By: Melanie | March 11, 2014 | (23) Comments

Review: Tandem by Anna JarzabTandem by Anna Jarzab
Series: Many-Worlds Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 428
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase

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.

My Review

Alas, another mediocre and disappointing novel. I sometimes want to believe that I just generally expect too much from books. But seriously. How on earth do you make light of a book that had a stupid and painful protagonist, predictable story line, poor world building, ridiculous romance and pretty much no plot progression? Answer: you can’t.

The Main Character:

Most crappy books are crappy because they have crappy lead characters. Tandem, was definitely not an exception. It was raining heavily a few minutes ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Sasha bawling her eyes out. Again. Yes, that’s right. Sasha is a freaking cry baby. Every ten pages, she’s in tears for no good reason. Crying because she wants to go home, crying because life is just not fair. I get it okay, you want to have your life back but crying EVERY 10 pages is going to get you NOWHERE. Fine. Sob once or twice. That’s reasonable. But more than 2 times a day is plain stupid, girl. Not only did I hate Sasha’s constant wailing, she was also idiotic. You were kidnapped into a world you have never seen before, you are confused. A good idea would to just listen to your captor instead of rebelling and running around directionless like you’ve lost your head. In most cases, you’re going to get hurt. Summary: no common sense, stupid and overly emotional.

The Plot:

Where arth thou plot? Apart from what the synopsis includes we don’t get too much more into it. I was bored. I wanted to DNF this because nothing interesting was occurring in the middle. This is an overview of what happens: a girl is thrown into a parallel universe where she is told that she must pretend to be a posh princess (because of course, she looks identical to her) and marry the prince in order to save the world. But she doesn’t want to (duh) and just sobs all day wanting to go home. However soon she falls in love with her captor (*cough* Stockholm Syndrome *cough*) oh but wait! The prince is equally as handsome. While she is still in love with her captor that she just met a few days ago, she does hint interest towards the prince. So…if you love the sound of this, please read this book! I won’t tell you otherwise. But if like me and you think that this actually sounds pretty horrible, I recommend you refrain.

The Romance:

Basically, instant love. Sasha is kidnapped by some guy who she did not know too well and hates him for betraying her. Within 6 days, he’s all she thinks about. TYPICAL MUCH. Then we have a slight love triangle between Callum, Thomas and Sasha. This is a universal motif or something these days. The chick falls for someone who she isn’t meant to and even shows interest in the prince. *rolls eyes*

The World Building:

Like dystopian novels, world building is vital in parallel universe novels. While we get some science behind how to travel between universes, but what about the political details? Tandem has a heavy focus on the political aspect but my idea of it wasn’t clear at all, resulting in me feeling even more disconnected from the story.


Not a very convincing novel. I do not think that I will be continuing with this series unless some of my trusted friends find it better than this one.

~Thank you Random House Australia for sending me this copy!~

2 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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23 Responses to Review: Tandem by Anna Jarzab

  1. Aw, you already read this one without me, Mel! D: Lol, anyway, the synopsis doesn’t really make me want to pick this one up, so I think the main reason I bought this was because of a high rating from a reviewer I trust? I’m not quite sure. Anyway, I cannot stand heroines who cry all the fluids out of their entire bodies. I mean, make your move and STOP CRYING. Instant love… T_T I guess I was expecting this to be a good one because of said high rating, but I’ll be lowering my expectations now. Lovely review, Melanie! <3
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Ask Again Later by Liz CzukasMy Profile

  2. Woah Mel, you completely smashed this novel lol! I actually read another review that said it was the BEST THING EVER so I’m super surprised that this was what you thought. This makes it sound terrible! Great review anyway…think I’ll be cautious.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas Review: Adarlan’s Assassin in a web of deceitMy Profile

  3. Tanja says:

    Oh lord, you say “a stupid and painful protagonist, predictable story line, poor world building, ridiculous romance and pretty much no plot progression” With one of these I could live with but the combination of all. NO, thank you. I’m so sorry that this one was a disappointment. Great review, Mel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten All Time Favorite Fantasy BooksMy Profile

  4. I received this from the publisher but was too busy to add it the queue. Now I am a little glad that I didn’t. The romance sounds awful and I need a good solid plot and world-building. Lovely review Melanie.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Night Broken by Patricia BriggsMy Profile

  5. Hmmmm wow. I’ve heard some great things about this one, but it seems that it lost a lot of credibility in terms of the characterization. That’s kind of a mood-killer for me. Thank you for your honesty though, Mel!
    Melissa @ i swim for oceans recently posted…Mini Review: Dangerous by Shannon HaleMy Profile

  6. This is one of those books that never really interested me, but I really do love that cover.
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Audiobook Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer!My Profile

  7. Geez, from the looks of it, this sounds more like a trainwreck than anything else! I hate useless heroes/heroines! I get that you’re not bad-ass or anything (and that’s completely fine; we’re all different from each other and cope situations in varying ways) but that doesn’t mean you have to be completely useless. I will sympathize more with a character who did her best and failed along the way than with someone who did absolutely nothing but exhaust her tearducts.

