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Double Take: A Novel [Paperback]

Melody Carlson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 1 2011
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 Bronner 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.

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“Every sock was a surprise…No matter what outfit you wear with the socks, people would only notice your socks. WOW! These are not to be covered up with pant legs…This is a fun book even before you get your needles out…You need to see these for yourself. Get the book and start a wardrobe of socks…your feet will thank you.” –Hartford Knitting Examiner

"Looking for socks that are unique, wearable, and fun to knit? Country Weekend Socks, Madeline Weston’s collection of 25 classic patterns, is a good place to start.” –Knit ‘n Style

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

What do you do when your life is not all it's cracked up to be? Get a new one.

It's spring break of her senior year and Madison Van Buren is fed up. Stressed over decisions on colleges, her parents' bickering, and pressures from her boyfriend, Madison gets in her car and just drives away.

Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Anna Fisher wants to escape the so-called simple life of the Amish--which for her consists of caring for younger children, 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.

Worlds collide when Madison and Anna meet for the first time in a small town, realize they look uncannily alike, and decide the grass is greener on the other side. Neither of them will ever be the same.

"This smoothly plotted story about seeing life from another's point of view will leave you feeling good and looking for more books from this creative and talented author."--Suzanne Woods Fisher, bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 200 books, including Just Another Girl and Anything but Normal. She recently was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ANother good book March 18 2014
By CACHS
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This series, like most of what Melody writes is a hit with the girls. Keep up the writing, to be able to put material that has a good moral stand as well as a good story line into the young persons life is awesome.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Loved It! July 2 2013
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Story Description:

Baker Publishing Group|June 1, 2011|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-8007-1964-7

It is spring break of her senior year and Madison Van Buren is fed up. Stressed over Ivy League colleges, 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.

My Review:

Madison Van Buren's family is rich beyond rich. They live in a Penthouse on the 26th floor of a beautiful building and Madison has everything any girl could ever possibly want from designer clothing to cell phones to computers to a Mini Cooper. Madison lacks for nothing. She even has her own money, wads of it and credit cards galore and lives a high and mighty life. However, lately she's is just stressed to the max. Her parents are divorced and both want her to attend different colleges. One wants her to go to Harvard and the other one Yale but Madison wants to attend a smaller college.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very different take on Amish fiction April 4 2012
Format:Paperback
"Double Take"

By Melody Carlson

The back cover of this book says it all, " What do you do when your life is not all it's cracked up to be? Get a NEW ONE!"
AND that is exactly what two young , dissatisfied girls decided to do. The scene begins: Two girls, neither one happy with their current lifestyle. The grass is always greener on the other side, as we all know and these two decide to discover what would happen if they traded places. It helped that they looked very much alike, almost like twins.
One young lady is Amish and the other an Englischer. Now , I have your attention! What a great plot , Melody develops from this simple idea a complicated plot with lots of twists , turns and keeps you guessing throughout the book, as to what on earth these two girls will do next and how they will cope with the many life changes that they are going through. At times you laugh, other times, you want to cry. Madison, a high school senior is completely fed up and stressed- decisions about her future at colleges, her parents' bickering and pressures from her boyfriend are pushing her over the edge. Meanwhile, Anna wants to escape caring for younger siblings, sewing, cooking and gardening in her Amish home. She is afraid of spending her future with a man she doesn't love, doing the same chores.
The two girls meet in a small town and realize they look uncannily alike and decide to switch places for a time. Life will never be the same for either of them!!
This book certainly explains seeing life from another's point of view and leaves you feeling good. Creative writing from a very talented writer.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read with an important message Sept. 21 2011
By christianfictionaddiction TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Double Take poses an interesting scenario, the ability to exchange lives for a week with someone else to discover what life would be like if you'd been born into a different family. Carlson managed to create a scenario that seemed largely believable due to the fact that Anna was supposed to be helping out an aunt she hadn't seen in two years, and Madison's parents were likewise out of town, so that the people they mostly interacted with were none the wiser about the switch taking place. I did have to suspend my belief somewhat in regards to one key character not recognizing that Madison was not actually Madison. Also, a weakness that stood out for me is that there was no real consequences or accountability for their actions in the story with the exception of Madison having to apologize to one man for flirting with him and leading him on. Although they made a decision that was naive and lighthearted with no intent to cause harm, deceiving people is really no simple thing and this side of the story is somewhat glossed over.

However, taken at face value, it is clear Carlson is attempting to provide a lighthearted read that also imparts some deeper truths. I always enjoy reading about the Amish and the simplicity they've embraced, and Carlson not only provides an entertaining story, but also highlights our overindulgence in material possessions and how this can get in the way of our relationship with God. Carlson's conclusion was spot-on, as she writes "But Madison felt certain that God appreciated simplicity. Because that was where she had found him. And that was where she was determined to remain".

