Monday, January 13, 2014

Tandem by Anna Jarzab

Series: The Many Worlds Trilogy (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: parallel universes, parallel worlds, royalty, princes and princesses

Setting: Hyde Park in Chicago, Illinois, Aurora (a parallel world, not Aurora, IL), New York City (in this book known as Columbia City)

POV/Tense: 1st person POV (Sasha), 3rd person POV interludes of Thomas and Juliana, and past tense

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 428 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Random House: Delacorte Press

Summary/ product description: “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.”

My Review: Sasha grew up in Chicago, in the neighborhood of Hyde Park. I live in Chicagoland and when I found out about the setting I was even more excited about this book that when I just saw the cover and that it was about parallel universes. There have been so many YA book about parallel universes that came out in 2013. This book had a very unique take on them. There’s a world similar to our own called Aurora, because they can see aurora lights in the sky every night. Aurora shares some of the same history that Earth does, up until the Revolutionary War, which had a dramatically different outcome. 

Sasha is asked to prom by her longtime crush, Grant. He turns out to not be Grant, but Thomas, a version of Grant from another universe. He takes her to his world. When Sasha arrives in Aurora she can’t believe it’s a different world. She also finds out that her dreams of Princess Juliana were real and that she is somehow tethered to her analog (doppelganger). Sasha is taken to the capital city of the United Commonwealth of Columbia, Columbia City (located in what is Manhattan to us). Sasha must impersonate Princess Juliana, since she was kidnapped. She has to act like a princess and not get found out. She also has to meet Juliana’s fiancĂ©, who’s the prince of the warring country, Farnham (which is the western side of the US, across the Mississippi River). She develops a close relationship with Thomas and there’s some romance.

I absolutely love the characters. They are very believable and Sasha’s so relatable. Sasha is a Chicagoan and book lover and sometimes gets emotional. She cries at some parts, but she’s very strong-willed and stubborn. She determined, modest and many other thing. She’s different from Juliana personality-wise. Thomas is also a pretty good male lead. He’s smart and loyal and helpful. He may be too loyal to some people, but his heart’s always in the right place. Callum, the prince, is pretty kind and sweet. He kind of seems like Prince Maxon from the Selection. He was overly sheltered and not allowed to travel.  I liked some of the side characters too. Gina was kind of an assistant and helped Sasha with clothes. She helped Sasha play Juliana. 

I also enjoyed Dr. Moss. He was basically Walter Bishop from Fringe. That’s how I pictured him. He’s a scientist, physicist and knows about parallel universes and developed some of the technology that allows crossing from one to another. This book definitely made me think of Fringe a lot. I love all the science behind parallel universe theories and that there’s an infinite number of possible universes based off of choices and diversions and events. I though it was really cool and I still keep thinking of it as “the other side” and Walter’s voice in my head explaining it.

So, I definitely loved this book. I think that there’s an infinite number of reason why I loved it and there’s so many thing that it reminded me of. So, I recommend this book to fans of the TV show Fringe. The books: The Selection series by Kiera Cass, Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, Pawn by Aimee Carter, Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell, Crewel by Gennifer Albin, 3:59 by Gretchen McNeill, Parallel by Lauren Miller, and by Cinder by Marissa Meyer. 

Cover Art Review: I love this cover more than any other book I’ve seen this past year. The colors are amazing. It’s the kind of cover that I would make. I love aurora and prism colors. Purple, blue and teal green. I love the unique typeface used on the cover. I like the bird silhouette with the girl’s face in it. I like the sparkles and reflection and all the dots and stars on the back cover. The dot pattern is cool. I also love the graphic used in side the book to differentiate parts and chapter and perspectives. I like that there’s a different symbol under the page number for each POV (dot, star, arrow). This is the most well designed book I’ve seen inside and out. If only there was an embossed symbol under the dust jacket. I really wish I bought this book.

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