- Title: Dualed
- Author: Elsie Chapman
- Series: Dualed #1
- Next Book: Divided
- Source: Library
Description from Goodreads:
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.
The latest trend I’ve noticed in YA seems to be some kind of alternate reality or version of yourself, parallel universes, or twins. Honestly, I think they sound pretty cool. If you read my review of Parallel last week, you’ll know that I really enjoyed it. After hearing great things and really liking Parallel, I was pretty excited for both Dualed and Pivot Point by Kasie West. I haven’t read Pivot Point yet, but I was disappointed by Dualed.
I thought that the synopsis of Dualed sounded really good, but I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting. Dualed started off pretty well, with West’s brother’s best friend, Chord, receiving his assignment. West and Luc go with Chord to find his Alt, though they know better than to assist him in the actual kill. However, the assignment doesn’t end well, leading West to the deepest grief of her life. Honestly, after the beginning, I thought I was off to a great start.
But from there, I just felt that the story dragged. I didn’t really like West very much, and she started to irritate me. As the main character and narrator of Dualed, West was the central focus of the story, but I just couldn’t relate to her. Also, as I went along, I found the premise bothered me a little. I’m not sure why, because I loved The Hunger Games, and both of them contain teenagers killing other teenagers, but for some reason, it just bothered me with Dualed. Maybe it’s because the way the book starts out, the description, or the cover, but I was expecting bad-ass Alts with gladiator-style fights to the death, or one Alt to be obviously evil. However, it turned out to seem more like totally normal kids trying to kill each other, otherwise they’d be killed themselves. There are even pathetic Alts who beg for their lives. I guess, after a while, it just rubbed me the wrong way.
I considered DNF’ing Dualed several times, but I pushed on. First, I almost never DNF books. I really don’t like to do it. But more importantly, I had heard really good things about Dualed, so I figured it must get better. I did really like the last 30 or so pages. They were pretty much exactly what I was expecting throughout the rest of the book, but honestly, I can’t say that the ending was good enough to justify my trudging slowly through the rest of the book. Dualed is also going to be part of a series, but I can’t think of anything the rest could be about, and honestly, I just didn’t connect enough to the characters or the story line to continue the series.
Honestly, I’ve seen several good reviews for Dualed, so I can’t say that I wouldn’t recommend it, but it just wasn’t the book for me. The beginning and the end were pretty good, and though I wasn’t invested, I never really hated the book, so I’ll rate it as okay.