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 review as posted on GoodReads:
Imagine a world where between the ages of 10 – 20 you are in fear of having to prove your worth by killing someone that looks exactly like you. Alt’s as they are referred to in the book are a person’s twin… just raised by a separate family. When a family decides they want a child, the very next couple to make that decision becomes involved. The results are twins that have the DNA of all 4 adults. One goes to live with one couple and the other with the other couple.
West Grayer is 15, and an Idle… someone between the ages of 10-20 who hasn’t been activated. She’s watched family, friends and strnagers kill and be killed, and when we meet her, she’s just left her father’s funeral and is sitting in a diner with her brother Luc.
As an Idle, she attends school where she learns skills that will hopefully help her survive when she becomes active. Being active means that the board has given you 30 days to kill your alternate, or you both die. If she can survive and be the one who’s ‘worthy’ it means better schooling, better food, a job and marriage.
Instead of depending on a system that doesn’t really work, for training she becomes a Striker. Strikers are hitmen, hired by active Alt’s to take out their twin so they don’t have to go through it. She’s determined to survive and do whatever she needs in order to make that happen, even if it means cheating the system and using this opportunity to hone skills she wouldn’t learn until she’s older.
The first chapter of this book blew me away. There I said it.
So much happens and you get a lot of information so pay attention. But, we also meet Chord in the first chapter.
Chord is a family friend who has lived 5 houses down for most of West’s life. A year older than her, and friends with her brothers, they’ve always had a teasing kind of relationship. I really really liked him, and I really really liked that their ‘relationship’ wasn’t the focus and didn’t take away from the actual story and plot of the book. We get hints of Chord throughout because he’s mostly in the background as this story is told by West and rightfully so, it’s truly her story. But when we do get those glimpses of him, I loved him just a bit more, he’s patient and gentle with her and is trying to do what he can to protect her. But she struggles with her feelings and what they could mean throughout this book. One of my favorite passages:
He moves his arm and slowly sits up. No shirt, despite it being winter outside. His shoulders are more broad than I’d have ever guessed, cut and defined by angles both soft and sharp. I can’t miss the slow, languid play of muscle and bone within them as he turns to face me.
For a long moment, I just let myself look at him. Completely overwhelmed that he wants me, loves me…”
I really liked West… But ugh I wanted to shake her! Once you read this book, you’ll know why. She’s tough, she’s strong, she’s confident … and then she’s not- something happens that throws her for a loop and she’s no longer certain she’s the best version of herself… the one who should survive. We kinda meet her Alt too – in a way, learning a bit about her as West does. It has to be strange knowing that someone who looks exactly like you is out there in the world and you have no idea who they are or what they are like and most likely the only time you will ever meet them is the day they come to kill you.
Chapman has filled this book with suspense, non-stop action and even that little bit of romance. But more than that, a female character who shows strength and determination and doesn’t depend on a guy to save her.
It will be interesting to see where the next book takes us and I’m looking forward to it!
Definitely check this out if you’re into the dystopian genre… It took me back to memories of reading The Hunger Games in some respects, (the action and desperation to survive, but not knowing what was going to happen) but definitely a completely original plot and I truly enjoyed it!
SO NOW… you have the chance to win this wonderful book and read it before everyone else gets the chance!! A few things –
Please make sure you do the mandatory tasks and remember you can come back every day and get more entries for tweeting daily!
Prizes are as follows:
- 1 person will win an ARC of Dualed by Elsie and a signed bookmark
- 3 other people will win signed bookmarks
Some Rules (of course)
- Entrants must be 13 years of age or older.
- Contest open to US and Canada only and ends at midnight on Friday, December 7, 2012.
- The winner will be announced on this blog at the conclusion of the contest.
- The winner will be notified by email within two days of the end of the contest and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.