Review: Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

Dead Ringer by Jessie RosenDead Ringer
Jessie Rosen
Full Fathom Five

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

When Laura Rivers arrives at her new school in a small East Coast town, she’s not prepared for the fear-stricken looks from the other students. A little searching reveals the reason: Laura looks just like a girl who died last year. Though the death was reported as a suicide, a mysterious hacker keeps sending notes reminding Laura’s boyfriend of the fateful night. Notes that indicate Charlie and his friends keep a secret between them, one they tried to bury the night Sarah died. As the hacker closes in on revealing the truth, Laura struggles to determine who Charlie really is: the monster Sarah believed him to be, or a reformed boy trying to put the past behind him.

I had sort of a love-hate relationship with this novel. I really enjoyed several things about it. The plot was unpredictable. I felt like going in I knew where the story was going, and I was confused about how quickly some of the details unfolded. Long before reaching the halfway point, I felt like the course I expected the story to take had already been taken. From there, I had no idea what to expect, and I enjoyed that sense of freefalling as each new event occurred. I really liked the character Sasha. I felt like she was one of the only characters that I could really empathize with and really get behind. I wanted to like Charlie and Laura, but there were some really ugly moments that just kept me from really investing in them.

I felt like the story ended in a really weird place, too. I guess I kept waiting for this moment where justice would be served, and instead the story focused a lot on vengeance, which I didn’t find very satisfying. There’s a definite cliff-hanger at the end, so maybe book two will further explore the issues and deliver some well-earned justice.

Despite my issues, Dead Ringer may appeal to readers who like a dark mystery with a strong hand of vengeance and some unexpected twists.

Language Content
Moderate profanity used infrequently.

Sexual Content
Some description of kissing/making out. Reference to sex, but no description of the exchange. A girl briefly describes her first relationship with another girl (references kissing.)

Spiritual Content
There’s not a lot of discussion about God or the universe in the story, but one thing that stood out to me was the emphasis on vengeance rather than justice.

Violence
Brief description of a boy taking advantage of a girl. She reports that he raped her, but doesn’t describe the incident.

Drug Content
References to underage drinking.

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About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

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