Madison Van Buren is fed up with Ivy League pressure, her parents' marital problems, and her boyfriend's neglect. So she hops in her car and drives west. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Anna Bronner wants to escape her tedious "simple" life. What will happen when a Manhattan socialite and an Amish girl switch places for a week? 288 pages, softcover from Revell.
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19 out of 19100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Double Take
Review 1 for Double Take
Date:May 30, 2012
This is a very well written book. From the first sentence till the last it really holds ones interest. I tried to imagine myself in either of the characters role and tried to think if I would or could have done anything different. It was a fun book. A different way of writing about the Amish.
I really loved this book. It was light and interesting and I couldn't put it down. It showed how we might long for something more but what we have and where God has placed us is worth appreciating. These two girls switch places because they look alike, one an Amish girl and one from the city. They get themselves into some sticky situations, but Maddison realizes what a selfish life she has been living and Anne realizes that she really does like living a simple Amish life. It was a great book and I recommend it to anyone who loves reading.
GENRE: YOUNG ADULT/AMISH PUBLISHER: REVELL PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 1, 2011 RATING: 8 OUT OF 10
How could two girls who look so alike be so different? When rich city-girl Madison Van Buren runs into her lookalike at a cafe in an Amish community in Pennsylvania, she begins to wonder how her life would have turned out if she's been born into the slow-paced country life of Anna Fisher. Stressed out by college choices, a possessive boyfriend, a needy best friend and her divorced parents, Madison sees Anna as an escape into a simpler way of life. Anna is tempted by the lure of freedom from responsibilities, and not having to constantly do chores and care for younger relatives. Living in New York would give her the chance to find her old boyfriend, Jacob, who left the Amish several years ago and hasn't been in contact. But switching lives turns out to be a lot more complicated than Madison and Anna imagined, and their plans for a carefree escape from their troubles doesn't work out quite as they expected. Both of them have something to learn about life, relationships and even God.
Those who read my reviews may have noticed that I'm not particularly interested in YA fiction. But when I saw that Melody Carlson, Queen of Christian Teen Fiction, was jumping on the Amish bandwagon (or buggy, as may be more appropriate) I couldn't help but request a review copy. And despite my doubts about how well Amish fiction would transfer to the YA market - particularly with a cover that's just a tad too cheesy for my liking - this is definitely one that I'd recommend. It took me a few chapters to adapt to Melody's style of writing and fit back into the mindset of a teenage girl, but once I found myself settled in the story, I didn't want to put it down.
Ignoring the plausibility of two girls looking so alike and just happening to run into each other, I loved the "Parent Trap" style plot of this book. Who hasn't wondered what their life would be like in a different place? As a British teen captivated by American TV shows and books, I used to daydream about attending an American high school like the fictional ones I was so familiar with. Like Anna, I believed my life would be so much more exciting away from home. But Anna soon finds that life in a city is much more overwhelming than she thought, and that it's not going to be easy finding Jacob in a city packed full of people. Plus, Madison's phone is difficult to operate, the TV shows seem mindless and none of Madison's clothes are remotely modest. She also has to deal with Madison's boyfriend, whom she ropes into helping in her search for Jacob, and an old friend of Madison's who immediately figures out that Anna is an imposter.
Madison, on the other hand, discovers that the "simple life" isn't as relaxing as it sounded. Making up some ridiculous story about how she hit her head on the ice while skating and has forgotten a lot of basic Amish life skills, Madison has to learn how to do basic chores like cooking and washing dishes, as well as looking after half a dozen cousins. Thankfully, Anna's aunt and uncle don't seem to think that there's anything weird about "Anna" and are just thankful for the help while the aunt, Rachel, is nearing the end of her pregnancy. There are some really touching scenes between Madison and Rachel, who isn't popular in her community because she isn't the best homemaker and seems to be slacking in a lot of areas that other Amish women relish in. Madison - who has never had to wash her own dishes before, let alone bake a pie or change a diaper - admires Rachel and helps the other women in the community to appreciate her "aunt" and help her in the departments where she's lacking. There's also a little romance between Madison and a local boy who helps on the farm. It's not entirely necessary to the plot, but shows how teenagers can get carried away by their romantic daydreams.
