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Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 200 books, including Just Another Girl and Anything but Normal. She recently was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.For more information about Melody visit her website at melodycarlson.com.
Posted September 13, 2011
This book was so good. I read the whole thing in one day! These two girls switch lives and learn how to live a totally different life. Some parts were kinda predictable but mostly ft me wondering..........its so good and the ending was great. I loove melody. She has been my favorite author ever since crhristmas last year wen i was intoduced to her diary of a teenage girl series!!definitely get this book an others. I look forward to purchasing way more from her on my nook!!
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Posted December 26, 2011
Hey this book was awesome! This book doesnt fantasize life. It tells it like it really is and how God pops up to us normal people. It also helped me realize how hurt people can become and we dont even think twice about what we have done. Read it!!! :-)
Posted December 13, 2011
Posted 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."
Posted June 25, 2011
ABOUT THE BOOK: (back cover)
It's spring break of her senior year and Madison Van Buren is fed up. Stressed over decisions on colleges, her parents' bickering, and pressures from her boyfriend, Madison gets in her car and just drives away.
Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Anna Fisher wants to escape the so-called simple life of the Amish-which for her consists of caring for younger children, 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.
Worlds collide when Madison and Anna meet for the first time in a small town, realize they look uncannily alike, and decide the grass is greener on the other side. Neither of them will ever be the same.
This is quite the story, while it's not entirely believable that 2 teens from such different walks of life would actually do such a things as switch places, this book is full of creative entertainment. For Anna and Madison, life is just too much at the moment and when they begin to talk about switching places their plan becomes set in stone, it's only after the plan happens that they're not so sure what they did is o.k.! As each of the girls learns a new way of life they grow up and learn not to take some things for granted, life looks a bit different when you step away from what you're used to. This is a sweet read and you will fall for Anna and Madison as they learn quite a bit about themselves as well as others. A fun, entertaining summer read good for young adults and adults alike!
* I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Baker Publishing Group.
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Posted June 25, 2011
If you're looking for a great summer read for adults and YA readers alike then check out Melody's newest novel. Spring Break is supposed to mean vacation time and who needs that more than a High School senior before graduation. Apparently money and Madison's family name aren't all they're cracked up to be which just adds to all the demands she is facing.
Hours away from bustling New York city Anna finished school at 8th grade per the standard Amish practice and has spent the last four years caring for siblings, hoping to find the right Amish husband for her, being a "good girl" per her cultural environs, and helping out wherever and whenever she is directed both amongst her Amish community and with extended family needs outside her own district. Anna is feeling trapped by the confines of being Amish and considering what it might be like to stop being responsible at least long enough to see what another life might hold. As they nearly collide outside the restroom of a coffee shop the two discover they may just have the key to their "dreams" of a different life without the demands they resent. This "key" catapults them both into culture shock among people and societies the polar opposite of their accustomed environments. Though this "experiment" they concoct only lasts a week that is an interminable stretch of time to be faced with unfamiliar demands and expectations on their time rather than the familiar yet unwelcome demands of their current lives.
Escape ends up to be a very different situation than either Madison or Anna expects and by the end of a week they have learned much about themselves and the nagging questions they hadn't looked for answers to just yet. Their experiment not only cements their own decisions about where they want their lives to go from here but also exposes them both to worlds they would never experience the same way as outsiders. The comedies of errors throughout this book keep a lighthearted tone despite many of the serious and emotionally heavy topics built into the plot. Rarely have I read a Melody Carlson book that I found too heavy and serious for my tastes. This author has a knack of attacking topics in a manner that is not only balanced but keeps the reader entertained with lighter moments and can make even topics of heavy social importance a vacation read. Thanks to Revell for a review copy.
Posted June 25, 2011
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 Carlson 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 Carlson 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.
Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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."
