Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Tandem by Anna Jarzab

Tandem (Many-Worlds, #1)Title: Tandem
Author: Anna Jarzab
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: October 8th 2013
Pages: 428
Genre:  YA Sci-Fi/ Parallel Universe
Series: Many-Worlds Trilogy #1
Source: Audio

Narrator: Amanda Dolan


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.

I love the cover to this book. I am not sure why but the simplicity of it just draws me in, which is what drew me in first to this book. I thought it sounded pretty interesting too and decided to give it a try. There are a lot of parallel worlds books out there right now and I like them. It’s something new. This book was something new for sure. I loved the concept and I loved the story, and the characters were likable for the most part. It was a solid read but not as memorable as I would have liked.

Sasha is a normal teenager trying to get through her days until she graduates. She lost her parents when she was young and lives with her grandfather. She isn't popular but not a leper. She makes it on her own with the help, encouragement, and entertainment of her best friend. Everything changes the day that the popular long time crush asks her to prom. Instead of a date to remember with kisses and corsages, she gets thrusts into a parallel world where her alter ego is a princess in trouble. 

The concept of the story really had me spinning (in a good way) It was very interesting and I just wanted to know more about how it all worked. If I was to believe in parallel universes, this is the book that would get me there. I loved the idea of a copy, a analog of yourself in another world living completely differently. For this story it was Sasha living in one world as a normal teenage girl trying to get to graduation and a princess in another. Much of the story made sense to me and I was able to follow it easily, wrapping me up inside to enjoy the ride. The story was filled with so much action, lies, secrets, betrayal and I couldn’t help but be driven to find out what happens next. Some of the story was predictable and then some were not. I felt it was a good mixture of predictability and twists.

The world building and the setting was pretty awesome for me. The world in which Sasha came from was a normal world, the one we live in now, but the other world in which she travels too was pretty cool. I felt it was a good mixture of epic fantasy setting with post apocalyptic setting, with a very modern feel and a bit of a sci-fi edge. There was the ruling monarchy living in a very fallen world but had our modern technology as cell phones. Of course they also have the advance technology of sci-fi as in the knowledge and ability to use the Tandem to travel between universes. It was a great mixture of several genres that worked really well together.
The characters were OK. I liked them enough to keep reading, I just didn’t feel like I connected to them to the level I enjoy. I liked what I knew but the character building lacked slightly not allowing me to really feel the characters. I am hoping that will change in the next book. Sasha was a strong-willed character, determined, focused, and every now and then wishy washy. (which was understandable) I think she grabbed on to the truth of the situation pretty early on and went with it. I liked that about her. I didn’t really like how she was selfish in the reasons to help out. Although it was understandable, I am not sure that getting home wouldn’t have been my only priority either. I think I would have liked her a bit more if she really cared what happened to this other universe. Not realistic I know, but I am a compassionate person so that thought crossed my mind. Sasha was a bit wishy washy on the entire Thomas thing. Does she have feelings for him or does she hate him. It was completely understandable from where I stood. Thomas starts off the relationship on a huge lie and no matter how sweet and charming he was in later on, that lie still lingered.
Thomas would have been a wonderful character if he had learned to be a bit more honest when honesty was the best option. It’s hard to gain someone’s trust and willingness to help when the truth iffy on availability. Thomas tried to do what he felt best to win over Sasha’s corporation but never went about it the right way. He was awesome in every other aspect of his character. Strong, loyal, and brave. I wanted to kick him hard in one particular part, he just couldn’t bring himself to trust the word of Sasha when she hadn’t lied yet, and I was thinking “really after all she’s done this is how you react”. But I guess he redeemed himself later on. Sort of.
There were times each character had redeeming qualities but not enough to make me swoon or cheer, nothing detrimental to the liking of them either. I think it would have been better to have more of them and there just wasn’t time with the explanations for the story . This was OK because the story explanations were very important and I figure I will have a chance to get to the characters more in the next book.
The pacing was good, the writing was good, the ending was great… left me wanting more. I was never bored but never engrossed. So it was like a said a solid read. I will absolutely carry on with the series and hope it gets even better.

The narrator was great. I think she did a wondeful job with the voices of Sasha and Thomas. She paced the reading well. I think she was just right for the book.

Enjoyable, Entertaining, Eager to read more.

1 comment:

  1. Sci-fi is a genre that I immensely enjoy but never seem to come across much often! I've been hearing lots of raving praises for Tandem though, and I must say the simplicity of the cover is what drew me in too =) I'll LOVE to find out more about Tandem's concept of parallel universe... Though the characters don't really sound like much enjoyable people =P Will get around to that!

    Awesome review =)

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story


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