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.
Book Review: 1/2
Space fascinates me, it always has. Even just the idea that our planet, Earth (just in case you didn’t know), is just a rather insignificant part of something much greater astounds me. We are but a tiny dot in a much, much larger picture. And it blows my mind.
So of course when I realised that Tandem was about parallel universes and by correlation SPACE, I jumped on that train and bought it instantly. The fact that the actual book is freaking gorgeous helped a whole bunch as well. But sadly it just wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be, yes it has its strong suits, but overall I just felt like it wasn’t a book I was desperately wanting to get back to.
I thought the overall premise was incredibly imaginative and I believe it is possible. As I am a science fiction freak and believe that anything is possible given the vastness of the universe. So in the world of Tandem it suggests that there are multiple universes each with various degrees of separation from each other. Degrees of separation meaning that in some universes the changes might be only slight, like you are wearing a green shirt today but in another universe it might be a blue one. And then in others the changes might be quite different depending on the last common event that happened before the worlds life line went off in its many directions.
So we have Sasha who has grown up having these dreams of a girl who looks exactly like her. And on a seemingly insignificant day she runs into Grant, a boy whom she has had a massive crush on since the dawn of her existence, and he starts talking to her. Even asks her to prom. But after such an amazing time at prom she wakes up in another universe, where the girl from her dreams was actually a real person and she has gone missing. Let alone Grant isn’t really Grant but a boy called Thomas who is Grants analog. Analog meaning yourself in another universe. This new universe, Aurora, is on the verge of war. And the real Juliana, the girl from Sasha’s dreams, has been kidnapped by the rebels who are trying to overthrow the monarchy. But the monarchy things that all their countries problems will go away if their princess, Juliana, marries the Farnham prince. So Sasha is taken to act as Juliana until the wedding to keep the peace.
At times I found the book rather confusing, but it was just written so beautifully that you can see that Jarzab has true talent. Her world building was phenomenal, yet I felt as though it was lacking momentum. Given that this book is the first in the series I can see why it was written as such, because as a reader you want to understand the in’s and out’s of this world. But again it just lacked a heart-pumping plot until about 300 pages in….and the book is 400 + pages.
I’d still say check this one out though because the premise is rather fantastic.
~ SPOILER SECTION ~
Going through the Tandem seems like hell. You are sick for like hours afterwards, but at least then you get to experience a whole new world. I really did love this world and the majority of the characters in it. Especially Mossie who is so eccentric, and I need to know who Dr. March is. The idea that the world would become unbalanced if two of you existed in the same universe was freaking cool, and then once you touched the one that didn’t belong got transported back. YES. There were just so many tiny details that really helped the reader to imagine the world of moving between universes.
This being said there were just a few things that really confused me, whether it is that I didn’t understand them or that they just weren’t explained enough. The General needed Sasha to pretend to be Juliana until the wedding, but he never intended for Juliana to get married. I know that he wanted Lucas to get rid of Juliana because he was worried that she would get rid of him once the wedding happened, is that why he wasn’t going to let the fake Juliana get married as well? But he also didn’t want peace between the two nations, and I’m pretty sure he also wants to rule the universe. I just am not 100% sure of his intentions.
The part about the genealogy of the analogs was pretty cool. All through the book I was like ‘but if you look the same then surely you should have the same parents.’ The way I understood it was that it was based on the Anaximander’s theory of aperion. That we all exist in aperion so that when each world is created a copy of ourselves is placed in each, based on ourselves in aperion. Sort of like every time you are reincarnated you resemble the person that you looked like in your previous life, and that this has nothing to do with genetics. Its explained on page 249 if I am not making sense.
In regards to the relationships in the book the downfall I felt was Sasha. Originally I never felt like anyone gave her any help when she was supposed to take on Juliana’s life, but there was mentioning of her having conversations we didn’t see with Thomas. I do love Thomas, and because the book jumps between Thomas, Juliana (briefly) and Sasha you get to really understand him. But after those two have their hotness make out sesh I felt Sasha became a love sick puppy. Although I did admire her thoughts on Callum, that she wanted to keep him at a distance because she knew that the real Juliana would never love him. Mainly because I thought he came across as a child. A child.
I don’t know. I really like the overall idea for the story, but as I was reading I just couldn’t help but think something major is going to happen right now…but it never did. Anti-climatic for sure.
Have you read it? What do you think?