"Be the one, be worthy."
15-year old West Grayer, no relationship to North West, lives in a society where you are expected to kill your Alternate who shares your DNA before they kill you. Kids as young as ten, and as old as twenty, are sent out against each other in a winner take all contest. This is a way for the Board, who runs Kersh, to sort out those who are supposed to be the strongest in order to defend the citizens against those living in the Surround. Successful completion of your assignment means better chances at a higher education, better paying jobs, permission to marry, and have a family.
Sounds intriguing doesn't it? That is what I thought when I found myself strolling along the aisles of my local library looking for something different to read. I am always on the lookout for new authors and different stories that don't revolve around the same tired storylines, especially when it comes to YA Dystopia. In my opinion, Dualed is an interesting story. We do get a brief look into what happened to the country at a whole, but really, I would have loved to get more information about how the cold virus caused infertility and tore apart the country.
While West is an admirable character, perhaps there is a point where she maybe has too much to deal with. Without spoiling anything in particular, West is in a situation where nothing makes sense any more. She's watched nearly everyone she loved fall by the wayside and therefore, she has a tendency of keeping people at arms length. People who have a lot on their plate tend to lash out, or withdraw into themselves and that is to be expected. For West, she chooses to become a striker after a fateful incident that breaks her spirits. This, on top of the fact that she has to stay alive long enough to kill her ALT, makes her a bit cold and maybe emotionless.
During my reading, I was making snide comments about Chord Jameson the romantic interest and I guess I should have explained myself better. Chord ISN'T necessarily a bad person when you get to the core of the apple. He just grated on my nerves when he continually tried to force himself into West's business and even went as far as tracking her location. I do realize, however, that the two of them grew up as friends and Chord's ALT was responsible for making West rethink everything she's been taught. I also realize that I am in the minority, as usual, with my concerns toward Chord. In the end, it doesn't really matter what I think or believe because I am not the writer, the editor, or the publisher.
I would have liked to see more of a cat and mouse chase between West and her unnamed Alt. If she was named, I absolutely missed it. If someone does have the name of Wests alternative, by all means, leave me a comment. The ending seemed a bit rushed in my estimation. There was a brief battle and nothing more. None of this will stop me from looking forward to Divided which releases May 27, 2014.
Published February 26th 2013 by Random House
Author - Elsie Chapman
Title - Dualed (Dualed # 1)
Publisher - Random House
Released - February 26, 2013
Genre - YA, Dystopian