    And yes, that plot/romance sounds like a disastrous love triangle that doesn’t make any sense. It only proves she’s immature she is as she can’t keep her eyes to one person only. And only because the other dude was handsome? Superficial much? 🙁

    Doesn’t seem like my kinda book, so I’ll be steering clear, Cap’n!
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: A World Without Princes by Soman ChainaniMy Profile

  8. I’m glad I didn’t fall for the gorgeous cover this time! I was pretty close to getting this book, but waited, because I wanted to read a few reviews. So I’m really glad that I did wait! This book sounds pretty bad. :/ It sucks that the main character has to cry like every 10 pages- I can’t even imagine how you made it through this book with her sobbing over every little thing. I’m sure having 0 plot and insta-love didn’t help either. The fact that she fell in love with her captor is just blerghh to me. Like, really? Typical. Everything about this book, despite the awesome sounding synopsis, sounds pretty cliche, and that’s such a big disappointment.

    I’m sorry you didn’t like this one, Mel! I’ll be staying far from it now.
    Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life recently posted…The Teen Talks (13): Failure, and Coming to Terms With ItMy Profile

  9. The romance : learn from Elsa (Frozen) LOL!

    I have to admit, the synopsis is very interesting. I might just try it out and see for myself if, like you, Sasha would frustrate me from all her wailing, but I guess, she did have to cry because she was kidnapped?

    I always enjoy your reviews on books that you didn’t like. Sometimes my mind gets clouded by the positive that I overlook the small things.

    Fab review, Mel!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Author Feature : Mike Mullin, Author of the Ashfall TrilogyMy Profile

  10. This book never appealed to me, and I definitely don’t want to meet the big cry baby! I need solid world building as well this sounds like a big miss!

  11. Siiri says:

    Pfftt.. I have heard that it’s mediocre. I was planning on reading this and looked forward to it but after Nick’s very mediocre and lukewarm feelings for it I decided not to bother. Omfg just stop with the crying, alright? Start doing something and STOP. CRYING. *shakes head* I can’t even. Hahaha, no please tell me it doesn’t have a love triangle–a handsome prince vs her captor. Um, yes, I’ll take one of this to go, please. Not. I just. GAHHHHH. This wouldn’t be for me ether. Sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea 🙁
    Siiri recently posted…Blogger Interview: Jasprit from The Reader’s DenMy Profile

  12. Abbe Hinder says:

    I had the same problem, the whole relationship felt really forced to me and the world building was flat. However I’m hoping that the next book is a lot better! Anyway, great review 🙂
    Abbe Hinder recently posted…Book Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie MurphyMy Profile

  13. Eww I have this book but I’m probably definitely not going to be reading it anytime soon. I LOVE this cover, but it makes me really sad that there’s insta-love (it’s physically impossible to fall in love with a stranger who’s TAKEN YOU CAPTIVE in six days…literally impossible) Ugh and a love triangle? While I don’t hate them, this one does NOT sound like a good one that’s well-done. Fantastic review, Mellybean, sorry this one wasn’t for you!
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (3): Favorite ContemporariesMy Profile

  14. Shame about the world building, but as I have this I think I will be giving it a go, even though I have low expectations
    The Bookish Manicurist recently posted…The Whole of My World by Nicole HayesMy Profile

  15. This definitely does not sounds like something I’d enjoy. That sucks there were so many aspects that didn’t work for you too!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Guest Post: The Genesis of Alpha Goddess by Amalie HowardMy Profile

  16. Ugh, I decided not to read this at “stockholm’s syndrome.” I mean, Beauty and the Beast is lovely and all, but we don’t need another one. I LOVE the cover of this book (reminds me of What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang, but not sure the whole cry-baby thing would work for me. I hope the next book you read is AMAZING to lack up for this 🙂
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Loony’s Musings: Why I don’t take notes while I readMy Profile

  17. Melliane says:

    you are so UNLUCKY! really! I don’t know how you do it but I really hope you’ll have more better books because it’s sad. I’m sorry this one wasn’t for you and I understand why. At least I know I’ll pass. thanks
    Melliane recently posted…Kiking itMy Profile

  18. Awww, and I loved that cover so much too. I hate stupid and annoying MCs. They really ruin a book. Sorry you are not finding books you love lately.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Review: Archetype by M.D. WatersMy Profile

  19. Amir says:

    Well. This book definitely sounds like a nightmare!

    I definitely agree with you that having a crappy main character does keep you from liking a book especially if you have no choice but to read the entire book in from that MC’s POV. And seriously, why create a crybaby heroine? Is she supposed to be some sort of damsel in distress? Then you add the insta-love and poor world building in the mix. Eh. Definitely a nightmare! Great, honest review Melanie!
    Amir recently posted…{Guest Post} Not Reading is Hard by Kate ScottMy Profile

  20. Candace says:

    Well, I’m glad I had no plans (or interest) in reading this one! I’m sorry it was such a disappointment though!
    Candace recently posted…Adult Audiobook Review: Written in Red by Anne BishopMy Profile

  21. Alise says:

    Tandem got two stars for me, basically for the same reasons you mentioned. The romance was the worst, in my opinion. Plus, it was kind of confusing. I’m with you about the sequel, unless people just love it, I’m out.
    Alise recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday [33]My Profile

  22. Glass says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t like it. But I do understand your frustration with the books like this.
    Glass recently posted…ARC Review – Maybe Someday by Colleen HooverMy Profile

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