Pawn by Aimee Carter | Book Review




Kitty Doe lives in a world where a single test determines your rank in life. The lower the rank, the worse the job and life. Kitty receives a III which is not the worst but definitely not a good life and it will send her away from her boyfriend, family and friends. She’s planning on taking matters into her own hands until she’s given an offer — remain a III or take a deal with the most powerful political family and become a VII. The catch? She’ll have to have a surgical procedure, called Masking, that will completely alter her face and she will become Lila Hart — the prime minister’s niece who died, under rather fishy circumstances, and they don’t want the public to know. Kitty will have to become Lila perfectly and learn everything about her to keep up the charade so nobody will suspect that she’s not really Lila. As she learns more about Lila she learns that she wasn’t completely in line with her families political stance and was secretly part of a revolution. Kitty has to figure out whether or not she will go along with the plan she’s been given, and keep her loved ones safe, or go along with the rebellion she really believes in.

I haven’t been reading a ton of dystopian type books recently but I decided I was ready to again so I picked up Pawn by Aimee Carter. I’m happy to report back that it was a pretty strong start to a series — not a favorite by any means but there was definitely something there that absolutely required all my attention and felt like it stood out despite the fact the actual premise didn’t really stand out that much to me and the beginning made me feel like I was right about that. But then surely it developed into one of those twisty, make-your-pulse-race kind of reads with a few shocks along the way.

I thought the world was interesting. You take a test and that determines your class basically and what job you will be given. Unless you are royalty and then you are automatically a VII. Families are only allowed to have a certain amount of children and all the rest go into group homes. People who are born into better situations get better education and in most cases it impacts how you’ll do on the test. You felt that feeling of being STUCK in your situation really easily. I don’t think I was ever super clear on WHY the government was the way it was but I really thought Aimee Carter did a great job creating the political side of things. There was so much corruption and craziness in the political family which made it such a page-turner. Very intense! Seriously, there were crazy things happening — so many attempts on people’s lives, secrets, lies, etc. Definitely the type of read that is the essence of a fast paced read and I felt like I couldn’t figure out who to trust AT ALL.

There was a romance in it and I actually really liked it — they were an established couple so there wasn’t really any sort of drama other than what was happening with Kitty’s test and then the predicament she found herself in. The romance wasn’t the main focus by any means and it just felt natural so I really liked that.

Pawn by Aimee Carter was definitely an exhilarating, twisty read — lots of political craziness, secrets, lies and pulse-pounding action. I liked it, was entertained by it and read it VERY quickly. I can’t explain why I’m not head over heels IN LOVE despite all that but it was a good read and I can’t wait to read book 2 to see where the craziness goes. It stood out enough for me in the genre but I think I needed a little something more for me to be obsessed.

Pawn by Aimee Carter

Let’s Talk: Have you read Pawn? Heard of it/planning to read it? Did you LOVE it? Not like it? Or were you just at a “like” status with it? Did you see ANY of the things coming? Because oh man… me = blindsided most of the time.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I really enjoyed it but like you I didn’t love it. However I know why I didn’t love it. The first half of it was kind of slow for me but then it picked up steam big time. I liked that the romance wasn’t a huge part of the book. That was so different from most YA/Dystopians. All the secrets,lies and half truths created a story that was filled with bombshells after bombshells. Like you, I didn’t know who to trust either.

  2. Oh this sounds interesting! I usually don’t read dystopian unless I think it’s going to be awesome. Idk about all the political stuff in it, that’s usually a deal breaker for me, but something about it still makes me curious.
    I’m glad you liked it, I think I’m going to give it a try :). Although that cover is blah!!!

  3. I’m about halfway through right now and am really enjoying it. I love books with rigid social class structure (like The Selection and The Pledge) so this one grabbed me right away. The test they have to take kind of reminds me of Legend or of The Testing so there are so similarities to other dystopian books so far. But like I said I’m only halfway through and I’ve heard there’s so many twists in this book. The political aspect is interesting so far. The royal family is super screwed up and even now I don’t know who to trust. I know who I want to trust, but just have a bad feeling… So yeah, enjoying it so far! Can’t wait to read about all the craziness that’s sure to come!

  4. This is next up on my NetGalley list. It does sound like it has elements of a lot of other books I’ve read lately, but that’s okay if it’s done well. Thanks for sharing!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  5. I just finished Pawn this morning! I agree it wasn’t my favorite, but it was a relatively original and pretty interesting read, and I will definitely continue the series. I did see most of the twists coming (not much surprises me anymore), but I must admit I’m still not sure who Kitty can truly trust. I have my fingers crossed for at least one “curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!” moment in the next book. 😉

  6. I just finished this one earlier in the week, and I really enjoyed it too. I’d heard that her Goddess Test series wasn’t very good, so I was a little wary going in to this one, but I was really pleasantly surprised! It was such a quick read, wasn’t it? So twist-y, and quite disturbing at points! (Elsewhere!!!) I did love how political it was, and the parallels drawn between the fictional society and the issue between the 1% and the 99% in our society were really interesting. Thanks for sharing your review, Jamie!

  7. I just finished and reviewed this book myself and I definitely agree with what you are saying!
    The only thing that I felt was missing was the development in the relationship. In a way I like that the relationship between them was already so strong, but I love reading how a couple develops and how it grows. Great review!

  8. I’ve seen Pawn EVERYWHERE, and yet I *shamefully* haven’t read it. BUT I’ll add a definite *YET* to the end of my previous statement, because this is FOR SURE on my TBR list. To hear that you were blindsided and didn’t know who to trust when you were reading it are probably the two most influential tidbits from your review–I love that shock of thinking one thing and BAM! PLOT TWIST! It keeps me on my toes and to hear that Pawn has that element that I so longingly look for? Yep, I’m getting this. Done & DONE.

  9. This book is definitely on my to-read list. I’ve read mostly good reviews so its worth a try. Nice review!

  10. I loved Pawn! I always appreciate a book that surprises me a lot.

  11. I have the digital ARC for this but it keeps getting pushed down on my list!

  12. There were a few times where I was actually confused by what was happening, just because there was SO MUCH going on. But towards the end I was really invested, especially with Knox. He was my favorite character, hands down. And even though it was nice to have a pre-established relationship with no love triangle, I really didn’t like Benji. How he acted before Kitty left was just appalling and I can’t get it out of my head. Overall, I’m in the same position as you: I liked it a lot, even though it wasn’t the greatest dystopian I’ve ever read.

  13. I’m really looking forward to reading this book! I enjoyed Aimee Carter’s Goddess Test series a lot, so I am excited about her newest release. Though I’m a bit wary (dystopian and all), I’m still eager — and I’m glad to hear that it’s a book that caught your attention, even if you didn’t love it.


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