The Body Double

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Mar 2020

Member Reviews

I am so appreciative to Netgalley for the free copy I received in exchange for an honest review! 

I would like to preface by saying that I definitely misunderstood the premise of this book- I thought it was a typical NA contemporary story and I'm not sure if I didn't read the full synopsis when I requested it or what, but this type of story isn't really my choice of read. 

All in all, I ended up skimming through a good bit of the book as I am not into thrillers, or mystery books, or those with dark undertones. If you are, I think you could truly enjoy this psychological story! But, unfortunately, as a lover of rom-com, NA/YA fiction & fantasy, I couldn't. 

I don't think I'll be writing a full review of this book on my blog as I don't believe I could give it a fair examination!
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This story gives me major Vertigo/Misery/Single White Female/Fatal Attraction vibes. It’s a story where very little hands, but it was still riveting. Max has a very Svengali vibe to him, and the relationship between Narrator and Max unfolds in a way that screams Stockholm syndrome. I did find the ending to be very confusing. I re-read the final chapter several times and still don’t really understand.
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I greatly appreciate the chance to review this book. I really wanted to like it because I thought the premise was super interesting. However, I figured out very quickly that Rosanna was dead and Max was covering it up. I also thought the book dragged in the middle. It could have benefited from being about 50 pages shorter. There are only so many times you can hear about the Rosanna double eating a Caesar salad and spending her days waiting for Max to show up. With that being said, I do think the author had good ideas and a solid voice. I would give a second book a chance.
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Yep yep yep. Here for this, all of it. Oh man, this was good. I devoured this from the very first. Frankenstein meets Brat Farrar... meets Rebecca... meets Psycho? Basically, a beautiful concoction of creep mixed with suspense (and throw in a little old Hollywood glam!) that seemed to have been tailor made for me.
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The story sounded intriguing. A young girl with a real likeness to a celebrity is hired to become her body double. Rosanna Feld has disappeared from society and is rumored to have had a breakdown. She is hired by Max who keeps her hidden in an apartment to learn everything about Rosanna. 
I found the story a bit slow paced. It was hard to like any of the characters or feel real sympathy for them. The body double is in a very strange situation with no one from her past life to rely on and no one in Rosanna's life that seemed to really know her either. It was an ok read, just a bit too depressing. I received an ebook from the publisher in exchange for a review.
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I really really really wanted to love this book. The premises of the book is incredible. Someone trying to have another human live a celebrity life? SIGN ME UP! 

I think the first curveball for me was the fact that a ton of information was revealed to us in the first chapter. I was very confused as to what are we going to talk about later on in the book. The decisions this character had to make were a bit too big for just a couple of sentences. 

While reading a book I felt like I was driving a stick-shift car: I don't know how to drive a stick-shift car. Some places felt like smooth and inviting sailing. However, some felt very clunky and bumpy. 

I think with heavy editing and some re-writing to smooth things over this can be a very intriguing read.
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This book had a very unique premise. A young woman is hired to stand in for a celebrity who has had a nervous breakdown. It was a bit slow paced for my liking but I knew I had to find out how it ended!
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Our unnamed narrator is the spitting image of Hollywood starlet Rosanna and for a 100,000 dollars, she is to assume Rosanna’s identity. This premise was very interesting however that’s all that this book had going for it. From the beginning, there was something not quite right about the Max situation and I knew that from the first chapter, but the overall flowery language and sad manipulation made me feel like I was being taken for a ride. 

The interactions that Fake Rosanna has with her Hollywood friends are so sad because it proves that Rosanna was never really their friend. They readily accept this fraud as their friend after not hearing from their friend for over a year. The plot really just plodded along and there was not shock value because it is pretty obvious that there is something seriously wrong with arrangement. 

I don’t think that overall the book was very good. I think it was interesting for what it was but that’s about it.
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This was very slow paced but worth the wait.  Readers will be locked in a guessing game  throughout until the ending. Very Hitchcockish. 
Many thanks to Doubleday Books and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Thank you Netgalley for sending me this arc. I will be reviewing this book in the near future with an honest rating and review.
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I’m not sure what I just read.  The synopsis sounded promising and I knew it was going to be twisted, but it was just a bit too bizarre for my liking.

I kept reading just to find out what happens, but I was confused by the ending. 

A young woman is approached and offered to become a body double for a Hollywood starlet, Rosanna Feld who is suffering from anxiety/depression.  Her assistant Max finds her a body double, but being Rosanna’s body double will require her to go through great lengths.  Is the price of fame worth it? 

 I won’t say much more because I don’t want to spoil it for other readers.  I had a difficult time connecting to this one and found it a tad disturbing. 

