Dualed

Title: Dualed
Author: Elsie Chapman
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: February 26, 2013

Two of you exist. Only one will survive.
West Grayer is ready. She’s trained for years to confront her Alternate, a twin raised by another family. Survival means a good job, marriage—life.
But then a tragic misstep leaves West questioning: Is she 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 herself, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

This is a book where you really have to keep an open mind and allow yourself to be drawn into the world in which the book takes place. Chapman does an excellent job of letting the reader see into West’s head – the first person point of view and strong character traits are well-written and captivating, which permit the reader to ignore things that just seem plain wrong in real life. Getting a homework assignment to kill your twin that you’ve lived in the same city with but never met, for instance. And as good of a job as Chapman does, and as much as this book intrigued me and kept me reading eagerly, there were several points within the book where I just couldn’t overlook certain things that were just too unrealistic in the plot.

Be that as it may, her characters were amazing. West has made it onto my all-time favorite heroine list, as has Chord to my all-time favorite hero list. Even though their romance was foreseeable, the stuff that kept them apart was well executed. I loved West’s brother Luc from the very beginning, and he made me cry, especially when he and West talk. I can’t say more about him without giving spoilers away, but suffice it to say that he was a great older brother.

I also liked the conflict within this book, particularly West’s internal one. This book focused a lot on her, which might be what threw me off a couple times while reading it. A lot of dystopia novels focus on the problem in society. In this book, the character first has to struggle with herself, and then her twin. I liked this, because it left a lot open for the future, if Chapman decides to continue West’s story. If she doesn’t, though, this is a great stand-alone novel as well. Even though it introduced a lot of potential problems for future sequels, the way that this one played out made a lot of sense, and it was refreshing to see an author allow herself to focus an entire book on the character rather than everything going on around the character, but still not ignoring the plot. It’s a difficult balance to strike, and despite some shortcomings that I saw, this was still a great book, with a well-executed plot and three dimensional characters. The cover is also awesome. As soon as my cousin showed it to me, I knew I had to read it. I highly recommend this book to teenagers looking for an action/suspense novel.

~Yours Truly

**Note: I do not recommend this book to children under the age of 13 due to some graphic violence and profanity.

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