Title: Dead Ringer
Author: Jessie Rosen
Genre: YA Thriller/Mystery
Publication Date: November 11, 2015
My Rating: 3 out 5 stars.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.
From the moment Laura Rivers steps foot into Englewood High, she notices the stares—and they aren’t the typical once-overs every pretty new girl endures. The students seem confused and…spooked. Whispers echoing through the halls confirm that something is seriously off. “That new girl looks just like her,” they say.
It turns out Laura has a doppelgänger, and it isn’t just anyone—it’s Sarah Castro-Tanner, the girl who killed herself by jumping into the Navasink River one year ago.
Laura is determined not to let the gossip ruin her chances of making a fresh start. Thanks to her charming personality and California tan, she catches the eye of Englewood’s undisputed golden boy, Charlie Sanders, and it’s only a matter of time before they make their relationship official.
But something is making Charlie and his friends paranoid—and Laura soon discovers it has to do with Sarah Castro-Tanner.
What really happened to Sarah? Why is Charlie unraveling? And how does Laura Rivers fit into it all?
After all, she’s the dead ringer for a dead girl.
Ah… This one was a bit of a let down, to be totally honest. I’ve read a few really great YA thrillers in the past year, and I was hoping to keep my streak going. Unfortunately, the pacing in this book ended up not working for me at all. The story picked up eventually, but by the time it did, I was about ready to give up on the book entirely. The first chunk of this book is VERY slow, and basically feels like a contemporary about a girl who moves to a new school. Like I said, the mystery/thriller element kicks in eventually, but you have to drag yourself through quite a bit of really slow “typical high school” narrative.
My other issue was the fact that it was written in third person, with multiple perspectives. In a story when I’m supposed to be focused on a character’s thoughts and feelings, I think first person is much more effective. There was also one perspective that I was more inclined to speed right through, because I just really wasn’t interested.
Overall, I liked the book when it finally picked up, but I felt like it took too long to do so. I give it three out of five stars.