Sixteen year old Brooke Bentley has no idea what she is in for when her car breaks down in front of Laura de France's house. The octogenarian is friendly, frail... and thinks she is the famous actress Terry Moore. Laura takes an immediate liking to Brooke, and, through a strange turn of events, soon controls almost every aspect of Brooke's life as she seeks to turn the teen into a movie star.
Not only does Brooke have to deal with the needy Laura de France, she has to juggle friends, a boyfriend and some interesting family drama. Double Take follows Brooke as she struggles in the teenage limbo between reliance and independence, and works to discover herself while pretending to be others.
Double Take is a short, light read that somehow manages to perfectly capture a teen's struggle between restriction and autonomy. With realistic, likeable characters and multiple game-changing plot twists, the story keeps the reader engaged and excited.
My favorite part of the book is the elderly Laura de France, the fascinating character Brooke meets in the beginning of the story. Laura is a frail old lady, sweet friend, and domineering career coach all at the same time. Her habits and history add something unique to the coming-of-age story template. The complexity of her character's behavior and emotions is what sets Double Take apart from the typical teen girl book.
My biggest issue with the book is that I have trouble relating to Brooke's life. Her reactions and experiences were believable given her personality, but I could never rationalize putting myself in some of the situations that she puts herself in over the course of the story. However, the way she deals with her struggle for independence and the opportunities available to her are very relevant to the teenage experience, and make up for any lack of connection between her character and myself.
Double Take is a great choice for light reading, with a plot that vaguely reminds me of But I Don't Want to be a Movie Star, by Margaret Pinder. I would recommend Double Take for pre-teens and teens who enjoy realistic fiction with female main characters.