Thank you Netgalley and DoubleDay Books for this advance reading copy.
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This book was interesting from the second it started. Reading about how a total nobody, literally transforms into a “missing” Hollywood actress was mind blowing. The girl learns to take on the look, persona and movements of a Hollywood actress who apparently had to go away, according to her fans, to rehab. This book was mysterious, creepy and highly entertaining! The ending threw me for a total twist!
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I received an advanced copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

So, I don't know what I just read. It was twisted enough to keep reading because I wanted to know what happened. But I'm not sure what happened or how it got to the point which it did. 

A young woman is selected as a body double for a celebrity, Rosanna Feld, (think a Kardashian of sorts) to make appearances since Rosanna is suffering from crippling depression/anxiety/addiction. But the assistant, Max, who has selected the new Rosanna has some intense work for her to take on before she can make her public debut. 

Saying any more would give spoilers. I'm unsure if I liked this. It felt extremely repetitive. I'm not sure if that was a choice to make me feel anxious while reading, or if the author was trying to flesh out a short story to novel length. 

If you like a twisted commentary on celebrity and body image and obsession,  give it a whirl.
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An unnamed women has been hired to be a celebrities body double. She has to act the part and pretend to be this famous women who has supposedly had a mental breakdown. Max is her only contact with the outside world while she studies her role. This was a novel of obsession but not the type I was expecting. Turns out the unnamed women is the one who becomes crazy and obsessed. Lots of long, rambling inner dialogue.
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It wasn't my favorite; the pacing was odd and while the premise was fantastic, I found most of the characters, particularly our unnamed protagonist difficult to invest in in any meaningful way.

Shades of Hitchcock but not quite enough and I predicted the "surprise" which is always a let-down.

Thank you very much to Emily Beyda, Doubleday Books and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read and review this ARC.
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The Body Double is about a common girl who is approached to be a body double for a celebrity.  Hitchcock’s movie Vertigo and the new book I read and reviewed a while back The Paper Wasp we’re both a little similar to this one.
•
My reactions, in order, as I read:
“Whoa, this book is weird and that’s a heck of a lot of internal monologue.”
“This character is bizarre and she certainly doesn’t behave like I would.”
“Well THAT seems highly unlikely!”
“I have to keep reading to see if I’m right about what I think is going to happen.”
“Nope, I was so wrong.”
“Whoa this book is weird!”
“I HAVE to know how this book ends!”
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I read it in a day. Besides some plot points I was still wondering about, a few times when the reader is smarter than the character (I hate when that happens), and maybe a too-quick ending, I enjoyed this as a creepy, suspenseful, clean read. I like to share mature content and I think this adult book only had three or four curse words.
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For anyone who finds Hitchcockian plotting irresistible, this is the novel for you!  Raising tantalizing issues about identity even as it whiplashes the reader with surprise after surprise, THE BODY DOUBLE delivers an irresistibly enthralling read. Emily Beyda is a new young writer to put on your must-read list.
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I was excited to get this book and had high hopes for it, but the reading of it was not what I had hoped.  I found the premise intriguing:  the thought of escaping one's one humdrum life to live as someone completely different.  But the book itself plodded along like so much navel gazing.  Nothing really much happened.  There were no real surprises, so no thriller aspect for me.  I didn't know enough about the main character to give a rap about her.  Maybe that was the intent?  And I didn't really know enough about the person the main character was replacing to truly care what happened to her, although I guessed it pretty much from the time the main character arrived at the apartment.    Again, perhaps this was the intent:  to illustrate the shallowness of Hollywood (as the scapegoat for greater American society?), how ridiculous the "famous person as health expert good-life guru"  trend is, etc.  And if that was the only point, then it was made ad nauseam.  I was so glad to finish the book and move on to something else.

All that said, I very much appreciate the opportunity given to me by NetGalley and the publisher to read the galley of this novel.  And perhaps there will be a readership for it, just as there is evidently quite a viewership for reality television.  Those folks will be the ones to whom I recommend this title .
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I definitely enjoyed the complexity of this story line.  It had me going and I was thinking that at some point all the stuff was going to hit the fan.  Everything came to a boiling point.  The characters were a tad bit creepy.  Our narrator has no name and it makes sense since she is taking on the identity of someone else.  Not only that, she tells us a few details about the life she left behind like her foster mom and her biological father and in all honesty, no one will miss her.   She has to give up her past life in order to carry out this elaborate plan of pretending to be a Hollywood actress, Rosanna Feld.  She has to learn her mannerisms, dress like her, and even live like her to an extent.  The amount of work that has to be done is ridiculous.  She has to get plastic surgery and eat like her.  Not only that, she is trapped in this apartment for months learning to be like Rosanna by watching these videos that Max shows her.  This book is definitely not like anything that I've read before in the sense that it is difficult to tell whether or not the narrator is really Rosanna or really pretending to be her.

