Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Random House Books for Young Readers
February 26, 2013
In the future a cold vaccine lead to infertility. As the human condition deteriorated a small gated city emerged as the last war-free zone in North America. Though considered a safe haven, life in Kersh is anything but safe for active Alts. Everyone in the city has a genetically altered twin who is raised by a different family. Each citizen must prove that they are worthy to partake in limited resource by killing their Alt some time before they reach the age of twenty. No one knows when they will receive their assignment, or go active, but when they do they have thirty days to eliminate their twin. This is the world in which West Grayer lives. At the age of fifteen, she has lost almost everyone she cares about and her confidence in her ability to survive is shaken. If she is going to be the version of herself to win, she will have to stop hiding from the past and running from the one person who can help her.
I really struggled with this debut novel. On the one hand, I appreciate the simple and straight forward explanation regarding the events that led to the collapse of the modern world. Throw in the genetically manipulated twins thing with mandatory battles to the death and you have a wide-scale Hunger Games situation on your hands. So far, this all sounds awesome and I am on board! On the other hand, I found West, to be a confusing and contradictory main character who I never quite understood. The author raises some interesting issues regarding humanity and how people define worth. The plot is fast-paced and suspenseful and despite the fact that I never fully connected with the story I am confident that Dualed will appeal to many readers.
This book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher for review.