ARC Read-A-Long: Divided (Dualed #2) by Elsie Chapman

Divided (Dualed, #2)
ARC READ-A-LONG
With review blogs it's not uncommon for two contributors to get the same ARC.  But it can get kind of weird when time comes to determine which review to post, if not both.  So when Courtney saw that I got the same advanced review copy, she suggested we do a read-a-long.  Which in my opinion was a stellar idea.  So  this post is our commentary while reading Divided (Dualed #2) by Elsie Chapman.  We will try really hard not to give spoilers, but if we do, we will pre-announce them.

And it just so happed that we finished our ARC read-a-long over the weekend. This novel is available today! 


Katrina:  What was your thoughts on Dualed? I was conflicted with Dualed.  I think while the author spent so much time world building there was a disconnect with the characters.  I liked West, but I LOVED Kersh.  Know what I mean?  I'm hoping that in Divided I will be able to connect a little more with West.

Courtney: I actually did not read dualed, before accepting Divided I read the excerpt on Netgalley they provided for Dualed and that is how I have gotten up to speed. I think really helped because I haven't felt lost while reading Divided. Now in this book I like the characters, but Im not over the moon about them. I actually had to push myself through chapter 2 amd 3 so I really hope this book starts picking up. What are your thoughts so far? Have your feelings for West changed at all?

Katrina:  Well initially I thought West was pretty bad ass *spoiler alert...that she would kill other people's Alt to get the experience* but it was diffucult to just jump right into that story also. Here's my full review:  http://kindreddreamheart.blogspot.com/2013/03/arc-review-dualed-by-elsie-chapman.html

Here in Divided I would expect to see West more mature and evolved. The fact that she's just going around with bandages on her wrists (hiding the markings that label her an assassin) thinking she could live a normal life is naive. As if to say, after all the illegal assassinations in book one all West needs is some counseling, her boo thang, and a J.O.B. to make her good as new. Oh. I. Don't. Think So. I actually applaud that the system's throwing a wrench in her false reality. So while my feelings haven't changed about West, at this point I'm still hopeful.  

With out having read the first book, what do you think of the society so far?  Does the oppression ring true?   

When I was a Random House Ambuzzador, I made this video highlighting Kersh's society rules:


Oh and would it be too much of a spoiler to expose what that wrench might be?



Courtney: Katrina, without reading book 1 I think book 2 explains the society well enough to not be completely lost. I actually really like the idea of it all. It is really different than most societies we read about today in YA. *Spoiler alert if you haven't read book 1* I like the idea that they create Alts for everyone person and to become a Complete you have to fight your alt and win to prove you are worthy. That is also very unique to me at least. In book 2 we also get a chance to go more in depth of why they create alts and why it is important to the society. 

 
I agree with you about West thinking she can hide her markings with bandages is very naive. I am very torn on whether I like her or not. She hasn't redeemed herself as the badass I think she can be and I hope getting further into this book she will do that. I'm hoping for a mix between Katniss and Tris but so far she just hasn't delivered. She is your typical female character. And by that I Mean: Insecure, naive, and immature. As of right now I don't like having to be in her head. Show me some strength give me a Strong Secure YA character. I feel characters like this give the gender of female a bad name. Women have come a long way to earn respect, give me a leading lady who knows that and shows it.
I don't think we should mention what the wrench is. I was really suprised by it and I REALLY am excited to see how this goes.

 
Love the video! 

 
What are your thoughts on this relationship between West and Chord? Chord as a character? Do you feel that West is a little naive about Chord? I feel there is something weird going on with him, I don't know why I have this feeling but I think he is definitely acting weird and holding something back.

Katrina: Forget "his" secret. I was about ready to throw my Kindle at his oblivious complete lack of West. ( Does that make any sense? Lol) You can't tell me he knew her his whole life and couldn't figure out that she was acting weird. Either this was a major plot hole or a testament of his lack of whit: there was a scene where she said her phone's battery was dead then, not even 2 seconds later, they're both receiving a Kersh notification on their, que the suspense music, phones. Yep, I'm like please call her on that lie, but nope. It went right over his head. I must say though that once the action picked up, the poop hit the fan, and he wised up. I'm much more happy with him now. 


But wait, you probably want to know what I think about their relationship....Doomed. Yep, I have, had always doubted, and still have zero believability in that love connection. I don't get the envious "I want to pull her hair out, and steal her man" fuzzies when I read their romantic scenes.
 
Oh that may have been a bit harsh. Did I just crush your new book "it" couple? 

What are your thoughts on this new villian?