I actually ended up preferring Madison's Amish adventures to Anna's search for her old boyfriend, mainly because I felt that Madison had more to learn from her experiences. Anna gets a bit of a shock when she meets Jacob and discovers that he really has become an Englisher, and it shakes her teenage fantasies about her and Jacob ending up together, despite him leaving their community. I'm sure every woman can remember a time when they thought a teenage crush would turn out to be the man of their dreams, so Anna's story is quite easy to relate to, if a little bit anticlimatic. On the other hand, Madison does what many Amish fanatics fantasise about - convert to the calmer way of life. But what is there that's calm about cow stalls, outhouses and home births? Madison experiences a serious culture shock that causes her to rethink her "real" life, and make some changes when she returns to New York. Her experiences with Rachel's family are quite amusing, but I don't know whether I would have reacted any better in her place. While Anna's situation was more relatable, Madison's definitely made for a more entertaining read.
Despite my usual wariness of YA novels, Melody Carlson may have actually made a convert out of me. This is definitely a book that I'd want my teenage daughter to read, if I had one, and is one to pass on to those younger sisters and daughters who try to sneak a peek at your Beverly Lewis novel. Amusing and very true to life, Double Take is one for both teenage girls and the older Amish fans, particularly those who like to fantasise about living the simpler life.
The beginning was very slow for me at first and it took me a while to get into it, but once getting near the middle and the end it was great! Really eye-opening in how I need to live a more simpler life! A really fun read! :)
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Review 6 for Double Take
A fun, easy read
Date:July 5, 2011
I read this book in one afternoon. Even though the story was a bit far-fetched, in my opinion (it's hard to imagine an Amish girl navigating NYC on her own, or a Mahattan socialite, who just happens to know German, living the life an Amish girl), I enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down.
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.
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Review 8 for Double Take
Cute & charming
Date:June 27, 2011
I was really excited to receive this book for review---I love Amish stories and I the thought of an Amish & “Englisher” girl trading places sounding fascinating. So I had high expectations when I sat down to read Double Take.
It’s understandable that an “Englisher” girl would want to leave the hustle & bustle of her high-profile, fancy life in New York City provided by her wealthy parents. But going Amish? Hmmm…..interesting choice! It’s also plausible that a young, Amish girl would want to get out & see the world past her community. But making a snap decision to trade lives with someone you don’t know or trust? Even more of an interesting choice.
It’s amazing to me that a young lady from NYC has absolutely no ability in the homemaking arena—it’s totally different than the life I know but maybe it’s true. Who doesn’t know how to make eggs? Yes, the stove is different but….. As for an Amish girl to go into the big city, I can see how intimidating that can be!! However it was fun reading about each of their experiences—it’s something we would never think of.
The biggest part of the book, in my opinion, was seeing how the girls changed. For Madison, she went from a spoiled, self-centered material girl to a praying, more compassionate and honest young lady. Amish Anna realized there is more to true love than a romantic vision and that life doesn’t always come out the way you want it to. They both came through the switch more kind-hearted and considerate toward others along with getting more self-esteem for themselves.
There wasn’t a lot of background on the Amish lifestyle so if this is your first Amish book, it could be confusing. Beside the fact that Amish are fairly timid, it’s hard to believe that an Amish girl would do what Anna did. But then, this is fiction! The story is a quick and easy read with a few chuckles and some hard-to-believe situations but all in all, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars just because I could lay by the pool & have some mindless reading fun.
Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received this book free from Revell as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Spring break means happiness, fun, and relaxation. But not for Madison Van Buren and Anna Fisher. Pressures from her family and friends leave Madison feeling attacked and stressed. Anna just wants to escape a monotonous life of chores and children. When the two girls meet, they realize they could easily pass for sisters and they have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to temporarily swap places. Anna will go to New York to experience life outside of the Amish community and maybe even find her old boyfriend. Madison will escape some pressure and stress by traveling to another Amish community to help Anna's pregnant aunt with chores and children. The quickly-hatched plan leads Madison and Anna on two incredible journeys to understanding another's point-of-view. Neither of them will be the same.
I expected Double Take by Melody Carson to be a modern-day version of The Parent Trap without the part about getting the parents together. To some degree it was the classic swapping-places chick lit. However, I was pleased by the depth and originality that Carson added by intergrating the Amish beliefs/practices and taking the characters on a spiritual journey. I would love, love, love to read a sequel. The ending was satisfying, yet there were a few things left open that could definitely be sequel-material.
