Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pawn - Aimée Carter

Title: Pawn
Author: Aimée Carter
Publication Date: 11/26/13
Pages: 347
Genre: Dystopian / Young Adult / Fiction
How I Found It: It's been on my TBR since somewhere around when I started this blog.
Date Completed: 5/21/17

Summary: In a world where every person carries a rank between I and VII, equality is an illusion of the system. It's nearly impossible to rise above your station and you certainly have no hope of reaching the upper echelons of power. So, when Kitty Doe, a III, finds herself swept into the world of the VIIs, she must adapt quickly or face deadly consequences.

What I Thought: Over the years, I have read a lot of dystopian YA novels. It's such a huge subgenre within the world of young adult literature. For goodness sake, I even did my masters thesis on The Hunger Games. Nevertheless, I have a really high standard for these books. It's so easy for them to go badly for me. It takes a lot for me to really fall for a series. I enter each new series with trepidation and hope for the best.

I have had Pawn on my TBR for literally years. I think it was one of the very first books I added to my list when I started this blog over five years ago. Somehow, though, every time it has come available through my library's digital collection, it hasn't seemed right for the moment. I'm trying to do a better job lately, though, of reading intentionally through my list, even if something doesn't feel ideal for that moment. So, here we are. Years since adding it, I've finally completed it.

It was good. It was. But not great. 

I struggled with the character of Kitty. While we have become used to strong, empowered girls as the heroes of these books, she did not quite fit the bill. Certainly, she grew over the course of the book and, by the end, she was stronger than she had started. Still, it felt to me as though she was always holding herself back, settling for the path directly in front of her without fully considering other options. I just didn't really like her that much. I didn't like any of the characters that much, to be honest.

I did, however, like the plot. There were some missteps, to be sure, but I thought it was a good plot overall. I enjoyed the twists and turns. There were several moments that surprised me and I liked how things ended. I liked the tenuous balance with which we left Kitty. It made me want to keep reading, and that's always a good thing.

I hope in future books Kitty's growth will continue and she will become an increasingly self-assured woman, rather than the pawn of others she clearly is here. That characterization of her does make sense; after all, Carter even put it in the title. Kitty has nowhere to go but up - I hope. 

If you're looking for a dystopian diversion, this is not a bad one to pick. There are plenty of better ones, in my opinion, but this is certainly not a bad addition to the genre. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: No, but I'll read the next one in the series.
If You Liked This, Try: Coda / Relic / The Selection series

A Reduced Review: A decent dystopian novel, though nothing that makes it particularly stand out from the crowd for me.

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