23 February 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Double by Jenny Valentine

Release Date: 21 February 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Goodreads description:
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.
My Thoughts...

An unexpected twist at the end of Double made this book into an intriguing read.  While I had trouble getting into the story, I have to credit at least a bit of my reluctance to the fact that I read a very similar storyline recently and that comparison wasn't sitting well with me. That being said, Double is a well-written mystery that I think will keep readers engaged throughout.  Some people may see the twist toward the end coming, but I'll freely admit that it quite surprised me (in a very good way).

Chap takes a huge leap when he "admits" that he is indeed Cassiel Roadnight (when in fact he's not).  However, even he can't deny the uncanny resemblance between the two boys, and it may be his only shot at having a family--even if only for a little while. Chap's voice is authentic and clearly conveys his ongoing fear of discovery.  He quickly picks up on who is most likely to pin him as a fraud and delves immediately into why said person doesn't rat him out.

The mystery is fairly straight-forward and I think that there's barely a question of what happened to the real Cassiel once Chap discusses events with Floyd. The real intrigue and suspense rests on the shoulders of Chap's attempts to hold on to his place in this new family and eventually unraveling who he really is.

Double's mystery and twists will definitely ensnare the right reader like it eventually did for me.  The first part's focus on Chap's inner turmoil at deceiving the Roadnights and his memories of Granddad are a bit on the slow side, but the story picks up quickly after the reader meets Floyd and Chap delves into the mystery of Cassiel's disappearance.  The right amount of twists and turns in the later half of the book keep the reader on the edge of his/her seat until the end.

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