Book Review: Tandem (Many-Worlds Trilogy#1) by Anna Jarzab

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Tandem (Many-Worlds Trilogy#1) by Anna Jarzab

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Genre: Science Fiction and Young Adult

Release Date: October 8, 2013

Pages: 428 (Hardcover)

good good

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.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Delacorte Books for Young Readers for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Science fiction really isn’t a genre I like reading about and I’m not sure why that is, but my lack of comfort for this genre runs very deep (since I was a wee little thing) and most, if not all sci-fi books leave me with a ‘meh’ feeling and rarely get anything higher than an average rating from me. So I wasn’t surprised that by the end of Tandem that I was left with a bored feeling and nothing more. The novel starts off pretty well and then falls miserably down to boring and ends on a ‘meh’ note.

The worst part of Tandem is the middle where the story is pretty much formed. I had such a huge problem with it because it’s the same story as any other that has a princess. She either wants the prince and the guard or they both want her and it’s just so annoying and typical and I couldn’t take it. Another thing that I disliked is the world of Aurora since it only felt half done and 2-dimensional to me. I would have also liked the characters to be a lot less choppy and contrived. Many things about Thomas, especially his feelings towards Sasha feel very forced and odd.

Tandem does have a few good qualities that I found interesting like the idea of different worlds. This isn’t my first alternate universe novel so I’m a bit used to this idea but I love how Anna Jarzab adds a unique spin to this by making every person their own so that they’re not the exact same in two universes. That’s a very cool thing that I liked thinking about! The writing style for all three characters are fairly different, especially Thomas and Sasha and I found that I didn’t really mind the third person writing for Thomas because it fits well with the story.

For me, I feel really conflicted about how to rate this and how accurate I am about it. I did like the story, it’s entertaining as well as a little thought-provoking yet it’s also very bumpy and typical. However I still recommend this to anyone who enjoys novels about alternate universe and princesses that are stuck in the middle of things. Hopefully the second book in this trilogy will help me enjoy this genre more than I have in the past but that’s unlikely. Maybe I like them better in another universe?

3 Clouds
3 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman

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 Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: May 14, 2013

Pages: 272 (Hardcover)

good good

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Catcher in the Rye.

A fifteen-year-old boy from an abusive home desperately seeking his older brother’s love and approval starts pushing drugs for him and suffers the consequences.

opinion

I was really rooting for this one. I loved the beginning, it’s very strong and exciting. It starts with a flashback and then we learn about where it sort of began.But after awhile, James’s story starts to get boring and at many times, he feels like a brick wall, only relying on books and other people to build his character up.

There are many book references in this novel! Too many for my taste. I can deal with one or two but Kindness for Weakness has around four book references which I found too confusing to remember at times. I also dislike that the story ruins one of the best books ever–The Outsiders– I mean, you just cannot do that. I’ll let one book slide, you can tell me the ending of a Jack London book because I most likely will never read another book of his again but not The Outsiders!

Not cool, man. Not cool.

Short chapters help the books that I dislike a lot solely because I am more committed to finishing them which is the case with this one. Chapters are about three or four pages that literally fly by. Moreover, I liked that I got both sides of the story, not just the good and not just the bad. It starts at the beginning with one of the biggest mistakes in his life and how he came to realize many things about the people around him. The world building is pretty decently done, the Morton facility feels realistic and mysterious, a feeling that I think the author was trying to go for.

Kindness for Weakness starts off great and had my attention from the very beginning but it quickly went downhill and lost it. Still, maybe I just the fact that I have extremely high expectations for novels that are me-novels and I’m very picky about everything with them. Nonetheless I recommend this to anyone who enjoys novels about messed-up teenagers like I do and don’t mind all the spoilers on some great books *coughs* The Outsiders *coughs* and are not very picky about the characters either. I’m hoping that Shawn Goodman’s other novel, Something Like Hope is much better than Kindness for Weakness. 

2.5 Clouds
2.5 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.