While the other half, found parts of the book really dragging. So much so that there were a few times that I had to stop myself from just saying f*** it and moving on to the next chapter or skimming until I got really interested again.

Bottom line, Tandem was a read that I really liked, and would be excited to read the next installment, once it becomes available. However, it was also a read where the reading experience as a whole was not always a positive one. I loved the bigger picture, but sometimes, I hated the journey to get to that bigger picture.



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2 responses to “Book Review: Tandem

  1. Your Comment Here…Great review. I love parallel world books and I am hoping to devour this one. I may be stuck on the pacing too, I am hoping audio helps with this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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