Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital
Publication Date: November 11th, 2015
Pages: 352
Song I Played While Reading: I Walk The Line by Halsey
Rating: 4 stars

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.

I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publishing company for providing me this copy in exchange for an honest review! 

This was such an unexpected gem, I absolutely LOVE when this happens. You pick up a book expecting to like it, but not fully convinced you will, and it turns out to be a fantastic read. 
Dead Ringer was surprisingly dark and gritty, though you may not think it will be in the beginning. It took me a while to get used to the writing, which at times felt a little forced, and I noticed that the dialogue sometimes came off as old fashioned. The author didn't quite nail the teenage mind and the way we speak. 
But even with that, the plot line completely overshadowed those small things. I didn't think that would be possible, since writing can obviously make or break a book, but I was so hooked into this mystery that I pushed through, which I'm SO glad I did. Rosen really took you for a ride in this story, layering on the intrigue and shocking twists until my head was spinning. You may think you know what this story will be about, but you really don't. It's unexpectedly insightful and human, delving deep into the circumstances around suicide and what pushes people to the brink. 
Even though I guessed some of the plot twists, it didn't ruin the novel for me, and instead almost enhanced my experience, since I had an inkling on what was gonna happen and had my own excited expectations. I was totally hooked, and I cannot wait for the second novel! 

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