cover image Tandem


Anna Jarzab. Delacorte, $17.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-385-74277-1

Past the offhand references to theoretical physics, the first installment of Jarzab’s Many-Worlds trilogy features a standard romantic suspense plot and dated gender roles. Sasha Lawson, 16, has been dreaming she is a princess her whole life—Princess Juliana, to be exact, from a world subtly different from our own. Little does she suspect that this twin, or “analog,” and world actually exist, in a parallel universe. Thomas Mayhew is the royal agent who travels from Aurora to Earth to kidnap Sasha, because Princess Juliana has gone missing before her imminent wedding; the political ramifications, should she fail to reappear, have driven the regime to desperate measures. Thomas is the analog of Sasha’s longtime crush, Grant, so it’s a simple matter to steal her back to Aurora by taking his place and asking her to prom. Sasha has the stereotypical princess skills down—she screams, cries, begs, runs away, faints, and crumbles in the face of bullying. The novel’s romantic elements may keep some readers invested, but Sasha’s situation is, in her words, “very telenovela.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Joanna MacKenzie, Browne & Miller Literary Associates. (Oct.)