Though targeted to young adults, I recommend this book to both young adults and adults who love chick lit or Amish fiction.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
What a cute book "Double Take" is!!! It's for the Young Adult group and would be great for those around 12-16 yrs. of age. The message is awesome especially in todays age. How many times have we looked at someone's life and think they have it all together? Madison and Anna meet and make a decision to "switch" their lives. As the girls spend time living the life of one another, they both realize it isn't all they thought it would be.
Melody Carlson does an excellent job with this story. Great lessons scattered in along the way and most definitely will have you thinking! This is a quick and fun read and one I would recommend for sure!
Double Take by Melody Carlson is a young adult addition to the growing Amish genre. Madison Van Buren is sick of all the pressure in her life; her mom wants her to go to Tuscany for spring break, her best friend, Vivian wants her to go to Florida, her cheating boyfriend Garrett wants to make it up to her with a trip to Nantucket, and her dad wants her to tour Harvard to enter it after her senior year. When all four get angry at her for refusing to cave to their pressure, she takes a drive to cool off and ends up in Amish country in Pennsylvania. The drive brings back fond memories of a visit when she was a little girl, as well as her love for the Little House on the Prairie series. It's a dream come true when she bumps into Amish girl Anna Fisher who is having her own questions about the life she is living. Anna's boyfriend Jacob left their community for New York, and her parents are pushing her to marry someone else, but Anna can't forget about her feelings for Jacob. When the girls meet, they discover they share an uncanny resemblance and decide to switch places for a week. Madison will take Anna's place helping her aunt Rachel care for her four children and husband during the end of her pregnancy, while Anna will go to Madison's penthouse in New York and try to find Jacob. Their crazy plan actually works and both girls are thrown into completely unexpected worlds where all of their allusions about the grass on the other side of the fence being greener. Both will learn important lessons about themselves, and both will change the other's life in significant ways. Carlson excels at writing compelling and moving stories for young adults that seem very real while sharing vital life lessons in a very non-preachy way. I love how she kept the faith aspect subdued in this novel. While both characters come closer to God, it's very natural and unforced. While the conclusion gives Madison some real closure, readers are left up in the air about Anna's return to her life. I hope that Carlson will consider a sequel to continue the tale of these fascinating young women.
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Review 12 for Double Take
New twist on an old story
Date:June 23, 2011
I had the opportunity recently to review and participate in the blog tour for Double Take by Melody Carlson. I had already reviewed another YA book by her in the past so I jumped at the chance. Add to the fact that this is also partially Amish fiction, and I was practically in ecstacy.
First, the summary, which I think I can manage on my own this time. Madison is a spoiled rich girl from New York City. She finds herself in Amish country and comes across her mirror image in an Amish girl named Anna, who is waiting to go help her pregnant Aunt Rachel. The two girls decide to switch spots so that Anna can search for her lost love who has moved to the city and Madison can escape from the demands of her own life. At first, neither is happy with what they have done. Then they grow to appreciate the chance that they have been given to show what fortunate lives they really do have. When the girls switch back they are ready to do so, but still sad to leave behind the new friends they've made.
Yes, Double Take is predictable. The plot has happened a million times before, but not generally in this way - I mean, really, who would want to switch with an Amish girl?! That's the new twist to this age-old story (that probably goes back to some Shakespearian tale but I don't claim to be that educated) that gives it a freshness. Also, it's very modern and up-to-date - would you ever know how to explain a Blackberry to somebody who has never seen one? Or explain cloth diapers to somebody who has probably never changed any diaper at all and thinks disposable is the rule?
I enjoyed this book after the first few chapters. It did take awhile for me to get into it. I do have to admit that I enjoyed Madison's experience as an Amish girl more than Anna's experience in the big city - maybe because Anna's gaffes made me cringe. However, many things you just have to laugh at - teenage girls thrown into totally opposite worlds will get into some funny situations.
When my husband and I first visited Lancaster, PA, I too kind of longed to move to that "simple life". I don't know if I could do that now as I have a severe electronics addiction but it's still a nice idea. I think we all need to detox from many modern things once in a while.
In all, I liked Double Take. I especially enjoyed the taste of Amish fiction that I adore. This fact probably made the book for me. It was a cute new twist on an old story.
I received this book in order to provide a review. This did not influence my opinion in any way. All thoughts are 100% my own.
