Monday, February 25, 2013


Book: Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Release Date: February 26th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304 pages
Source: ARC from publisher

You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

Dualed was one of the books I was most looking forward to reading in 2013. The blurb is just fantastic and I admit -- I have a soft spot for dystopian stories. Not only is the concept of Dualed is thrilling, but the writing, I soon discover as I read Dualed, is absolutely amazing. There's a lot of suspense in the way Elsie Chapman writes.

However, I also discover that as I read Dualed, I found some things I didn't like as much.

Firstly, there was the lack of background information. At certain times, I felt confused about which place was which, and I thought the description of places could be improved. I would also like to learn more about how their government works. As readers, we get learn some details of how Alts' lives work, but I feel like some more details are still needed.

Also, as I was reading Dualed, I found that the world-building isn't as solid as I would like it to be. From Dualed, I learned that the government is making doubles of people from two sets of parents, so they can each eliminate each other when they get older. That is to create a stronger society who will fight when war strikes. For whatever reason, I find that reason to be a really flimsy excuse. I wish that theory was further backed up with evidence or fleshed out more. Because the way I see it, whoever killed their Alt isn't neccesarily the strongest. It could always be luck, or as the story suggests, a striker for hire.

Next, there was the main character, West. I didn't hate her, but I didn't connect much with her either. At times, I couldn't really understand her actions. I was constantly asking myself why she wanted to be a striker (someone who was hired to kill another person's Alt). I think the reason why she started in the beginning was because she wanted to get practice for killing her own Alt. However, even after she got her assignment, she was still dealing with striker assignments rather than hunting down her own Alt. If anything, the plan to get practice actually backfired because she didn't truly work on her assignment until there were only a few days left.

Another reason why I couldn't connect with West was mainly because I was frustrated by how she couldn't kill her Alt. She kept dragging out the assignment, and a lot of unnecessary things have happened. I wish there was more of an actual plot going on, besides West trying to understand herself and getting the courage to kill her Alt.

However, at times, I found her to be really brave and kind. I liked how she helped Dess with training and I liked how she kept thinking about how to protect the person she cares about the most. I admit, I didn't always agree with what she did, but she had a good personality.

Lastly, there was Chord. Though his romance with West seem a bit forced (as they seem more like brother and sister), I did like him a lot. He was caring about West, and it really shows in the story. I also liked how the romance played a small part in Dualed. It was refreshing to see a story with just action and romance on the side.

So overall, Dualed was a good read, despite some things I mentioned in my review. There was a lot of potential in this story and for the most part, I did enjoy reading it. I couldn't completely agree with all the things West did, but she was an okay character most of the time. Chord was a fantastic character and the story was really fast-paced. I'm also looking forward to reading the sequel Divided because I'm curious about how this series will turn out. I would definitely recommend Dualed to readers who are looking for a quick, fun, dystopian book.


  1. It sounds exciting, although I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around the need to kill of a twin...other than wanting a society of murderous adults it sounds odd. Usually, clones/surrogates have the twist of being viewed as spare body parts potential. I guess it's good it's a different take on duplicates. Might just pick it up.

  2. So bummed to hear it didn't wow you :/ I got so excited when I first read the concept I was like going all "INEEDTHISTHINGNOW" but I've been hearing a lot of mixed reactions about it so I think Ill just wait for it to be out in the library. Great review! :)