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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review: Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Random House for Young Readers
Series: Dualed #1
Young Adult
Pages: 304
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Goodreads | Amazon

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.
*Digital ARC provided by publisher for an honest review*

When you're a video game/action lover like me, Dualed sounds like a novel that can take you by storm. If only synopsis was enough to make me like this novel. I tried, read a good portion of Dualed only until I made it to that certain point where all the roads curved and multiplied and there was no sign that could lead me back to where the story had been filled with clarity.

In novels, I'm all for abbreviations and acronyms. I like them when they work, obviously. Where it fails in Dualed is when Elsie Chapman gives these video gameesque terms like Point of Origin, Revenge Kills, etc. and only relays the terms once before going on of an abbreviation frenzy. So, there I am, sitting and thinking to myself, "How am I suppose to remember all these terms when they're given to me once and just combined letters the next?" It's like having someone say your name one second and a nickname for the rest of the time that you know that person. All you'll remember is that nickname and not what that person is actually called. Then I though about all the acronyms in history like NATO or NAWSA or NAACP or YMCA. I felt lost enough that it had me jumping in and out of the story. You never want your reader to be flopping around like a fish out of water. As an author you want a story like honey that makes the reader have to physically tear themselves away from the sticky, sweet success that you have written just to get back to their reality.

There really isn't anything that I can say about characters since I didn't get very far through the book. Honestly, I was completely surprised at how fast a character was killed off. Wasn't expecting the brutality in a matter of a few opening chapters, but I guess that is why this novel is deemed "action-packed." And the only thing that I can say about West is that she is a very brash character, and that can be a huge downfall especially in her murderous world. Hopefully.

Final Summation: Well, it's sad to say that I just couldn't get into this novel. It does upset me seeing as I was really looking forward to getting my hands on it. Bittersweet is how I feel though. Sometimes things just don't work, not everyone can fall for the same things. So for anyone who has yet to read this novel, I hope that you can bypass what made me fall out of DUALED and you can use this time to your advantage, learn the terms that West throws at you left and right, and keep yourself from being tossed to and fro from the novel.

First Line: I've buried nearly everyone I love.
Story: DNF
Cover: A