 

Courtney: On the same subject of West and Chord, I agree in the book they have no chemistry. Even if the author writes it in that they have their HEA, it will be very unbelievable to me. I mean seriously I have more of a connection/relationship to my broom (something I use on a daily basis. I sometimes I even dance with it when music is playing which is more than West and Chord EVER do). Speaking of no chemistry I feel that way with most of the characters. I feel very unattached to them, I feel no connection, and I don't feel I relate to any of the characters. Usually in a book I can always find one character I can relate with. But nope not here.

The Villian! My gosh I have to say this is the most interesting thing in the whole book! I figured something wasn't right with the "Operator" I just did not see that Twist coming. Then the whole scene with Baer, Dire, and Innes! Wow can you say SURPRISE! I was not expecting any of that either! I like that we get more of a background story of who the board is and why the board and Operators were created. But this book is still lacking a lot for me. I have come to the terms that West will not be the next Katniss with a Little bit of Tris. She doesn't even equal up to Evie from the Arcania Chronicles (Poison Princess). West really falls short for me and as of right now I'm on chapter 13. I have given her 13 chapters to redeem herself yet she hasn't done it for me. 
It Actually annoys me to be in her head. 
 

I want to talk about chapter 13 and what the "operator" did, but I think it is too much of a spoiler. Without us giving away to much, were you expecting what he did? Was that totally predictable? I will admit I was a little suprised!

Katrina:YEEEEEEEES! His actions was indeed surprising. I knew he was kind of slimy, but that was dragged through the mud filthy. I was fighting mad when I read that. And yet ecstatic at the same time.  I was like FINALLY! That was the kind of unpredictable emotion pumping drama that will, and did, keep me up all night until I had no choice but to finish! That ending definitely aided in redeeming that snail paced intro. It was like ditching a Pinto for a Ferrari...Grand Theft Auto baby. (Oh sorry I've been playing alot of video games lately, lol.)

 
Overall I had high hopes that this sequel would rate higher than the debut. I was hoping I would learn more about the society and connect with the lead protagonist. I was granted one wish yet denied the other. Like corn flakes in a Cinnamon Toast Crunch box.....such an interesting premise of ingredients but one dimensional characters are bland and does not a good taste make.

 

As curious as I am I know if West will ever fully heal, find out what's on the other side of the wall, and find a cure to eleminate the foundation of their society; I'm undecided as to if I will finish this saga.

 

 Until I know for sure how many novels will be in this series I'm not making any promises. I am however keeping hope alive that the next novel will be faster paced. Once an end is near, IE last novel on the market, I may reconsider picking back up if only to satisfy my curiosity. 

RATING: Swank (3)


What did you think of the ending? Were you giving West and Chord the side eye of disbelief too? Are you looking forward to book 3? Any plans to read book one?

 

Courtney: The Ending was good, but by the time I got to it I was already so over the book. All the kickassness I was waiting for was at the VERY end while nothing was really going on throughout the rest of the book . If this hadn't been read on my tablet I would have thrown the book out the window, like Bradley Cooper in Silver lining playbook style (Minus the broken window, I might get evicted for that). I didn't feel the ending was wrapped up tightly enough for me, too many unanswered questions. 
I think what upsets me the most is this book had SO much potential the author had so many opportunities to have West redeem herself and she didn't go with it. Its almost as if she was afraid to break West out of her shell which is really unfortunate. 

My biggest biggest biggest complaint is like you mentioned above is the blandness of characters I want to actually compare them to white rice, but even white rice has some dimension to it. I was never able to sympathize with the characters. Their feelings never came across as genuine to me. Which again is unfortunate. Ha, the ending with West and Chord. No words to explain the disbelief in that. 

I will not take the time to read book 1 and I will not be continuing this series, because honestly there is no one I feel I would really recommend this book to. Now, There is one exception since I know the sophomore book is typically bleh. But, if the next book comes out and people are raving and it has REALLY good ratings on Goodreads (like 4+ stars) then I will consider it as long as this is a trilogy and nothing more. 


 RATING: Too Trendy (2.5) 
I rate it that high because I did like the idea behind this book. 
 
 
Novel Discussed:
Divided (Dualed, #2)
Divided (Dualed #2)
by Elsie Chapman
Published May 27th 2014
by Random House Books for Young Readers
 
The hunter becomes the hunted. . . .

West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and proved she’s worthy of a future. She’s ready to move on with her life.

The Board has other plans. They want her to kill one last time, and offer her a deal worth killing for. But when West recognizes her target as a ghost from her past, she realizes she’s in over her head. The Board is lying, and West will have to uncover the truth of the past to secure her future.

How far will the Board go to keep their secrets safe? And how far will West go to save those she loves? With nonstop action and surprising twists, Elsie Chapman’s intoxicating sequel to Dualed reveals everything.


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Book 1 of this series:
Dualed (Dualed, #1)
 



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