Book Review: The Double Shadow

We all dream of a perfect world, a world where our favourite memories and our happiest days are replayed over and over again. A world without sadness, or pain. 

Arnold Ruben just wants what is best for his daughter, Amaryllis. After surviving the First World War, he doesn’t want her to ever have to experience any of the horrors he witnessed, so he begins to dream of a utopian society where she could only live through the happiest memories of her life. As her seventeenth birthday draws near, so too does World War Two and Arnold puts the finishing touches on his life’s work, set to be activated on Amaryllis’ birthday – The Memory Machine.

Amaryllis has never felt much of a connection to her father, not since her mysterious accident as a young child which landed her in a private clinic in Switzerland. She rebels against the boarding schools her father sends her to, and after making a mistake which changes her life forever, she gets expelled from her school only to be informed that she must now complete home-schooling. To make matters worse, she has to complete her education with the lowly cook’s son, Ezra. As the weeks pass, however, she finds herself forming a connection with the younger boy, and though Ezra can’t explain why, he’s strangely fascinated by her too. 

Everything changes, however, when Amaryllis wakes up in a strange room in a desolate landscape, with only a strange soldier and a glowing green light for company. A little girl haunts her with memories she would rather forget, and gives her a strange double shadow. She wants the cake boy, but she can’t remember his name, until he shows up in her confusing world with plans to save her. 

The Double Shadow is an addictive mystery read that will remind you that if you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. It has the perfect mix of romance, storyline, thoughtfulness, sadness, and joy that will make it stay with you long after you turn the final page. It’s another Young Adult book without any vampires (or wizards, or supernatural creatures of any kind!) which will always be refreshing, and comes from the award winning author of I, Coriander. If you’re looking for a read this summer that’s a little bit different, make sure you check out The Double Shadow at your local book store. 

Author: Sally Gardner
Published: December 2011
Published By: Hachette Australia
RRP: $22.99
Pages: 352 (my review copy)
Rating: 8/10

frangipani princess xoxo

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