Genre: YA, Dystopian
Kitty Doe has just taken the test that reveals she will be a III for the rest of her life–Just low enough on the totem pole to have to work the worst jobs with little pay and fewer rights. So if the question is whether to remain a III or take a once-in-a-lifetime chance to become a VII and live in the lap of luxury at the very top tier of society, it really isn’t even a question, is it? Kitty accepts the offer, unaware at the time that it involves being Masked. After a series of extensive plastic surgeries, Kitty doesn’t even look like herself. She is Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece who died in suspicious circumstances, and she’s surrounded by people who will kill her if she doesn’t act the part. The problem? She has to stop a rebellion that Lila started and Kitty herself believes in. It’s a fine line to walk between placating the people who have changed her life and finding a way around being their pawn.
As far as dystopian novels go, the setting in this one wasn’t particularly special–tiered society, unfair life at the bottom with no chance of change if you don’t pass muster, yada yada. I won’t really hold that against any book though. There are so many stories in the world, it’s impossible to not have some overlap in setting, especially within genre. The real question for me is whether the story itself stands out and Pawn definitely did. Even though Kitty is basically just reeling with shock for the first half of the book, the action and tension in the book kept my attention.
Things I liked: There were some great twists and turns in the plot that I definitely did not see coming, especially towards the end. I feel like that is pretty impressive, especially in the YA/Dystopian genre. It definitely ramps up and leaves you excited about the prospect of a sequel. I’m sure that’s the point because it looks like this will probably be another in the vast lineup of dystopian trilogies.
Things I didn’t like: Kitty’s relationship with her long-time boyfriend. It just didn’t seem very plausible. Maybe that’s only because the book focused mainly on Kitty’s perspective, so this boyfriend was just in the picture, then out of the picture, and then weirdly back in the picture, and we never got a really good sense of the two of them together. I don’t know. It’s not that I didn’t like him, I just didn’t care. If you don’t mind my speculating on the future of the series, I feel like he’s going to be the easy kill. He’ll end up killed off, which will light the fire of righteous indignation in Kitty and all hell will break loose. That’s my guess. We’ll see…
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you’ve enjoyed YA books, particularly books like The Hunger Games, The Testing, or The Selection, definitely give this one a try.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars