Dualed by Elsie Chapman
The Skinny: 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.
BFF?: I may be crazy in saying this, but I loved West. Mainly because she’s hard. Or… hardened. While I like to think I’m nice and caring and sweet… in reality I’m kind of a cold bitch. I used to tell people there was no way I could go into a care-giving field (ex nursing) because I just don’t care about people. I think this is what drew me to West. I think she cares about people, but she cuts off emotion when it comes to things that are difficult. I’m reminded of the Godfather quote “it’s not personal, it’s business.” West holds no grudges, but she knows what she has to do to survive. I kind of admire that. All this being said, I think West, aside from the assassin/having to kill people thing, looks out for others if she’s able. She wants to, ironically, avoid others being killed and does what she needs to to prevent this.
Readability: This one was a little harder for me to read, not really because it was poorly written or too complicated, but because I just couldn’t motivate myself to read. However, when I did motivate myself, it was pretty easy to get into. Everything flowed well I thought; my only complaint was that there were random flashbacks (I do love a good flashback!) but there was no way of signifying that it was about to begin. When I got to the first one, I was puzzled for a bit.
Crush Level: 6
Oh Chord… I really like how protecive you are over West, giving her cell phones and money, following her to make sure she’s safe. You’re like a Cullen but without the creep factor. I felt very nice things about you the moment you first appeared. I knew you would be a knight on a white horse, riding in to save the day! Granted, I don’t think West appreciated this, but still… I know you’re that kind of guy and I appreciate it.
Can’t bring yourself to kill your Alt? Think you may be the weaker Alt? Never fear! There’s an app for that. There’s a group of assassins called the Strikers who can help you out! I loved this concept – I think it says a lot about humans and their ease of accepting cowardice. Not that not being able to kill someone is cowardly, but knowing that your choice is to kill or be killed and hiring someone to handle this for you, therefore eliminating all responsibility.
During our discussions over Dualed, I brought up an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch that this book reminded me of in which it’s revealed that each member of the Spellman family has a twin. They then have to figure out which is the good twin and which is the bad twin. All throughout reading I kept thinking about this episode!