Wealthy New York teen Madison Van Buren trades places with her lookalike Amish counterpart Anna Fisher. How will each be able to navigate a world so foreign? Both had become dissatisfied with their current lives, and this spring-break week will change more than their living situations.
Melody Carlson continues to create such realistic characters, each unique and compelling. Double Take draws readers in from the first line and doesn’t let up as we follow the diverging paths of two very different girls who get a chance to live out their fantasies.
But it’s not all fun and may mean much more work than expected, as Madison-turned-Anna quickly realizes. They both also deal with boyfriend problems—Anna seeking a beau who’d fled to New York City and Madison trying to get away from the demanding Garret—plus the handsome Malachi makes Maddie wonder if she could truly become Amish for a life with him.
Double Take offers a fast, fun read—great for summer relaxation. And don’t think it’s just for teens. Women of all ages will enjoy this one.
When socialite Madison VanBuren, a senior in high school, tires of being pulled in multiple directions with her life of people-pleasing and her cheating boyfriend, she gets into her Mini Cooper and heads West, away from all the hubbub of her life. After three hours of driving non-stop, she stops in a small Amish town to eat.
Anna Fisher is now eighteen and in her rumspringa time of her life. She is finding her Amish life boring and is questioning her faith in the Ordnung. But she must discover for herself whether she wants to join the community and be baptized. Meanwhile, she must go to her Aunt Rachel’s to help her out during her last month of pregnancy. But Anna has to wait in town for the day until Uncle Daniel comes to pick her up.
From the time the girls meet in town, the story begins to correlate to the Prince and the Pauper, only with the twists and turns that Melody Carlson pulls together. It’s a light-reading story about the exchanged lives of Anna and Madison, two restless teenagers looking for meaning in their lives. Little do they realize the deeper meaning of life.
It’s not your typical Amish read, and yet in ways it is. We still get to see the lives of both individual lifestyles, only from the other’s point of view. The complicated, awkward circumstances and settings the girls find themselves in are interesting indeed and fun! Will there be consequences if they are caught?
The story line is free-flowing, vacillating back and forth between the two girls. I enjoyed the impromptu conversations when things didn’t go as they had planned or expected. The language and slang usage make for a comical setting throughout the book. Melody’s inclusion of the natural yearnings of romance will take you to an outcome you won’t expect.
The biggest question at the end is what they will have learned from this exchange. Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Do they appreciate their life’s appointment, or will they relish the new life they have discovered? It’s tantalizing and restful, depending on who is ‘talking.’ A fun, refreshing read!
This book was provided by Donna Hausler, Publicity Assistant, Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
In this coming of age story two girls from two very different worlds collide. In a classic switch-a-roo they decide to change places for a week. In this week they will discover things about themselves they did not know as well as learn the truth of what really matters in this world.
Madison Van Buren is the only daughter of divorced parents. From the time she was born she has gotten everything a girl could want. Now at seventeen she is feeling pressured from all sides to do what everyone wants. Her mother wants her to spend spring break traveling with her and her grandmother, her father wants to take a road trip to an Ivy League College, her best friend Vivian wants her to come with her, and then there is her boyfriend Garrett. Sometimes she wishes that she could just get away.
Anna Fisher is an Amish girl who's heart is broken by the fact that her childhood boyfriend has left on his rumspringa and she feels that he will never return. She is restless and eager to find some sort of contentment. Then to her surprise and dismay she is told that she will be staying with her aunt in another community for the summer. The very aunt that she thinks is lazy. She is upset at the prospect of the summer.
While waiting in the city for her uncle Anna meets Madison. Agreeing to switch places the girls embark on a journey that will forever change their lives. This one week will lead to discovery and change for both girls as they find out what matters most in this world - and how to appreciate the blessings right in front of them.
When this book arrived in the mail, I wasn't sure if my daughter would even find Double Take interesting. Maybe because she enjoyed Kathleen Fuller's Amish mysteries for YA, she scooped this one up practically before I could get it out of the envelope. A day later she handed it back to me asking where the next one is. I think this is only the first of many Melody Carlson books my gal will inhale.
The plot has a Prince and the Pauper feel to it as two divergent kids swap places. I also enjoyed the Parent Trap overtones of swapped lives. Both are sick of their lives. Both want a change. And the life the other leads sounds too good to be true. Does reality match the expectations of their new lives? You'll have to read the book to find out. While you do, you'll find characters that keep you engaged thrust into situations neither is prepared to handle. Just one week and both realize maybe the grass isn't so much greener on the other side of the fence.
