Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Double

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: This book interested me from when I first read the synopsis.  A case of mistaken identity is always intriguing, and I figured I’d give it a shot.  I was pleasantly surprised with this novel.  I should have predicted the ending from a mile away, yet somehow I didn’t.  It was a bit of a mix of thriller/mystery/murder story and I thoroughly enjoyed it.   

What I really thought was unique about the novel was the writing style.  It definitely wasn’t tradition, yet it just fit with the story.  Chap is lost and wandering in the world, and the writing style reflects that.  It was really kind of a cool effect, because you truly grasp how Chap feels like he is a nobody and the loneliness he feels.  

I really loved Chap.  Granted his decision to pretend to be somebody else to fill his loneliness wasn’t the best one, but you can’t help but feel sorry for him.  He literally has no one, and the idea of a life with people who love him is just too much to pass by.  Plus it’s not like he was intentionally steeling someone else’s life.  Things just kind of accumulate into a snowball picking up more snow as it rushes down the hill.  I found it highly ironic that Chap, the boy who’d spent most of his life on the street with no family, was more compassionate and polite than Cassiel, who was a spoiled little brat and treated everyone around him like shit.  It just really goes to show you that you can’t judge someone by their looks.  

As Chap gets deeper and deeper with Cassiel’s family, he discovers that he genuinely cares for these people.  He searches for clues to what really happened to Cassiel, yet there is nothing but smoke and rumors that his newfound family can’t answer.  When he meets another boy in the village, who claims to have spoken to Cassiel right before he disappeared, he finally starts getting some answers, but they aren’t ones that he would have liked.  There are bigger secrets than Chaps little farce going on in the house, and if Chap wants to figure out what really happened to Cassiel then he is going to have to play with fire.  

Another added twist that I really loved was that as Chap is playing Cassiel, he really doesn’t know who he is either.  Through flashbacks, it is revealed that what little family Chap used to have, wasn’t at all what he thought it to be.  It was just another layer of cool plot twists that I greatly enjoyed.  

Double was a short and stimulating read that will have you imagining all sorts of grisly ends for what really happened to Cassiel.  The ending was a surprise, at least for me anyway.  I was probably just reading it too fast to pick up on the blatant hints.  Overall a pleasant surprise, and a refreshing read.  


Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...

Good review. This book needs more word-of-mouth raves. Too bad February is so far off.