Revell Blog Tour~~”Double Take” by Melody Carlson

Young Socialite Switches Places with Amish Girl to Escape Manhattan Scene!

Why does everything have to be so complicated?” Madison shook her Blackberry at her mom…

“I’m sick of it…I can’t take it anymore…”

Anna Fisher was bored. But she knew better than to say that out loud – especially when everyone was busy with farming and fixing and all the additional chores that came with springtime.

Bestselling author Melody Carlson takes readers into the worlds of a socialite and an Amish girl struggling with who they are in Double Take (ISBN: 978-0-8007-1964-7, June 2011, $9.99). Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could switch your life with someone else for just one day? Readers will live the one-week experiences of a bored Amish girl and stressed out socialite when they decide to switch places in Double Take.

Spring break has arrived. It’s her senior year, and Madison VanBuren is fed up with her surroundings and the pressures of life. Stressed out over choosing an Ivy League school that will please her parents, their marital problems, and her boyfriend’s pressure, 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.

Madison and Anna stumble into each other in a small town. Realizing their looks are uncannily similar, they both think their lives are boring. Thinking the grass is greener on the other side, they make a decision that will transform them forever and switch lives for one week.

Readers will love this funny and provocative tale of switching places from bestselling author Melody Carlson. As they get a glimpse and understanding of these two very different worlds. They may find themselves happy to be just who they are, and where they are.

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling books, Christmas at Harrington’s and The Christmas Bus. She also writes many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and several books which  are being considered for TV movies. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

My Review:

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.

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