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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Double Take by Melody Carlson

How do I go about writing a review for a book that's different from all that I have read before?

Title: Double Take by Melody Carlson
Pages: 271
Release Date: June 1st 2011
Published by: Revell
Source: Publisher for blog tour (thanks Donna!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

It's spring break of her senior year and Madison Van Buren is fed up. Stressed over Ivy League pressure, her parents' marital problems, and her boyfriend's neglect, Madison gets in her car and drives west. Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Anna Fisher wants to escape the so-called simple life--which for her consists of caring for younger siblings, sewing, cooking, and gardening--and she's well aware that her future will simply be more of the same with a man she doesn't love. Suddenly, worlds collide when Madison and Anna meet in a small town, realize they look uncannily similar, and decide the grass is definitely greener on the other side.

Readers will love this funny and provocative tale of switching places from bestselling author Melody Carlson. As they get a glimpse into two very different worlds, they may find themselves happy to be just who they are, where they are.

I have not read any Amish fiction books before, and I proceeded reading this with an open mind and with care. I didn't know what to expect from reading, but I'm glad that the experience was well worth the time.

Maddie is a privilege teen who just wants to get away from it all. A mother who wants to sweep her away to Tuscany, a father who wants her to go to Harvard and a grandmother who wants to bring her overseas, like a thing to brag about to her peers. On top of it was a cheating boyfriend and an overly demanding bestfriend. Maddie longs to live the simple life she had when she was little. Her paths crossed with Anna, an Amish girl who wonders what it will be like to live like "Englishers", in the city, to explore the life there. Anna and Madison look alike, and each wanting to experience the other's life. And so a switch was made, and it was the beginning of a week that will change Maddie and Anna's life forever.

Amish life is completely different from that in the city. You can see the contrast in Anna and Madison's life as they try to live the other's. The big things that matter and the small ones they took for granted made Anna and Madison re-examine their choices and actions and ultimately, their decision if they truly want the simpler life or a life in the city. In times of doubt, they found strength in God. Madison had a fresh perspective in Anna's life, and living Madison's made Anna realize how much she lived being Amish.

Anna's life in the city wasn't uneventful, as she had a taste of modern living, and pursued Jacob, a boy who opened her eyes and made her appreciate being Amish more. Jacob questioned everything and even though Anna loved him, it was clear he wasn't intent on being Amish. Meeting Malachi made Madison think of what it might be to be truly Amish, but in the end, she loved her city life more. The saying "you don't know what you got 'til it's gone" is appropriate for both Anna and Madison.

I am humbled by the things I learned in this book. Amish people tend to be frowned upon even today, but even if they are different, they live their life the way they want. It might be strict and rigid but reading about their life gave me a new understanding of their ways, and if anything, my respect for their way of life grew.

Double Take is an insightful read. A coming of age story, humorous and funny at times but filled with lessons we could use in our lives at one point. It tells the readers to appreciate what they have. Teenagers will relate well to this book, and I hope a lot of people get to read it as well. A familiar storyline resembling the Prince and the Pauper, filled with truth and morals we can all relate to.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!

Book Cover:

Yes - The Goddess Approves!


Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


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