Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review: Dualed

Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Reading level: Ages 12+
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release date: February 26, 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. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This was an interesting premise where every citizen has an identical double, but only one is allowed to reach adulthood. Trained from birth, it's kill or be killed once you're activated.

There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason behind when you and your Alt will be activated, but once activated, there's a 30 day time limit. If you don't manage to kill your Alt by the deadline, you'll both die. This seems a little harsh, but everyone seems to accept it as the status quo.

I had mixed feelings about both the story and West, the main character. Having lost most of her family, West makes several odd decisions that I didn't always agree with. And I didn't fully understand the reasoning behind Alts or why anyone would accept this.

Most of the time, I just go with the flow and accept that that's just the way this world is...but this one bothered me for some reason. Are the Alts clones? Genetically induced identical twins? And why would the population be willing to allow their children to kill each other? No, not allow, but require that their children kill each other.

Despite the mixed feelings, I couldn't put this one down as I really wanted to know what happened next! And I have to say that I was pleased with the ending and think the author did a good job wrapping things up.

Mulling over the story afterwards, I think it was the setting that led to my mixed feelings (I really didn't like this world!). For a story to affect me that much is sort of impressive, so I'm looking forward to seeing what other worlds the author creates!

Have you read this one? Did the whole premise of Alts disturb you at all? Why do you think sanctioned kills were accepted so easily? Would love to know what you thought!

ARC received from the publisher at NYCC


  1. If nothing else this sounds like a novel that makes you think.

    1. And I really like a story that makes you think! It was just the world she created I had issues with.

  2. I felt similarly - I wanted to know WHY the clones and I wanted to know more about the world that was created. I enjoyed it but I felt like I was waiting to find out how this world got here or how it ticked.

  3. This one sounds like it's got a lot of promise. I hope I don't get hung up of the world building. It's def the kind if book that I'm likely to pick up. I guess I'm just a sucker for a dystopian novel.

  4. When I heard about this book, I felt like I needed to read it right away, but the hype is dying down and I'm not 100% into it anymore :( If I get the chance to, like the book is staring me in the face, then I would probably read it. Otherwise, Dualed can wait.

    I like the review and that you raised some interesting questions about how things work. It sucks that the world-building wasn't better, that's like the most important thing ever in a Dystopian novel. Still, this gives me a good perspective on what to expect! :)

  5. The thought of Alts does bother me. Especially when looking at the target audience. Being a mom, I wouldn't want my child reading something like this.

    Anna @

  6. I also didn't understand the purpose of alts. And the whole thing was just so illogical. They want soldiers so they half their population??

    But the main thing that got to me was the main character herself. I hated how weak and hypocritical she was. At the beginning she was pushing her friend to go kill his alt ASAP, but then when hers came around she avoided it and avoided it. She also spent the whole book pushing the guy away. It was so frustrating to me!!

  7. Interesting that you didn't like the world- I really want to read it now to see if I feel the same way!

    Great review!

  8. I don't mind dystopian novels when they are based in a reality that has a plausability to it and I can actually see happening, if things go a certain way. This one though sounds a lot like what I don't like about this new crop of dystopian fiction. Plotlines that don't make sens and seem to be pulled out of the ether. NOt sure this is for me.