Friday, October 4, 2013

Tandem: Review


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.


So this book is about multiverse and your "analogs", which is people with your face but with different lives. It kind of reminds me of Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, a series I like that is also about parallel worlds. In fact that's one of the reasons why I read this book. I must say this book has its awesome parts, but there are also some others that infuriates me.

Of course, good parts first. I love the idea of Sasha living a life of an alternate version of herself, who is a princess of a seriously screwed alternate country. Yeah, alternate country. Imagine you live in a place that you know so well, and one day you are transferred into another version of the same piece of land and nothing is the same as your home? That's equally terrifying and mad cool. Back to Sasha living another girl's life. Yep, it's not every day you'd get to be asked to pretend to be another girl in a universe that you aren't even familiar with. That's pretty crazy. And Sasha herself is pretty easy to like. Even though she cries more than I thought she would be, she's definitely likable.

And the fact that the plot can get so much more complex than I originally thought is really nice. Reading this novel is like unfolding a paper. You unfold it bit by bit until you get the final outcome, but until then you won't even know the extends of this plot. You may think it's normal to see something like that in a YA novel, and you have my agreement. But you certainly don't see a plot unfolding so neatly yet giving hardly anything away until nearly the end every day. This author can write, I'm pretty sure.

Even with all these goodness that I deeply appreciate doesn't mean I still get angry at some point of the story. It starts out a little bit too slow. Yeah, I always say that. But this time the whole starting-a-little-too-slow thing is only the catalyst of this: because it's slow, I have so much more time to dwell on my sort-of malice towards Thomas. And I don't like that feeling. This is one of those books where I'm more concern about the story itself rather than the characters (because it's about multiverse!). And the thing that the book doesn't give me enough time to do that is a little bit infuriating. There are some minor flaws, but they're not worth talking about because they're too minor to have a big effect on the book.

[Side note: I still don't like Thomas much (he doesn't give a good first impression, after all), but I must admit he kinda grows on me. I don't know if I like this idea or not :p]

Tandem is one of those books which I'm not sure if I should recommend. It's quite good overall, but I have doubts about whether a multiverse-novel-reader expert will enjoy it.

Rating: 7/10

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