Thursday, November 5, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is November 11, 2015.

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.


It is so frustrating to go from reading a book that moved me to tears to reading a book that made me roll my eyes about a thousand times. I would like to say that the book was doomed because I read it after an amazing one, but I am pretty sure I would have had these issues about the book anyway. There were three POV's in this book: Laura, Charlie, and Sasha. I really couldn't connect with any of the characters. And there was zero character development. Everyone was rich (seriously, how much money did these kids have???) and everyone was beautiful and everyone was obsessed with popularity. Boring. Oh, and where were the parents in all this?? They were nowhere. Laura had some stupid excuse about why her parents were never around, Sasha had one or two conversations with hers and Charlie's mom was nonexistent until he got in trouble. Then she yelled and was never seen again. Yeah, just another case of absentee parents in YA literature. Laura and Charlie were both just boring. Laura spent all her time swooning over Charlie and trying to find out whether he was with Amanda or not. Charlie spent all his time freaked out that someone would figure out what he and his friends did to Sarah. I did NOT like that he kept calling Sarah "crazy" and "a freak." Something is revealed about his history with her and I do understand why he was upset with Sarah. But I still don't understand why her actions caused him to think she was such a mental case.

Okay, let's talk about Sasha; she was a FOURTEEN year old world class hacker. She was able to hack into every single computer and cell phone in the ENTIRE town of Englewood and she kept tabs on all their conversations. That was so crazy unrealistic. Yeah, she's in ninth grade and has the hacking skills of a forty year old. Sure, whatever. Sasha was obsessed with Sarah's suicide and finding out if it was even a suicide at all. We don't find out why she is so obsessed until later in the book, but it wasn't much of a surprise. 

So the aforementioned fourteen year old hacker posts an anonymous message on the town's social media page that she knows Sarah Castro-Tanner didn't commit suicide, she had evidence she was going to let the police figure out on their own and they should start at the high school. So with this ANONYMOUS message and NOTHING ELSE, the police decide to reopen the investigation AND question every single student at the school. WTH?? Since when would police reopen an investigation based on an anonymous message? They literally had no evidence that Sarah was murdered. And then when the police were questioning Charlie, the stupid detective said that he was trying to figure out why Sarah killed herself. Okay, so make up your minds, police: is it murder or suicide? And since when do police actually care about why a person commits suicide? Answer: They don't. Not ever. It's not their job. God, this made me so mad. 


There was a twist towards the end of the book that honestly made me feel lied to and cheated. It was something I had considered earlier in the book, but then certain things in the book would lead me to believe it was not possible. And then there was a whole subplot about a teacher and a student that didn't need to be there and didn't go anywhere either. The main reason I kept reading this book was because I wanted to see how everything would end. Well . . . it sucked. First of all, it was a cliffhanger. Argh!! I hate going into a book thinking it's a stand-alone and then dealing with a cliffhanger. And everything leading up to that was crazy unrealistic and borderline ridiculous. Honestly, it kind of reminded me of a made for TV Lifetime movie.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Please just skip this one!

10 comments :

  1. Eh. Unlikely as heck, for one thing. I hate when the plot doesn't make sense... I always end up thinking, the author only put this here to create tension or whatever. Will take your advice on this one.

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    1. Good call Ramona. It was just not good.

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  2. Oh no. When I read the summary of the book, I was actually really interested in it. I'm not usually a reader of mystery or suspense but I thought the whole doppelganger aspect was kind of intriguing. I'm disappointed for you that the story was unrealistic and not what you expected from it. And no mystery book should end on a cliffhanger! That's just annoying!!

    - Jenna @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Thanks Jenna! Yeah, there was so much potential here! I read mystery books sometimes, but they are not my go-to genre. This one sounded so interesting, but no. Just no. And if they are going to make a sequel, they should at least warn the reader so we will know about a possible cliffhanger.

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  3. Ugh this sounds really frustrating. A lot of it but especially those pesky crappy YA parents! Why are they everywhere all the time! Totally skipping this one.

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    1. Good call Grace. So many issues with this one! Just stay far away. :)

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  4. Zero character development, stereotypical characters, absent parents. And worst of all ridiculous police procedural situations. Ugrrh. Pass.

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    1. Good call Trish. I have a feeling you would dislike this one as much as I did.

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  5. I was about to be all over this one, but.....ableism comments just piss me off.

    Bye bye from the wish list, book.

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    1. Yeah, Lyn, good call. Better to just skip this one.

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