Book Review

The Body Double | Emily Beyda | Book Review

Some people hate Hollywood, celebrities, and the lifestyle and status that comes with being famous. They could care less about who’s dating who, what someone wore, or who’s crotch escaped them while getting out of a car last weekend.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, there are other people are nearly obsessed. People who follow celebrities very closely; supporting their brands, defending them on social media, and watching their every move.

I am somewhere in the middle. I don’t care about celebrities or what they’re doing, but when something interesting or juicy goes down… I guess I’ll read about it…

I’ll even admit, sometimes I’ll talk about the conspiracy theories with my friends. (Yeah, I’m one of those. But it’s all for laughs, I promise! #katieperryisjonbenetramsey)

Speaking of conspiracy theories, are you aware of the one about Avril Lavigne having a body double? People on the internet have spent days, if not months of their lives, to prove this theory in YouTube videos and photographic “evidence.” It’s sort of crazy all around.

Although I personally don’t believe it, who’s to say something like that couldn’t actually happen?

So, when I saw “The Body Double” on Instagram I was very interested.

Synopsis

A nervous breakdown has forced the beloved celebrity Rosanna Feld out of public eye. However, Rosanna seems to have completely disappeared all together! Like her fans, none of her friends or family have heard from her in over a year as well.

It seems her recovery is taking too long. Rosanna has relationships, a career, and a brand to uphold. How can Rosanna keep everything going if she’s unable to be in public?

Rosanna’s assistant Max has scouted our nameless narrator to become her body double. Leaving behind her life selling popcorn at the movie theater, forgetting her name, her family and her friends, our nameless lead takes the job and moves to Los Angeles to take Rosanna’s place in the Hollywood scene.

She spends her days watching footage of Rosanna, studying flashcards of her life, wearing Rosanna’s clothes and perfume, and absorbing every aspect of Rosanna’s essence. But alarming questions begin to arise.

What actually happened to Rosanna? Is she really recovering from a mental breakdown, or is there something else going on with her? Is Max actually her ally, or is he something far more sinister?

My Review

This is Emily Beyda’s debut novel. I was excited to see what this new author had in store for us, as the concept sounds dark, exciting, and appears to have the potential to be an amazing thriller.

But unfortunately it falls horrifically flat.

First and foremost, it is one of those most repetitive books I’ve ever read.

The first 1/2 of the book could’ve been, and should’ve been, condensed into two or three chapters. The details of studying Rebecca, learning her mannerisms, and watching her videos, consumes the first 150+ pages of the novel. (The book is 292 pages, so this is over half of the book.)

At first I loved the details and revelations of our nameless lead, but once I realized I was 1/2 way done with the book and nothing happened, I started growing quite agitated. While I understand this is supposed to be a slow burner, it shouldn’t absolutely bore you to death!

Not to mention, there’s only so much you can say about being cooped up in an apartment studying a celebrity. It gets so repetitive that I started skimming through the paragraphs, and I never do that! (Girl what have you done to me?) But my hand felt forced. I wasn’t sure how many times I could read the same thoughts and feelings over and over… and it seemed to be endless.

Secondly, I knew the ending of the story 30 pages into the book, which made the repetition all the more insufferable. This was a massive disappointment.

However, the book does a decent job at letting you descend into complete madness with our nameless lead. The signs of Stockholm Syndrome are all there, and you can’t believe what our lead is putting up with or why she doesn’t just run.

Eventually, she’s feeling and acting like an abused animal. She is grateful for a crumb of food after days of starvation, laying around waiting for Max to come around, just for him to be disappointed in her progress. It’s extremely frustrating, as you don’t really like anyone in the entire story, but I suppose that’s how you are supposed to feel.

While they did a good job of that, it’s still difficult because there’s not much else in the story keeping you going.

Bottom line: The characters suck, the story is repetitive, and nothing is happening.

So course you just can’t wait for our lead to finally meet up with Rebecca’s friends and start unraveling the pieces of the mystery! Right?!

This doesn’t even start happening until the last 2 chapters of the book. Sure, she has some public appearances and visits a friend prior to the last 2 chapters, but nothing happens and nothing even begins to reveal itself until the very, very end.

And, sadly, it’s predictable, anticlimactic, and poorly executed.

F*ckkkkk.

I was so let down by this book. So incredibly let down.

I really don’t enjoy writing bad reviews about books, especially a debut novel, but I owe it to you to be honest.

My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Did you read this book?

What are your thoughts on celebrity body doubles?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

xoxo,

Ande

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