I read, I write, and I majored in German and Muggle Studies. my favorite genres are historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. Lookout for reviews of the YA and MG persuasions!
*circumstances prevented me from finishing/posting my review of this book until now.*
Sasha Lawson can’t really imagine why Grant Davis would suddenly ask her to prom. And she certainly couldn’t imagine that in consequence, she becomes tangled in dangerous political game in a parallel universe.
In the Tandem-verse, universes co-exist, each with varying degrees of differences that arise from certain divergent events in reality. People repeat, too--and it just so happens that Sasha’s “analog” is the troubled princess Juliana. When she disappears before an arranged marriage, Sasha must play the part to keep the peace, and to return to her grandfather’s stately Victorian back in Chicago.
Sasha’s sudden assumption of this new life also ushers in a new contention--romance--because being an impostor at an alien royal court isn’t already hard enough. Thomas Mayhew seems an ally (and a good-looking ally at that), but who is it that Sasha can really trust?
There are many high-concept YA reads to choose from these days, but this particular concept? It’s clever, and it’s equally fun and terrifying to imagine. It’s a welcome change from the “sorting” and “choosing” strain of YA books that still touches on the themes of belonging and identity. The science-fiction component is fresh and still distinct from the “evil twin” variety of parallel universe plots.
It’s easy to sympathize with Sasha Lawson. She’s trapped in the identity of another person and has to deal with the enormous spotlight trained on her. Not to mention she also has to free herself from her the trappings of a political pawn. I found the politics and ramifications of the universes/analogs to be more compelling than the eventual romance between Thomas and Sasha. However this could merely be fatigue on my part of the inevitable inclusion of romance in practically every YA novel these days.
Tandem is an enjoyable read with a different take on the “princess” story, and a welcome break from the deluge of dystopian reads.
*note: I received an e-copy of this book from Random House Children's through Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.