Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: Dualed by Elise Chapman

by Elise Chapman
Dystopian Romance
Received for Review
Released On: February 26, 2013
Published By: Random House Books for Young Readers
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.46
Pages: 304
Buy Dualed on Amazon

Before I get into my review, here's the summary that's available on 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.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received a temporary electronic arc of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest opinion. I have received no compensation for writing this review and the opinions expressed within this review are my own. 

An Overview of the Novel: West has been training to battle her Alt and to kill her. For only one of them can live. The other must die if the other is to survive. The better Alt will be privileged to get a job and is allowed to marry. After training your whole life, you can help you're the better person.

The government shows up at your doorstep and gives you thirty days to kill your alt. If both of you are alive after thirty days, you're both dead. You don't have a choice--kill or be killed.

But when West's brother dies helping their friend kill his Alt, West spirals out of control. Her whole family is dead and she refused to die too. One of them needs to survive.

She's trained her whole life but when she gets her assignment she suddenly realizes she's not ready to kill her Alt. She just can't bring herself to do it. She can't help but wonder if she really is the better Alt. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Character development is one thing I look for in all of my novels and honestly as several others have pointed out we really didn't get to delve into the heads of the characters all that much. I couldn't understand half of the decisions West made, but yet somehow that really didn't matter.

The plot was so addicting and compelling and this premise drew me in so completely and absolutely. I had to keep turning the pages. I just honestly had no idea how this one was going to end.

There was a romantic angle in the book, but it really wasn't all that developed and was mostly on the periphery. I'm excited to see what happens in the sequel.

I'm trying really hard to give nothing away and yet still accurately express my thoughts concerning this book. Basically, I'd say that Chapman could have developed her characters more and that would have made me like the book better. However, I still really liked the book because of her writing style and how compelling the plot was. Definitely recommend to dystopian fans. 

So why 4 out of 5 stars? I wished the characters had been better developed. If they had this book probably would have been a 5. It's a 4 because it definitely stood out in my mind. The plot was gripping and I loved the writing style. 

In Summary: Elise Chapman's debut novel Dualed presents a compelling, intriguing, plot that will leave readers turning the pages faster and faster until they reach the end. One thing is for sure, Chapman knows how to come up with compelling ideas. 

The Wrap-up: Chapman's world was just so dark and intriguing that it caught my attention. It's been awhile since I've read a dystopian novel as gripping as this one. If you don't care if the character development suffers slightly at expense of plot, then check this one out. 


Danica Page


  1. It can be frustrating when you don't understand the decisions that characters are making, but glad that didn't hold you back with West.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. It's disappointing that there's a lack of character development. That's the main thing I look for in books, too. At least the overall plot is good.


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