Skip to main content


Tandem by Anna Jarzab is a book about parallel universes, political intrigue, and war. I was intrigued from the moment I read about it despite the allusion to a possible love triangle (It isn't a love triangle though so don't let that turn you off.). I was excited to receive an e-galley. It was an entertaining read, but in the end my feelings are mixed.

 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.

I really liked Sasha as a main character. She is smart, courageous, and thinks fast on her feet. I was impressed by how she refused to accept her situation easily. She knew she was in danger no matter what, but hated being controlled. I love how she chose to fight for her freedom at first and didn't just comply. I also love how she did end up complying, because by the time she did it was the best she could make of the situation. She does so much in her role as Juliana that she doesn't have to: continuing to sit with the debilitated king, trying to decipher the message he seems to be telling her, attempting to spare the feelings of Callum, the boy Juliana is betrothed to. He wants to make the best of their situation and she doesn't want to lead him on, thinking she won't be there long. Her character was well drawn and kept me in the story even when other things were annoying me enough they might have thrown me out of it. Thomas, the young operative who kidnapped Sasha from her world and is also the princess's bodyguard, is an intriguing character too. What he did to Sasha is awful, but from his soldier-take-orders-loyal-to-his-country perspective is all that can be done. I like how the reader sees his belief in that unravel, how he questions things, and how he tries to make things right. Callum felt more like a plot device than anything else, only there to move the action in a particular direction at one point. 

The book opens with an intriguing look at the Princess Juliana and her world, and then switches to Thomas coming to Earth. It is highly mysterious and intriguing. The book shifts from third person Juliana, third person Thomas, and first person Sasha perspectives. This was jarring at times and felt like a bit too much. The first few chapters are fast paced and adventurous. The pace slows down a bit while Sasha is playing the role of Juliana at the castle, but picks up again at the end. There are many twists and turns, some of which I figured out and some I didn't. My one big complaint with the book is that the romance felt too forced. It happened too fast. The majority of the book takes place in 7  days. Sasha knew she was only in Aurora temporarily. Thomas knew she was out of bounds. I know they're young, but they are both smart so their willingness to let emotion direct them so much rang untrue for me. I prefer romance that develops slower and progresses in a way that is believable. It felt contrived to make the events in the last quarter of the book more intense. I also had issues with the last page, particularly the last line. That was cheesy. Not that this will keep me from reading the second book. I liked the characters enough to keep reading and find out how the twisted snarl of all their fates will turn out. 

I read an e-galley provided by the publisher, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, via NetGalley. Tandem is available for purchase on October 8.


Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Favorite Kissing Scenes

When thinking of a favorite things post I could do for February I decided it would have to be kissing. I've already done couples and I was feeling in the mood to do something fluffy and Valentine's related. So kisses it is. I read more MG than YA, and the YA I read tends to not focus on romance so this was actually harder than I expected it to be though a few jumped into my head right away. (And one of my choices does actually come from a MG book. One is adult. Gasp!) The actual scene from the book is quoted followed by my thoughts. The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and a groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day . - The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Turner doesn't write the

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein


Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a


On Tuesday I posted my Top Ten Books Read so Far in 2013 and promised to highlight more of this year's favorites and offer them in giveaways. This is the YA giveaway. This is open to anyone who lives where Book Depository ships for free . Book Choices: TO ENTER: Leave a comment below saying which book looks most interesting to you and leave a way I can reach you if you are the winner. (email address or twitter handle-If you are using Twitter it would be helpful if you followed me, @brandymuses , in case I need to DM you.) Entries after Monday, July 1 8:00 PM EST are invalid. The winner will be drawn as close to 8 as possible.  Yes, I still do my giveaways the old fashioned way.