This book is a great addition to our YA library and we will definitely by buying any similar books from Melody. I'm so glad this option was available and one my daughter enjoyed so much.
It's a familiar storyline with a new twist as NYC collides with rural Pennsylvania. The characters are likeable and fun and seem to deal with issues that most of your average teen girls also have to work through. I personally enjoyed the comparison of the life of the rich versus the life of the Amish from a teen girl's perspective.
Double Take was a fun book to read in a few hours of down time. It also has a neat message about the blessings of living life simply no matter what your life is - rich, poor, Amish, or English. I would recommend this for any 13-year-old and up to read as a great "beach book". However, I was disappointed in the weakness of the scriptural and gospel message. There was really nothing that set this book aside to make it clearly a Christian book except for mentioning God and "experiencing Him" a few times. My advice is to read and enjoy, just make sure it's not the only book your teen girl is reading this summer.
* * * * * This review copy was provided courtesy of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group but the opinions expressed are strictly that of my own.
I’m a Melody Carlson fan, so when an opportunity came to receive a review copy of her newest book I jumped at the chance to read it. Double Take reminded me of two movies the first was the cartoon movie the Prince and the Pauper and the second was The Parent Trap. Melody Carlson blends these two premises in this novel. A spoiled rich girl is feeling overwhelmed by the choices she has to make with her life. Her father wants her in Harvard, her mother is pushing Yale, her boyfriend pressures to do things she doesn’t want to do and her best friend demands she attend social events she’s rather not attend. Madison just wants to get away from her life in the Penthouse suite. She drives off in her fancy car to the country. She meets Anna, an Amish girl who is in a coffee shop looking glum and so much like Madison she can't help but stare. Anna isn’t looking forward to spending time with her Aunt Rachel and Uncle Daniel who are expecting a baby any minute, and needed help to care for the rest of the little ones in the house. Not Anna’s idea of fun.
Anna is waiting for her Uncle to pick her up. Madison is just taking in the view and talking to Anna when she comes up with a plan to switch places and help them both out. It’s a spur of the moment plan they both agree to on the spot Madison’s parents are out of town for the week. Anna is staying with her Aunt and Uncle (whom she doesn’t see often or know well). It’s the perfect set up! They'd be staying with people who don’t know them intimately so they might pull this off.
Now do I think this could ever happen in real life? No, but just like in the movie The Prince and the Pauper and The Parent Trap you just go with it! Its fun to think about what would happen if this ever could take place - a switch between an Amish girl and an Englisher . Fun, Fun, Fun! Parts were hysterical! I enjoyed every second.
I liked Melody’s attention to detail and the way these girls experienced the others life. It was fascinating. Anna says this to Madison, “I don’t understand why English have so much comfortable things-beds, chairs, pillows, blankets, rugs….so luxurious-and then wear uncomfortable shoes and clothes?”
Madison laughed. “I don’t know. That’s a good question….I thought about the opposite question, why do the Amish dress comfortably, but all their beds and furnishings are uncomfortable?”
They have this conversation about different things they were experiencing in each others lives. Madison lives in a Penthouse suite and Anna takes her first elevator ride. Ohmygosh! What a riot! Anna doesn’t have indoor plumbing and Madison uses an outhouse for the first time. Hysterical! It’s all the little things about this story that I found humorous and eye opening as I hadn’t really thought about what the other would experience as they tried to life in a different world.
There’s a sensitive spiritual thread that was uniquely woven throughout this story, which was very believable. I really liked how both of these girls searched the depths of their souls to discover what was real for them. Madison learns to slow down, stop and smell the flowers and realizes what she's been missing. Anna wondered if she would throw the Amish life style away just to be with Jacob a boy she loved! Was her love for this boy greater than her love for God? Melody’s stories are fun; I care about and enjoy her characters that catch me by surprise as I feel a twinge in my heart about an event in the book. It’s the simple truths that touched me. This is not like any Amish story you’ve read so far. It’s a delightful; humorous novel that is respectful to both the Amish and the Englisher life styles. It’s a great read for the summer. I highly recommend it!
Nora St.Laurent The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org Finding hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blogspot.com