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TANDEM (MANY WORLDS #1) - ANNA JARZAB

Everything repeats.  You. Your best friend. Many worlds. Many lives. 
When Sasha Lawson was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds. Sasha never believed they 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 she succeeds, she will return home; if she fails, she'll be trapped forever. 


Sasha, a girl who’d lived a relatively sheltered life with her grandfather since the death of her parents, gets thrust into an entirely new world on the night of her prom.  Swept away from her home by the boy of her dreams, only not, and taken to an America where rebellion stirs, longing for an end to the autocratic rule.  In an attempt to ease tensions, an arranged marriage was set up between Princess Juliana, a girl like Sasha in every physical way, and Callum, the future ruler of the rival nation.  But Juliana has vanished and Sasha is forced to take her place, unable to return home until the real princess is found and the future of the monarchy ensured.
I was slightly hesitant when I first got this book; it came from a book subscription that had previously given me a novel that I struggled to enjoy and I was fearful that this book would be the same.  Fortunately, I had no reason to fear.  This novel had me intrigued from the beginning.  The concept of parallel universes is not foreign to me and, even if it was, Jarzab managed to describe something so complex with such precision and ease that I was able to fully understand the notion set before me.  She also presented something else - the concept of analogs, identical people with different influences and differnt lives.  It may not be an entirely new concept (how long has Dr Who been around?) but it is what really drew me in, two identical people living different lives.
Sasha, for me, was a little hit and miss.  At first she annoyed me a little - abandoning all logic, resorting to completely reckless behaviour and constantly complaining about everything.  I’m sure that being kidnapped isn’t a great experience but I don’t understand why her common sense just went flying out the window.  I did, however, like the way her character developed throughout the novel, growing in courage, taking charge and proving that she is stronger than she seems.  A discreet high-flyer who longs for an adventure filled life.  It wasn't until this point, when she screwed her head back on, that I actually started to like her.
There are hints of a love triangle in this book but I’m not sure if you can call it a love triangle if she only has eyes for one man.  Thomas is kinda perfect; mature and sensible with a kind nature.  Being a high ranking military recruit, and Juliana’s body guard, the relationship between Tom and Sasha has almost a bit of a Chasing Liberty or First Daughter, kind of feel to it.  A genuinely nice guy, it is beyond easy to just forgive him for everything because of his honesty and compassion that comes out a bit more towards the end.
While this book may have flown under the radar for the last few years (at least in my circles), Jarzab has created a masterpiece that seriously deserves some spotlight.  She has created a world that I want to explore and characters I want to get to understand.  I didn’t want to put it down and now I am dying to get my hands on the sequel.

Rating: 3.5/5


If you are interested in purchasing this book you can order it online from Book Depository here or from Amazon here.

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