Elsie Chapman is one of the first authors I ever followed on Twitter. I think it was 100 years ago.
I had just started to read YA and I was searching for other adults who might "understand me." I found them on Twitter.
I came across Elsie and read about her upcoming book, Dualed. The synopsis worked. I was hooked.
The downside to finding Elsie when I did was THE WAIT. It's like walking in to Chipotle, starving. And then seeing the extra long line, and the rookie employees's taking forever to fill burritos, and everyone in front of you paying with cash and taking for forever instead of swiping a card through Chipotle's lightning fast system.
I started talking to Elsie on Twitter (at the time I was using a different Twitter account), and to my surprise she was kind enough to talk back!
That made me feel cool, so I legally changed the names of my three children to Elsie, Elsei, and ChipotleJessicaAlba.
A few weeks ago my son and I were in the YA section of BAM. That's right, my son and I were in the YA section at BAM with all the teenage girls. Normally, my 11-year-old son is only interested in the teenage girls who are there, but that particular day I was determined to get his attention with a book!! It was Dualed.
"Oh look, I've been waiting for this!" I said, pulling Dualed of the shelf and showing my son the awesome cover.
"Cool," said my son, still looking at a 13-year-old girl who was browsing the books on the shelf behind us.
Realizing that the simple mention of a book was no match for the mind control that the 13-year-old girl had on my son, I decided to bring out the big guns.
"Oh, yeah...I KNOW THE AUTHOR," I said, loud enough to grab his attention, as well as the attention of everyone in the store (including 13-year-old mind controller girl).
"YOU KNOW THE AUTHOR? THAT'S COOL! It's really cool THAT YOU KNOW THE AUTHOR," he said (shouted), glancing back at 13-year-old girl.
13-year-old mind control girl looked at Dualed, then looked at me with doubt in her evil eyes. Then the little hater walked away. She was just jealous that I knew Elsie Chapman and SHE didn't.
"How do you know the author?" my son asked.
"So you don't really know her?"
I hesitated, then said, "Well...I mean...I...Oh, shut up, you're grounded."
Dualed by Elsie Chapman did not disappoint me.
In the world of Dualed, there are two of everyone, born to different families and living completely separate lives. Every person has an Alt, and at some point, the "Board" will push a button and it's Alt against Alt...to the death.
So, you would basically be looking for you, even though it's not you, and trying to kill you, even though it's not really you, and other you is trying to kill you, too.
I'm making sound confusing on purpose (because that's how I am), but it's really not confusing at all when you read it.
It's a crazy idea. I'm not saying it makes much sense, but I don't analyze stories too deeply (as in, my brain don't be think'n), so it worked out. If a story keeps my attention, then I keep reading. If I like the characters, then I keep reading. Period (I spelled out "Period" to over-emphasize that I'm unwilling to discuss the matter further, not because it's the end of the sentence).
Seriously. What would you do if you had a short amount of time to hunt down a person that is exactly like you, and that person was hunting you at the same time? At some point you would find each other and be faced with...you! Could you kill you?
Dualed is a fun read. Knowing that West either has to kill or be killed drives the story.
I don't recommend it for those who only like stories with complex worlds and 16-dimensional characters.
I do recommend it for those who like quick, action-packed reads that make you ask yourself, "What would it be like if that were me?"
I give Dualed 4 out of 5 stars. That's right, stars. I can give stars too, ya know.