Sunday, April 3, 2016

Review: Dualed


by Elsie Chapman
Book 1 of Dualed duology

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  2.0 Stars

*Side note on 4/3/2016:  Dualed was bought on a whim when I first got my e-reader and was going crazy with easy book shopping.  Dualed was also bought because it sounded very "The Hunger Games"-like.  Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way and as my following review from 2013 reveals, I cared little for this book.

The star rating given to this book is based on the Goodreads star rating scale wherein 2 Stars is equal to "It was okay".  My own 2 Star rating typically hovers a little beneath "It was okay" in the "I did not hate this book, but I did not really like it either.  So I just decided to keep the 2 star rating I originally gave Dualed.  But my personal star rating system is constantly changing dependent on my mood, so I can't really pinpoint what each star rating actually means to me without some opinions to go with it when necessary.

My Review:
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 me from dropping the book altogether would have to be stubborn curiosity at how the story line would play out... and also the fact that I paid good money for this book.

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.  But aside from that, nothing else really happens in this book.  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, and he was also kind of an unnecessary inclusion in the story altogether.  Don't get me wrong, it was nice that he was there, in the book, because his logic made more sense than West's logic and I would have rather read a book about Chord instead of West.  He's 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.

West's development, unfortunately, was not as welcoming as I'm not even sure there HAD been any development in her character at all.

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 for 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 kick-ass 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.

Even after all the supposed "experience" she got herself, she was still 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.

This review was originally posted at Goodreads in February 2013.

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