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Pawn by Aimée Carter: The Review

Aimée Carter

Title: Pawn
Author: Aimée Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 26th November 2013
Pre-order This Book: Amazon

Kitty's life has now been decided by one test. Kitty only scored well enough to be branded a III, and according to her government this means she is only good enough for a job in sewage maintenance. But this is not a life that Kitty wants for herself, as it will take her far away from the District of Columbia and far away from her boyfriend Benjy. As Extra's, the second children of all IVs and below, who are only permitted one, they have grown up together in a group home, knowing everyday that they were lucky not to be sent Elsewhere. They have grown up seeing their Prime Minister, Daxton Hart make speeches on how they are all masters of their own fate and will be taken care of all their lives as long as they give back to society. Kitty's eyes are opened though when she realises a III means she will never be more than someone who works in the sewers, will never be allowed to accomplish anything more than that. Kitty refuses to live her life like that.
She agrees to go with Tabs, a girl from the group home who has chosen a life of prostitution at the clubs frequented by government officials, instead of the life dictating for her by the mark on the back of her neck. Kitty knows this is the only way she can stay in the District of Colombia, the only way she can stay with Benjy and she agrees to do it. Kitty expects many things from her first night in the clubs, the night she will be sold for the night to a man to do whatever he wants with her. What she isn't expecting is that man to be Daxton Hart, nor for him to have an intriguing offer for her. 
Kitty can be a VII, all she has to do is say yes. If she says no, well, her life means little to the Prime Minister and Kitty knows no isn't really an option. The choice between the life of VII and the life of a III is easy enough and Kitty agrees. She is drugged and taken away from the clubs. When she wakes up she will no longer recognise herself. She has been Masked as Lila Hart, the Prime Ministers niece who has died in a suspicious accident. Kitty has the same distinctive blue eyes that Lila had and that makes her perfect for the job. Kitty knows she must play Daxton's game or she will never live long enough to see Benjy again. 
But the Harts have more secrets than even Kitty could guess and she is going to have to decide. Will she give in, give up and resign herself to the life she has been given or will she fight?

I know that's a really long summary and I'm sorry, but quite honestly I wanted to write so much more. You can probably already tell that I really enjoyed this book. I have to admit it had me from the start, from these few sentences in fact:

"Risking my life to steal an orange was a stupid thing to do, but today of all days I didn't care about the consequences. If I were lucky, the Shields would throw me to the ground and put a bullet in my brain."

Yes, this book had me from those opening sentences. I was pretty much hooked after that and got through this book pretty quickly. I am really happy to have a new series to enjoy, but really sad that I now have to wait for the sequel. This is the first book in Aimée Carter's Blackcoat Rebellion series, she is the author of the Goddess Test trilogy, which I will now definitely be reading.I really loved this book, I adore dystopian fiction and I feel this makes a unique addition to the genre. Yes it has elements of so many other dystopian novels in it, but it also provides something different, something I haven't seen before. It kept me turning the page and I never knew what to expect from it. I knew at any moment there could be shock revelation, or something I wouldn't see coming. 

I fell in love with the character of Kitty, because she could make me laugh. She was headstrong and knew what she wanted, even if sometimes she didn't quite know how to get it. My absolute favourite Kitty moment and one I must share with you; in case you never read this amazing book and miss out on it, is the moment Daxton asks if Kitty is short for anything. Kitty responds:
"It's short for 'my mother was insane and had a thing for cats."
Not sure why this made me laugh like crazy but it did. Probably because I didn't like the name Kitty and I was glad she didn't either.
When Kitty wakes up Masked as Lila Hart, that is when this story really begins. The Hart family are amazing characters, each one individually as well as whole. They all have different ideas as to what Kitty should be used for and how best she should use her role as Lila. Kitty begins to learn all about the speeches Lila would give to the people, speeches that undermined everything her uncle, Prime Minister Daxton campaigns so heavily for, everything he supports. Lila argued against the ranking system, argued against how truly fair it really was. She was trying to bring down her own family and everything they stand for. 

Kitty believes in what Lila was working so hard towards but continuing that work risks her life, Benjy's life and any hope she would have of finding a way back to him. And she is determined to find away back to him, even if she knows that to the Harts she is disposable and they will kill her when she no longer proves useful. But there are some who would rather Kitty to help the rebellion, to give the kinds of speeches Lila would give and provide hope to the people. 

Ahhhhh I loved this book. I really can't say much more than that. I just found it really intriguing, I wanted to know everything about the Hart family. I wanted to find out all their dirty little secrets, and my word they sure did have plenty. I believe you will find something to love in this book and that it will keep you guessing like it did me. I pretty much read every page thinking 'please don't end' because I knew I couldn't immediately pick up the sequel and continue the story. I am going to be missing Kitty and the wonderful characters of the Hart family for a very long time, whilst I wait for the sequel. It can really not come quick enough.

I don't even feel I need to summarise my review as you can probably already tell I LOVE IT. You can also guess that I will be recommending this book to everyone that I can. If you are a fan of dystopian novels then this is definitely for you. It brings something new to the genre and introduces some rather incredible characters. 

4/5 Stars

I changed my rating on this book a few times. I had it as a 4, then a 3.5 and now back to 4. I just kept overthinking it! I really enjoyed it, I would recommend it, but at times I did feel it dragged a little bit and I felt myself wanting to skip bits. It's also not my favourite of the genre. I don't even know, this one has me confused! I will definitely be picking up the sequel though.

It had elements of quite a few other dystopian novels and if you were a fan of any of the following definitely give it a read.

The Selection (The Selection, #1)15771654321729913335037
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Legend by Marie Lu
The Declaration by Gemma Malley
Divergent by Veronica Roth

*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.


  1. Kitty sounds like an awesome main character. I love head strong girls and her humor is hilarious. I loved that quote you put about how she got her name. Too funny! You really drove through this book didn't, you?! I saw it on your STS so it must have been good to already have your review up.

    I kept seeing how you loved it but was curious why you didn't give it a higher rating than 3.5 stars. Rating books IS hard and it's so frustrating sometimes! I write my review less than 24 hours after finishing up a book because I don't want to forget what I liked and didn't like about it. I do find, though, that I tend to rate higher. Ask me a couple of weeks or even days later and I probably would go back and change it to something lower. I just don't feel like going through all the effort of changing it on my blog, Goodreads, and Amazon haha!

    I do appreciate you explaining why you ended up rating lower. I'm really looking forward to this but I'm like you and don't like when books drag.

    1. I absolutely adored Kitty, I found her really funny and I love characters that can make me laugh. I'm a quick reader and I've had a lot of free time so I got throgh it quick!

      I had it at a 4, then the next day was thinking, maybe it should be a 3.5. Now I'm thinking maybe a 4. I really enjoyed it and loved the characters. But I changed my mind because I did at times feel like it was dragging and that I wished I could just skim through some of it! But I would really recommend! =D

      I hope you enjoy and review so I can come see what you thought! Wish I stopped thinking so much about it, it would still be at a 4 then!

  2. Really great summary! Thanks for stopping by my review or Pawn! I hope we both love the next book too! :)

    Sabrina @ I Heart Y.A. Fiction


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