Publishing Info: February 26, 2013 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 9, 2013
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
DUALED is a tough one for me to review. It was definitely one my more anticipated reads of early 2013… So where did I end up with this? I guess the answer is still excited, but confused.
There’s no doubt that DUALED is reminscient of the action-packed and somewhat gruesome battles that we all loved about The Hunger Games, but where as THG had a strong world in which it was based, I felt like DUALED needed to be challenged a little bit further before the dystopian future-world of Kersh became believable for me. Even within the first few pages (page 23 to be exact) and explanation of Kersh, I was confused. Kersh is described as a city that put up its walls to keep out the war that was going on and taking over the rest of the world. So what baffled me is, why set up a complicated system in which the children and teenagers of Kersh are destined to kill each other off in a brutal fashion? Surely there’s a better way to make your city stronger other than killing off the weak in a public and violent fashion. I didn’t see how this promoted Kersh as a peaceful place in anyway. It made them seem even more brutal – Killing off the weaker Alts just for the sake of having a stronger army IF the war ever broke through. Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks had a great review that even opened up more questions I didn’t even know I had – I won’t go into all the details because she says it so well herself, so check out her review if you’re ready to analyze it more!
Now. If I completely overlook the confusing foundation of the plot, I actually really enjoyed reading DUALED. I thought the book was very action-packed and fast-paced to keep the reader flipping pages and racing to find out what happens between West and her Alt. At the same time, we have the conflict of West and Chord – two people who you can tell have an attraction to each other, but being constantly pushed apart as West tries to distance herself from Chord to keep him safe. It kept me guessing whether they would end up together in the end of the book or if Chord really would end up tangled in the mess of West’s epic battle with her Alt. And I’m not even going to get started on all of the “different”- sounding names in the book. We all know I struggle with that.
I’d have to say that the action carried me through the book. With the conflicting basis of the plot and the push and pull of West & Chord’s relationship getting repetitive, I still came out enjoying the book overall. The positives won over the negatives for me in this case and I actually came out the other side with a positive feeling about the book as a whole. Maybe it’s because I was always hoping it would be great? Although usually that sets me up for disappointment. I guess you’ll just have to try it to find out!
West: You know. I never really did end up liking West. She was a tough cookie, but it got to the point where she was SO independent that she refused any and all help from everyone and that kind of bothered me. I think it really hindered a developing relationship with Chord which is something I would have liked to see more of instead of Chord stalking her every move and West batting him away.
Chord: I really wanted to like Chord, but since West was the one telling us the story, I feel like we go to see some of those great things about him, but kept getting shut down. I really wanted to know more about Chord and see his side of the story. I almost wish book two would be from his perspective instead of West…
I really, really wanted to like this one but it had some bit plot holes for me… I did like the overall feel but there were a few too many things I couldn’t connect with.