Max, the man who is helping our narrator, does not come off as trustworthy to me.  He is weird and creepy.  Our narrator has never really been loved and somehow he knows that.  How long has he been watching our narrator and what is his relationship with Rosanna?  Whatever their relationship may be, it’s weird.  I know he is supposed to guide our narrator, but he seems too close to the situation.  Also, how is he seeing everything that they do?  There was a large amount of videos that our narrator watched in order to copy Rosanna’s voice and know what she wanted to order or what she would buy.   Where does Max go when he leaves our narrator?  There are so many questions that I had while reading and everything just made him seem more creepy.  You have to wait until the end to figure out why our narrator must pretend to be Rosanna.  All I’m saying is that I knew Max was weird and that nothing in this story seemed quite right when it came to him.

I’m not sure I would be able to give up my life and become someone else even if money was involved.  I would not want to lose my family or friends.  Even though my life may not be as fabulous, I definitely appreciate everything that I have been given.  This book will make you question what would you do and have you looking at everyone around you more closely.  I don’t think I would enjoy being told what I can and cannot do or being told when I can and cannot leave.  The only way I would be able to do this is if I really had no one in my life that cared for me or would miss me if I disappeared.  I am most uncomfortable with the idea of someone watching me at all times and me having to change everything about myself to fit into this lifestyle.  I enjoyed this story and the creepiness that I felt while reading it.  At every turn there was a new discovery or a new question that I needed answered. 

This book will be available on March 3, 2020.
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Three, no, this is not the book I dreamed to dive into,  the plot was intriguing, the beginning was interesting, but then all slowness no play made me dull and ax carrying Jack Torrence kind of disturbed person because I’m so bored to death stars!!!!

When I start reading this book I asked myself these questions: 
Do you like Almodovar’s movie  “Skin I live” based on Thieery Jonquet’s “Tarantula” novel? YES!

What about Hitchcock’s “Suspicion”, “Vertigo” and “Rebecca”? Are you kidding me, hell YES!

Do you fan of classics like “Bride of Frankenstein” and “Sunset Boulevard”? Let’s consider I didn’t ask myself this because I want to scream : “YESSSS!”

You may find small pieces of all these amazing projects inside this book; some of them as a big portion and some of them as small crumbles.

It’s claustrophobic, disturbing, giving you headache, bad stomach, heaves, depression, frustration and finally you want to throw the book against the wall and scream: “ENOUGH” because its slow burn, its merciless, savage tone and two characters who are suffering from OCD made you run out of patience. You started to think, those insane couple are created for each other like Kanye and Kim( they look like an angel comparing with these two characters) or Johnny Depp and Amber Heard ( Okay they’re equally bad like them). 

 A young woman accepts a job willing being a double of Hollywood star Rosanna by losing her whole identity, leaving her past, forgetting her likes, dislikes, dreams, opinions. She was so ready to forget her own name. 

  Max, who hired her, encouraged her, tortured her to become a real Rosanna with EXTREME METHODS: Locking her up in a house, only activities are reading magazines  about Rosanna or watching the parrots from her window, forcing her smoking and drinking diet coke ( for having bad skin and looking as older as Rosanna! WTF! Yes that’s the f*ck!), over exaggerated exercise program and vegan diet with ultra- small portions, letting the butcher doctor destroy her face (this may be called plastic surgery, but still…) The methods got more extreme, the characters started to make more miserable each other.
 
I knew that our heroine had no friends, no close family members or proper job before. So I can empathize her decision to leave her old life behind and start from the fresh but doing this by stealing somebody’s identity and being obsessive about it by losing rest of her marbles, well sorry but we have batshit crazy heroine and sadistic, unpredictable, arrogant Max ( Please don’t push me to call him “hero”, he is just a very bad guy. Worse than Billie Eilish’s song defined.)! 

  I happily announce that: THE MOST HATED, UNLIKABLE, IRRITATING CHARACTERS AWARD goes to… YES, OUR CHARACTERS gathered all the statues! Let’s congratulate them.

As a summary, why this book irritated me so much:
1)	Extreme slow-burn thrilling: You may foresee the biggest secret and revelation. You don’t need to read extra 200 pages!
2)	Unlikable, detesting characters with psychological disorders.
3)	Lack of wittiness, expected, foreseeable, repeating itself!
4)	References inspired this book are amazing but the slow pacing and lack of curiosity killed all these wonderful elements and wasted all potential!
5)	It reminded me a theater play more than a book. Long, slow, psychologically exhausting chapters, mostly one location oriented story-telling and whole book centered between two characters. Let’s call it “BORRRRINNGGG!”

So yes, I was so excited to read this book but it was really above my expectations. I’m keen on reading debut authors and meet with their fresh perspective but this book failed me.

Thank you so much NetGalley and Doubleday for sharing this ARC COPY in exchange my honest review.
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