Because of many circumstances, Kitty is at the lower end of society. She did terrible on her national placement test, so she has no chances to have a successful future. She begins working as a prostitute to attempt to take care of herself. What else is she to do? Then the Prime Minister offers to transform Kitty into Lila, the Minister's niece who was mysteriously killed. Other than getting a major raise in society, Kitty would then be able to have a future of more than she ever dreamed of. The only problem is that she has to stop the rebellion that Lila began, a rebellion that she finds herself sympathizing with. After going under the knife, everything about Kitty is expected to change, but will she be able to keep a part of her identity as she is now mixed up in all of the politics of this crazy world?
Perhaps I have read this too close to Palace of Spies and Lord of Opium, but the switch of a lower class character to an upper class character without letting the surrounding people know, is too familiar to me at this point in time. Unfortunately, this made some of the twists really predictable to me. They are what you would expect in this type of situation. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this more if I had not read the other two books (and two other trading spaces books) within the span of a month. Regardless, dystopian is my favorite genre and I rarely pass up a chance to read something that comes out. I loved the political aspects of this book. The manipulations and intrigue more than the general overthrow of everything is more interesting than a lot of the books within the genre. The lies are fun for me, especially since I had some pretty good ideas of how they were going to end up playing out. Kitty is a great character, as expected. She is spunky, defiant, and stronger than she appears to be at first. She is thrust into a love triangle when she goes through the change. Benji is her boyfriend (and super adorable), but Lila was engaged to Knox. What happens between the three of them is more natural than a lot of love triangles. I felt that Carter handled that situation pretty well. I think of it as an arranged marriage situation. Plus they all end up having to work together. Overall, I enjoyed the book. I just found it too familiar to other stories to give it an "I love it" rating.
Survive the streets. Obey the rules. Pass the test & proof that youre worthy to help the society.
Kitty Doe has lived with forty other children since she was little. Studying for the big test that will determined her rank in the society is everything that she is focusing on with her boyfriend Benjy. The day she turns 17, she will know what the rest of her life will look like. But when she receives a III, she knows that being in sewage maintenance forever can only mean one thing she is doomed and she will never see Benjy again. But Kitty doesnt give up and will fight.
When she meets Daxton Hart and he offers her to be the higher level there is she knows to take that chance. Being higher rank means she can still be with Benjy and keep him safe. But she will never expected the events that occurred after she has been masked stripped of her identity to take a face of Lila Hart the second heir to the nations throne.
This was an amazing read. I loved reading about the world structure and the ranking that took place in the book. Reading about the history of why the ranking was put in place made a lot of sense and I could see that happen in real life. With Dystopian side of the story, there was enough action and romance to keep it interesting and make reader get engaged with all the characters. This might sound bad but the author made me vote for Kitty to be with Knox but I guess I just have to wait until the second book and see! ;)
The world-building around the government in this novel was really pretty good. The social structure based on tattooed ranks was inventive, and I loved the blatant reference to college degrees, SAT, ACT, etc. to prove a person's "worth". This felt totally spot-on and was very clever. While I did enjoy the world-building, I have to say that the lack of character depth was disappointing. Aside from Augusta and to some extent Celia, none of the other characters felt like they moved past the two-dimensional realm. Augusta and Celia are wonderfully complex monsters, particularly Augusta. They are driven to near madness trying to do anything they can to protect the ones they love. The "masking" Kitty is subject to is particularly terrifying, and the idea of training to be someone else reminded me of "The False Prince" by Jennifer A. Nielsen.
The least well-developed character to me felt like Kitty, the main character. I am also appalled by her horrible choices. She would rather be a prostitute than participate in a rebellion? Come on now!
Overall, I really liked this but I didn't feel like it really offered anything brand new. It was just a mashup of a lot of fun concepts already used in other series ("The Pledge" by Kimberly Derting, "The False Prince" by Jennifer A. Nielsen, etc.). That being said, if you liked any of these series and are looking for more, check out "Pawn".