Review: Double by Jenny Valentine

Double
By Jenny Valentine
256 Pages
Published by Hyperion Books for Children
Publication Date: February 21, 2o12

From Goodreads:

When the sixteen-year-old runaway Chap is mistaken for a missing boy named Cassiel, his life changes dramatically. Chap takes on Cassiel’s identity, gaining the family and friends he’s always dreamed of having. But becoming someone else isn’t as easy as he hoped–and Chap isn’t the only one hiding a secret. As he teeters on the brink of discovery and begins to unravel the mystery behind Cassiel’s disappearance, Chap realizes that he’s in much deeper danger than he could have imagined.
After all, you can’t just steal a life and expect to get away with it.
Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers an explosive mystery where dark secrets, betrayal, and loss pave the way for one teen’s chance at redemption.

Double is a rather slow-paced and quiet book, but it was engrossing as well. I was immediately sucked in to Chap’s life and his issues even though he wasn’t an especially likeable person. I mean, who takes over a  missing kid’s life just because he happens to look like him? And  moreover, how does NOBODY FREAKING NOTICE? Even if it’s been two years and the kid in question might look different due to age, you’d think a family would be able to tell. I know without a doubt that if my brother disappeared, I’d know if someone showed up two years later claiming to be him whether it was actually him or not. No question. So this was a bit of an issue for me to get past, but Valentine does a really good job of making this more plausible as the book goes on.

I felt a sense of dread while reading Double. Or maybe not dread, exactly, but a constant sense that something bad was about to happen. I kept waiting for Chap to be found out by Cassiel’s family or friends, to see what would happen, and as the plot got thicker and thicker I kept wondering exactly how badly things would go for him if he were discovered.

I did feel something of a disconnect with Chap as a character. I felt like for someone who had had a very rough life, I should have had more empathy for him – and I did have some – but his lies to a family that was missing a child (screwed up a family as they may have been) kind of made me have a distaste for him from the get-go and made it hard to relate to him in any way. The only positive was that as difficult as Chap was, it seemed like he was actually nicer/more centered than Cassiel, the kid whose life he had taken over.

Despite the subdued tone of the book it was a really fast read. I found it hard to put down because it was making me so uncomfortable waiting to see what was going to happen, when things were going to start spiraling out of control and how it was going to happen. The ending managed to take me totally by surprise. Overall a good read.

4/5 stars

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3 Comments

  1. Oh man! I want to know how this ends! I love movies and books with this premise. But I always wonder how people don’t even realize there’s an imposter in the family.
    I may check this book out. Thanks for a great review!

    Reply
  2. I did a double take at the premise? HOW DID NO ONE NOTICE? How creepy! I’m glad that Jenny Valentine made it more plausible and now I am curious to see how she did it.

    Reply
  3. karina

     /  September 29, 2013

    what happens in the end

    Reply

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