Book Review: Dead Ringer

dead ringer

Title: Dead Ringer
Author: Jessie Rosen
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Publisher: Full Fathom Five


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.


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Dead Ringer is a thrilling mystery with tons or twists and turns. There is payback along with revenge, but then there is also life lessons that hold a very serious story line. Bulling, catfishing, sexual assault, and suicide are all main components to the plotline.

The story follows three main people: Laura, Charlie, and Sasha. Each of these characters are connected more than think. Laura is the new girl at Englewood High School. Charlie is the most popular boy at Englewood High. And Sasha is a hacker that’s trying to figure out what really happened to a girl name Sarah Castro-Tanner. Sarah was a student at Englewood and she supposedly committed suicide of the Navesink River, but Sasha thinks otherwise.

Laura starts her first day confident as she is determined to start fresh at this new school. But what she walks into is a bunch of shocked or terrified stares. By the end of the day she knows why. She is a ‘dead ringer’ for the dead girl, Sarah Castro-Tanner.

Charlie has a history that he nor do his friends what to admit that they had with Sarah and when Laura shows up they are completely uncomfortable around her. Charlie also holds more secrets with his on again off again girlfriend Amanda. It’s not until they all start to receive messages from various social media sites from someone unknown that they start to sweat. Their secrets are going to come back and haunt them and all of their lives will be changed forever.

Sasha is determined to prove that Sarah Castro-Tanner did not kill herself. She claims she doing it for all the teenagers that do commit suicide and get over looked. With her advanced hacking skills she takes to the web and starts tracking keywords that will get her bits of information about Sarah. And after two years of nothing she gives up. But after Laura arrives at school the notifications come in by the boatload. What she finds out about Sarah and this new girl Laura is something she least expected.

I’m not one for spoilers, so I can’t say much about the plot. I will say that the connection between the characters is very well thought out. The mystery and suspense was thick and entertaining. The real life extremely sensitive scenarios were covered well without having to go into too much detail. The emotion of the characters that were touched by these events were realistic and that made it a very intriguing read.

The ending was very open would leave any reader hanging. What will happen to Charlie and his friends? Will Laura ever be happy with the outcome? And will her past come back to haunt her too?


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