Posted June 24, 2011
I Also Recommend:
Acclaimed author Melody Carlson has written over 200 books for the young and adult readers. With her new book Double Take she takes on one of Christian publishing's most popular sub-genre's, Amish fiction. Carlson is above all else a wonderful storyteller and readers will enjoy this modern twist on Twain's, Prince and the Pauper. Wealthy city girl, meets simple Amish girl, who looks enough like her to be her twin. The premise may seem far-fetched but that's why they call it fiction! Melody Carlson has thrilled fans over and over with her Christian fiction titles. She has a knack for getting inside the heads of teens who are experiencing changes in their lives and in their faith. With her latest book, she takes on the Amish fiction sub-genre. This kind of fiction has really taken Christian publishing by storm in the last few years and I was really interested to see how Carlson approached it. I have always been a big fan of Mark Twain and when I read the premise for Double Take I automatically thought about Twain's very popular story, The Prince and the Pauper. This is a modern YA twist on that old favorite. I thought Carlson came up with a story that young adult readers will really buy into. What teen doesn't want to escape their life sometimes? I think it's a rite of passage that Carlson takes to whole new level. First and foremost Carlson is a great storyteller. In Double Take she gives the reader a glimpse into a modern Amish community. It is a much simpler life style and seems to stem back to a different time, yet this is how the Amish choose to live their lives. Most Amish stories readers are exposed to these days have the same theme. Amish girl or boy decides to leave the Amish community to see what the world holds. This book is similar in that Anna has the same intentions, but then you have to add in Madison, who has a totally different motivation. I liked the way that Carlson gave both girls a reason to want to see how the other half lived. I liked the way that each of them learned some life lessons from their experiences as well. One thing you can always count on with Carlson is good clean read that will appeal to both young and old readers and this one doesn't disappoint. The premise doesn't seem very plausible. Two girls meet, who look just a like and they decide to switch places for a week. It may not seem realistic, but does it really have to? I don't think so. Reading is about escaping from your every day and this book certainly provided that escape, for me as a reader and for the characters in the story. I thought Carlson did a fantastic job of incorporating her message into the book, without being preachy or too over the top. Both girls learn a lot and they also teach the other people they come in contact with as well. I would recommend this one to Christian fiction fans and young adult readers. If you like Amish fiction this one is a little different than most and I think you'll enjoy the refreshing changes.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 19, 2011
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.
Posted June 17, 2011
I absolutely LOVE Amish fiction. Next to suspense, it is my ALL time FAVORITE genre. I love Amish mysteries, historical Amish, general Amish, and of course, young adult Amish. Amish, Amish, Amish. It is a MUST read genre. And, in that must read genre, is a FANTASTIC novel, perfect for that lazy summer day at the beach for every young reader. It's title: Double Take. Melody Carlson has hit a home run with the creation of this sweet, funny, and heart warming story about two girls, from worlds as different as night and day, who long for life on the brighter side.
In Double Take, Madison Van Buren and Anna Fisher long to have a life beyond what they know. Madison's life, well, it's a life of wealth and money, greed and snooty. Anna's life is simpler, plainer, and to her, a bit on the boring side. So, when they girls bump into each in a train stop, they see the likeness of each instantly. With a little encouraging, Madison convinces Anna to trade places with her, and they set off into a whole new world. Madison, used to glamour and wealth, now meets with plain and simple. Anna, used to plain and simple is thrust amid the city life of Manhattan and searching for her once Amish boyfriend. Can they find where their hearts want to be? Is life truly brighter in another world?
I absolutely loved Madison and Anna's stories! I was instantly captured by the characters, and drawn into the middle of the story. I laughed in places, and in other places, I wanted to bop the girls on the head and say "hello! wake up and see that life should be treasured!". Having faith, relying on God to guide your path and learning the value of friendship, are all woven neatly together in this inspiration Amish read!
I highly recommend this new book by a fantastically talented lady! It's 5 star worthy and a great beach read, or lazy day read for those young readers, and not to mention the older readers who are still kids at heart! If you love Amish then I suggest that you add this to the top of your new Amish book list!
Posted June 7, 2011
Posted July 18, 2013
No text was provided for this review.