Teens looking for a fun story with some deeper themes should count on picking up this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double Take June 19 2011
By Brenda Casto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Madison Van Buren, is a seventeen year old living in the lap of luxury in New York. She comes from one of the wealthiest families in the country, and has what appears to be the perfect life, but that's really not so, she always feels as if she is being pulled every which way and never really has a say in her life. Anna Fisher is a seventeen year old Amish girl who is bored, and missing her boyfriend who left the community to go to New York, she has just been promised by her mother to go take care of an aunt. So when a chance meeting between the two has them realizing how much they look alike Maddie comes up with an idea for them to change lives for a week. Can the two pull it off, and what life lessons will they learn when they step into the shoes of someone else for the week?

When I pick up a book by Melody Carlson I can always count on a page turner that will also teach a few life lessons while I am reading. This book is no different. While the premise seems a bit far fetched, for me it worked. It was easy to see why each girl would want to change places with the other for the week, and it was actually a bit surprising to see which one actually was most anxious to return home by the end.
I thought the changes the girls had to undergo during the switch was quite interesting, but each caught on pretty quickly. I think that each girl made an impact on the other girls life, but for me Maddie made a wonderful impact on Aunt Rachel.
If your looking for a fast paced read that will certainly remind you to appreciate what you have in life, and show you that sometimes life isn't always better in someone else's shoes then your certainly going to enjoy this book. While it is geared toward young adults I would recommend it to anyone looking for a light read, and if your an Amish fiction fan then your definitely going to want to read this one.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double Take June 27 2011
By sunny island breezes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Oh, my. What an adventure! I promised myself that I was only going to read an hour tops before going to bed. It didn't take long to break that promise. I finished the book in one sitting.

I was sure those two young ladies would not be able to pull off such a switch. There's definitely a world of difference between a Manhattan penthouse and an Amish farm house.

Melody Carlson never fails to come up with a good book. Technically, it's labeled as teen fiction and my teenage granddaughter does enjoy Melody's books. So does Granny Nanny.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, enjoyable story May 24 2011
By Holly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After a chance meeting, spoiled rich girl Madison trades places with sweet Amish Anna. Each girl is frustrated with her life and situation and on a whim, they trade lives for a week. Anna finds herself in a New York penthouse and Madison finds herself washing dishes and hanging laundry on an Amish farm. Anna searches out her boyfriend Jacob who left the Amish world for the English world of New York. Madison discovers that there is more to life than money and shoes and that real friendship is important.

The premise is completely implausible, the girls adapted far too easily to their new lives and their lessons learned were too convenient. Still, this is a light, enjoyable story with likeable characters. The story is sweet and clean and one that is easily recommended to teens.

Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite from Carlson June 23 2011
By Deborah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you have been reading my reviews for a while, then you know how much of a fan of Melody Carlson I am. I've read about 99% of all her adult and YA books and have been thrilled with almost all of them. She is one of those authors that I love to recommend, to both readers of Christian and general market fiction. I pretty much think she can do no wrong in terms of writing. That is until I read this book.

I felt like this book is trying to get into the whole Amish craze that has swept the Christian publishing industry lately. The way it's written is geared more towards older women who are fans of Amish fiction rather than actual YA readers. How is it this evident? Well mainly because Madison does NOT act like a typical teenage girl. I understand that she's fed up with how busy her life is but we never really get to know the real Madison. The one we see acts like she's 50 or something. Anna, I suppose I can excuse because she's Amish. However, even then she's portrayed as someone who lives a sheltered life but it's ok because she's happy about it.

The whole idea of two teen girls switching life like this is extremely imaginative to the point where I just could not buy it. I mean seriously, who does this sort of thing on a whim and actually thinks they can get away with it? There are so many things that neither girl thinks of. For example, what would happen if either Anna or Madison got severely injured or even died during the switch? Who would know how to contact the right parents? Also, I know that they are just teenage girls but would you really entrust your life to a stranger who just happens to look like you? I mean safety first!

Another thing I had a problem with was that the faith of the Amish is never truly explained. It's just implied that there are stricter versions of Amish communities just like in the rest of the world. But I want to know why Rachel chose to live in that way and that her life will not remain miserable. I felt like the only reason why Anna stays Amish is simply because she's a fish out of water and she wants to go back to what's familiar.

This is one of the very few books from Carlson that I haven't liked. Unlike her other YA books which were extremely realistic, this one is just so unbelievable to the point of it's never going to happen. The writing isn't as strong and the characters seemed very one dimensional. Madison is the stereotypical rich girl and Anna is the stereotypical Amish girl. They both never really change throughout the story so I feel like the whole book is rather a waste. I know Carlson can write better than this. I just feel like this book was just trying to cash on the trend but it's going to miss out on the target audience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not worth it Aug. 15 2012
By secret - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Normally I love identity switch stories and this isn;t bad but it's a little bit boring. If I had my time over I would never have chosen to download it.
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