Review: Double

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: DoubleDouble by Jenny Valentine
Published by Disney Hyperion on February 21, 2012
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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.

From the summary and the seriously creepy cover, I expected Double to be a thrilling, action-adventure ride. In fact, it’s not. There is mystery and suspense, but the bulk of the novel was surprisingly understated. Actually, I liked Double better for that, for not taking the easy way out and focusing on the more obviously dramatic side of things.

Chap made a good narrator, very well conveying his own sense of discomfort and fear. He obviously isn’t completely innocent, but he considers every action that he makes. It would be hard not to feel for a boy who misses his grandad, the only family he ever knew, from whom he was separated at the age of 10. Chap had to grow up fast, and has been unloved through so much of his childhood. Given these circumstances, it is totally convincing that he might choose to be someone else for a while.

My favorite characters were definitely Edie and Floyd, which I guess wasn’t much of a competition, since the book doesn’t have a huge cast. Still, I loved Edie, perhaps because her prickliness reminded me of myself. She’s both so happy to have her brother back and so distrustful of how he seems different. Floyd is delightfully flamboyant, and incredibly smart.

More than anything, Double is about a boy trying to figure out where he belongs. The mystery plot is definitely secondary. The pacing of the book is somewhat slow, although I was not bored, so this would likely not appeal particularly to reluctant readers. If you’re looking for an action-packed thrill ride, this is not the book for you. However, if you like to read stories of people searching for their identities, Double‘s worth a read.

One response to “Review: Double”

  1. Ooh, I have a copy of this from NetGalley I need to get to. I’m glad to hear that you liked it, and that its subtlety worked for you!

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