Pawn by Aimee Carter
The Skinny: For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand– From Goodreads
BFF?: I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this, but I feel like whenever I read a dystopian novel, I want the heroine to be another Katniss Everdeen. And most times they may be SIMILAR in that they are brave and fierce and save the world from impending doom, but very rarely do they inhibit the characteristics that make Katniss special to me – wary of power, wanting to be safe, sacrificing for loved ones, hesitant to be a leader. Kitty seems to have these qualities by the bushel full. While I don’t really agree with her choices most times – hello who thinks it’s a good idea to join a brothel? – I love that she doesn’t want to lead a rebellion, she doesn’t want to take down the government, she doesn’t want to sacrifice for the greater good. All she wants is to protect the ones she loves and only does the aforementioned things because her loved ones are put into danger. I’m excited to see what she brings in the next installment!
Readability: I read Aimee Carter’s “Goddess Test” series a while back and, while they weren’t AMAZING writing, I absorbed the story like a sponge. Lemme just say… this book ain’t no Goddess Test series. The writing is cleaner, harsher. It doesn’t smooth over rough scenes or lines. Very very good and engrossing!
Crush Level: 3 and 7
I KIND of think we’re presented with a love triangle in this book, but it’s like the love triangle that just wasn’t. At first we have Benjy, Kitty’s boyfriend, who is… well… a yawn. He’s loyal and good and wants Kitty to be happy and safe and snorrrrreee…. he does get marginally better as the book goes on, and it’s really obvious that he loves Kitty and she loves him, but it’s not the heart racing relationship like…
Knox. Even his name is sexy. As Kitty’s new “fiance” they spend a lot of time together and… obviously have some kissy times. If Aimee Carter knows how to write one thing, a sexy male romantic interest person is that (hello, Henry?). Even though I know in my heart of hearts that Knox is not going to end up with Kitty, I will be rooting for him the entire series!
When Kitty is offered to become a VII – a ranking reserved for the ruling family – she doesn’t realize the exact price it comes with: being “Masked” into the recently deceased niece of the Prime Minister. Basically, they change her body to look exactly like Lila Hart. And while it’s totally creepy… it’s totally awesome.
Major Plot Twists and Turns
I want to talk about all the good things in this book but know they would be major spoilers. There were SO MANY twists and turns that I just didn’t see coming. It’s like the further you get into the book the deeper you get into just how f-ed up this entire world is!
Commencement Speech: Aimee Carter is one of those writers who I will read anything by. She could write directions for doing laundry and I’d read them with gusto. I think what I like so much about her books is that they are accessible. They aren’t lush and insightful and filled with poetic waxing – they’re a story told to be easily read and enjoyed. This one was no exception. I found myself easily connecting with Kitty and her plight, slowly understanding just how horrible her new life is.
One thing I loved about this book was all of the surprises and plot twists. At first the book seemed pretty predictable, girl gets thrown into rebellion and comes out a hero. Yawn. But then the first plot twist is thrown at me. Then the second. Then the third. What the what? Suddenly this book is so much more than a typical dystopian – stakes are higher and choices more weighted.
If you’re looking for a great dystopian (not that you have to look too hard; you can’t walk anywhere without tripping over 12) pick this one up. It’s a great read, fast-paced, well-developed and gosh darnit awesome!
Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!
Superlatives – Most likely to make you rethink your chess board
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