Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review: Dualed

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There's a certain grimness you feel when you realize that this book gets an "It was okay" two star score when you're only half-way through it. I give it credit, however, for an interesting concept to play off of the popular dystopian trend that has been forming lately. Just as well, it caught my attention and got me interested; but then after that initial curious interest, the only thing keeping from stopping my read altogether would have to be stubborn curiosity at how the story line would play out. I guess after reading several other young adult dystopians, I had been hoping for some sort of twist in the story line outside of the simple base of "West Grayer meets her Alt in a match to the death" scenario. It just feels like the story could have been better. Instead, this death match really just dragged on for ages without really going anywhere except to end up with the conclusion we all knew was coming anyway.

So yea, just a little disappointed.

I didn't completely dislike the book. There were moments that hit some good points. But in comparison to the rest of the moments that just made me sigh in frustration... I'm not sure if it's a good balance.

Of the very few things I DID like, however, one of them was Chord, though he appeared fairly sparingly throughout. He was a good man (good kid?) who cared enough to continuously be there for West, but who understood enough to know that this death match wasn't his fight and that West needed to defend herself. And he stayed by her side despite all the pushing away and the lying and the betrayal (and I'm saying all of this as if they were really that dramatic, which they weren't). Any other guy would have already walked away being told constantly that he wasn't needed and he needed to go away. But Chord stayed and continued to protect West in his own way.

No, I did not care for the blossoming romance nor did I care for those moments of self-revelations that West had. In fact, I didn't even really care of West as a person. I appreciated that she figured she was the kind who could take care of herself and I thought it was right that she DID manage to keep herself alive. But kickass female lead she was not, and it kind of disappoints me how sloppy and how anxious she still appeared despite being led to believe that she was developing and getting better at surviving. She was sloppy and her logic was a bit skewed and so I found it hard to relate with her.

Nonetheless, it was a short read and I managed to get through it.

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