Mar 24, 2013

Just Read It! Book Club March Read: Dualed

I don't read to many Dystopian books. They often confuse me with the world building so I just stick to books I know I like. I've recently decided to branch out and Dualed was a book that despite being a dystoipan I was really excited about! And when Lexi and I decided it would be our first book for our book club I was beyond excited to start it! 

Summary 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.

West Grayer lives in a world where she is trained to fight to be prepared to kill the girl who looks just like her--her Alt. Only one of them can live. Only one can be worthy.

Dualed instantly is captivating. From a great first line opener to an intense end of chapter one Dualed doesn't take very long before you're sucked into a fast paced book full of suspense and intrigue. Though the book was often fast paced and interesting I did have one problem with this book. It's chapters. I like a book that can end a chapter at a point that makes me want--no need to turn the page. It's not that Dualed didn't exactly do that but it's 30 page long chapters bugged me a bit. Because of this little thing that kept getting under my skin I had a hard time finishing this one. That was my biggest issue with this book and aside from that this book really was good!

West Grayer was an interesting character. In the beginning it's obvious she's very tough and witty but as the novel progressed West started to second guess herself. The more she ran and the more she second guessed her strength her toughness started to chip away bit by bit. It wasn't that she wasn't tough anymore because she was it's just that things about her started to become clearer, feelings started to come out as her facade started to fall.  Because she didn't let feelings be known very often I couldn't really connect with her like I would have liked.

Chord is my favorite character from Dualed. I even liked him more than I liked West. He was essentially the boy next door. It's obvious right of the bat that there is something between him and West. It's also pretty clear he wants to act on those feelings but West just won't stop pushing him away. I really loved the banter between these two characters and despite wanting to yell at West for pushing him away all the time I did enjoy the slow progression of their relationship.

I loved how easy it was to visualize the world Elsie Chapman created. Not once did I have to really think hard to picture what she was talking about. Her writing was just so vivid and clear it made the book so enjoyable. It also seemed fairly unique to me and I loved that I could go into this book and find something totally fresh and new to me.

There was one thing about this book that I was so curious about while reading. Throughout the book I kept wondering what was going on with West's Alt. What was she thinking? Was she as discouraged as West was but not letting it show? Or was she truly as determined as it appeared through West's perspective? It's just something I kept thinking about while reading and I thought it would have been interesting to see things from her Alt's perspective.

Dualed is a fresh and suspenseful book that many people will enjoy. It's concluded in a way that makes you curious how things will turn out for West as the series goes on. I personally loved the conclusion to this book. It was fantastic and really had me wanting the next book! Dualed is getting 3.5 out of 5 birds from me. It was a great book but it wasn't one of my favorites. I do think that this would be a good book for anyone who is deciding to try out a dystopian book for the first time. It's world building and imagery are so fantastic that it makes you want to read more books set in a world that isn't so normal.

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