Book review: Doppelganger by David Stahler Jr. and the discovery of one’s self

Sunday, August 25, 2019

This book heavily reminded me of David Levithan’s Everyday series. Stahler actually released this book in 2009 and I wonder if A’s story is based on the heganger.


What is it about?

We all know what a doppelganger is, but this book has a far more morbid idea of what a doppelganger is all about. The book is about a teenager who refers to himself as a monster–he is a doppelganger, a shapeshifter that kills humans and takes the physical appearance of their victim. But this teenage heganger is totally different from the ruthless, heartless monster that he is supposed to be. As he assumes the body and the life of a teenage boy, he is suddenly confronted with complex human emotions and caught himself dealing with them like a normal human being does.

He doesn’t have anything else but himself

He doesn’t have a name, his mom said their likes don’t need or even deserve one. So he calls himself just that, a heganger. I could understand how he could probably handle mingling with other human beings as this was very well established in the book. He spent most of his childhood watching TV in his cabin hidden in the depths of the woods, otherwise he read everything he could get his hands into. But the moment he assumes Chris’s body, and technically Chris’s overall identity, I wondered how is he going to try to cope with it. He doesn’t know Chris–at all. But it wasn’t for very long that I realized it was actually what the book is about, discovery of oneself. Referencing Shakespeare’s Macbeth, it was probably meant to make us understand why we did the things we did. That maybe that’s just who we are, and even if a part of us don’t want to do it, it’s just what’s in us.

I shrugged. “Maybe that’st just who he is.” I said. “Even if a part of him doesn’t want to do it, it’s just what’s in him.”
Anyway, if there’s anything else in this book that kept me wondering, it’s how Sheila (Chris’s mom) wasn’t able to figure out that the boy living in her house wasn’t actually his son, and how come Amber (Chris’s girlfriend) sensed it more that Sheila did. Look, moms know everything. If you think that you were able to outsmart your mom by smuggling your girlfriend in your room, think again. Mom knows. She just doesn’t want to confront you about it to save you from embarrassment. But she knows. So how come Sheila doesn’t know? But then again, maybe she does. Maybe she just doesn’t want to talk about it, but she knows.


I got this book from last year’s Book Binge Bazaar, and looking back, I don’t understand why I had to put off reading this book until two nights ago. If there’s a sequel to this book, I’d give the moon just to get a copy. I’m dying to know what’s gonna happen to Echo and Sheila and Barry. How Amber would deal with this truth the only she knows. I’m so down to following their love and life story. But maybe the book is meant to keep me wondering, which is cruel. But either way, this is far much better than Levithan’s Everyday series. I didn’t read its last installment as I was told it was crappy but now I think I’d like to give it a shot just to prove a point.

What is the book you’re currently reading?


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