Author(s): Anna Jarzab
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. 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 the first of a trilogy called ‘The Many-Worlds’. The book is based on Earth, U.S.A and Aurora, U.C.C. (the eastern side of U.S.A, which is in a parallel universe). The main character, Sasha Lawson, is sixteen years old and is thrown into another universe against her will. She must pretend to be an alternate version of herself (her ‘analog’) to stop an imminent war in between the east and the west of what would be U.S.A. on Earth. If Sasha fails to impress the General then she could be trapped in this world (Aurora) for the rest of her life. The book is impossible to put down, and so I spent nearly all of Saturday reading it. I loved every bit of it although I found the author could have spent a bit more time explaining the whole multiple universe thing and the many other concepts that are in this book. I also think there was a hint of a love triangle, which I just tried to ignore because I find them extremely clicheed and not original in any way (I am hoping that it's not in the next book, Tether). Tandem was very unpredictable when it came to the main plot, but the author left hints right throughout the book. There were a few characters that I found unnecessary to the main plot and the other few small plots, but this could be explained within the next two books. Sasha is a good character, but I found it hard to relate to her, although I was still extremely concerned for her and what would happen to her. Thomas (one of the other main characters) is an 18-year-old boy (he is from Aurora and he brought/kidnapped Sasha over to Aurora). He does not express his emotions during most of the book because he is a trained soldier who is currently an active agent for the King’s Elite Service, and so his personality is very hidden, but there are small parts of the book that are written through his point of view. In these small snippets, he comes over as strong and determined, but still a hidden character. Near the end, his integrity and strength takes control (no spoilers). Julana is the girl who is Sasha's analog. She is the type of character that you grow to dislike, because of the actions she takes within the book and before. Over all, Tandem is a very well-written book. Tandem is extremely capturing, with a complicated plot that keeps you on your seat. - Trinity (14)
Anna Jarzab is the author of All Unquiet Things, The Opposite of Hallelujah and Tandem, the first book the Many-Worlds Trilogy. She lives in New York City and works in children's book publishing.