Author: Aimee Carter
Publication: Harlequin Teen; Original edition (November 26, 2013)
Description: YOU CAN BE A VII IF YOU GIVE EVERYTHING.
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.
My Thoughts: We're in the future and the United States has suffered an economic collapse. The government was taken over by a man named Hart who instituted changes including a test that each seventeen-year-old takes on their birthday that determines their rank in society - from I for the hopeless to VII for the Harts. Now, seventy-one years later, the current Prime Minister is Daxton Hart and he is Prime Minister for life.
Kitty Doe, an Extra in a society that only allows one child per family, has just taken her test. Because of her dyslexia, she was branded as a III. Her job assignment in sewage control was going to send her to Denver from Washington, DC, and rip her away from the young man she loves. Benjamin Doe will be turning seventeen one month after her. He is very smart and has a chance to rank much higher. Kitty is determined to stay near him even though it means becoming a prostitute.
When she is purchased by Daxton Hart, she thinks he wants a mistress. But he wants Kitty because of her unique eye color. He plans to have her pass for his niece Lila who has become a rallying point for a rebellion and who he had killed. Kitty is dropped into the complex relationships of the Hart family. Daxton is Prime Minister but he takes his cue from his mother Augusta. Celia is Daxton's sister and Lila's mother. Greyson is Daxton's son and the heir apparent. Kitty is also presented with a fiance named Knox Creed, who is the son of one of the powerful ministers who run the government.
The book had a strong HUNGER GAMES vibe. We have a society of have and have nots. We have a totalitarian regime. We have leaders who have no consciences and whose guiding principles boil down to self-interest. We have a heroine who doesn't want to start a revolution but who only wants to live and protect the ones she loves. We have an innocent though not unintelligent young woman thrust into a political situation where she can trust no one and whose life is being threatened by all sides.
The story was exciting. The main character was charismatic. And we have to wait for book 2 - CAPTIVE - to find out what happens next.
"Your pawn becomes a queen." She touched my cheek, her fingers cold as ice. "Because they kept moving forward and triumphed against impossible odds, they become the most powerful piece in the game. Never forget that, all right? Never forget the potential one solitary pawn has to change the entire game."I get this eARC from Harlequin Teen via NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.