Friday, May 31, 2013

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

I am working with a group of grade 6/7 students for the next few weeks who are involved in a Dystopian Literature Circle. When I asked their teacher what book they were starting with (because I understand these girls eat books) she told me they had all read Dualed. This was a book I have not even heard of- so I ran out to Chapters and picked it up early this week and have been reading like crazy to finish it this week. Thank goodness I finished it last night- now I will be ready to chat with them today. Dualed is set in a world where society has decided that in order to keep their citizens safe, they must produce and raise two of each person. So when a child is born, the next child born has the same DNA and the two are twins. They are raised separately, and their lives never intersect until sometime between the ages of 10-18 each person and their alternative will go ‘active’ which means they have 31 days to eliminate their twin. This story is about West, a 15 year old who has grown up knowing she needed to become a strong fighting machine in order to kill her ‘alt’ in order to live out the rest of her life. But it isn’t easy to watch your family members be destroyed one by one and to know that this could be your fate as well. This was an interesting story. I enjoyed reading about West coming to terms with what she was going to have to do- she is an interesting character. I found that the story didn’t really go into many details about why this society turned out this way and that left me with many questions at the end of the book. It also seems that once people have been complete (after they have successfully killed their alternative) that they are willing to just go along with what is expected of them. As a mother, I can’t imagine having children knowing that their chances of surviving past the age of 18 is 50% . I know that there is another book planned for next year and maybe that will go into further details about this world and what led to a society that is so violent. This book is being compared to Divergent and Hunger Games, I am not sure it will be as popular, but I did enjoy the read!

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