When I learned I was dyslexic, I was so angry. Angry at the world, angry at my schools, angry at my teachers, but more importantly angry at myself. Looking back, I could see the signs that went unseen. In the 5th grade, I was move into a 4th grade reading class with five others. It was humiliating to be told I couldn't be with my friends all because I couldn't read like they did. I never really picked up a book "worthy of my age" until I pretty much was half way through Middle School. I hated being called on to read something out loud because I stuttered and read so slowly. My entire life I felt like I was stupid, despite knowing the materials and making As and Bs most of my life.
And when I heard about how Kitty had dyslexic and never knew it, I knew before I even read PAWN that I could connect to her. I was lucky enough that my good friend, Meredith over at Pandora's Books (seriously check her out, she is awesome,) sent me an Advance Reader's Copy after hearing how much I wanted to read this book.
The Overview: YOU CAN BE A VII IF YOU GIVE EVERYTHING.
Let me tell you, this book is nothing like what you'll think it will be. Aimée's writing in this novel is, personally, by far my favorite of all her works. It really is the stuff of Best Selling authors. I really can't stop praising this author and this book. So here are the four things you need to know about this book.
Rating: 5 out of 5
1.) The social injustices
This book takes place in the United States, though not the one we grew up knowing. The world that Kitty knows has a caste system of sorts. And what "caste" you are put into depends on how well you do on a Test when you turn 17. The higher the number you have, the better off you are. The better job you will have, the better clothing and food. Over all, a life that Kitty always dreamed off but knew she could never have. But because of her reading disability, Kitty earns a III. Kitty feels like she deserves that III because she is stupid enough that she can't read. But in reality, like most dyslexics, they are some of the most brilliant people! I mean Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Muhammad Ali, pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Fred Epstein, Hans Christian Andersen, Agatha Christie, Walt Disney are just to name a few. Really would you call any of these people stupid?
In real life day and age, so much pressure is put on children to pass exams. Here in Texas, you can't even graduate High School without passing an exam called STAR (don't ask me what it stands for, it was the TASS and then the TAKS when I was in school.)
There is also a population law, similar to what we know the Chinese have, of only one child per family. If you have more than one, you have to pay a fee or leave your child basically an orphan called an Extra. The high number you have, the more likely you can pay the fee. And that is what happened to Kitty's family. Kitty's parents couldn't afford to pay the fee and left her to be an Extra. You can tell a person is an Extra because their last name is Doe. A sad, but fitting way, because in hospital settings if a patient is a "John Doe" or "Jane Doe" you don't know anything about their basic background. And as an Extra, Kitty doesn't know who or even where her family is. As an Extra, you live in a group home that is over crowded like many of the foster homes we know of now.
And lastly there is this place called Elsewhere. No one knows what or even where it is. Most parents use Elsewhere has an urban legend to scare their kids. But is really just a legend?
2.) The characters
You already know a bit about Kitty, but there are other characters that are worth a note or two. Kitty's boyfriend and fellow Extra, Benjamin "Benji" Doe is one of the sweetest guys I think ever written. Made me a time or two wonder why more guys like Benji don't exists. He's brilliant smart like Kitty, though his grades actually show it, and helps Kitty learn her material. And while some might consider it cheating, he actually writes down the answers that Kitty provides to their homework so that she does have to write them herself.
The family that runs the country are the Harts. There are a few that you will meet:
- Daxton is the Prime Minster. He's evil.
- Augusta is Daxton's mother. If you think Daxton was bad, she is more so than her son.
- Greyson is the Daxton's son. He is nothing like his father.
- Celia is Daxton's sister. And she has no love for her brother and mother.
- Lelia is Celia's daughter. And you'll learn more about her with each and every page you turn.
There is one last major character, Knox. If you love mysterious bad boy type, he is so totally your guy. He had me fanning myself a few times with his intensity. But beneath, like all the Harts, there is more to him.
3.) The twists
Aimée Carter is the queen of hearts in this book. I mean like Aimée was the evil queen Regina from Once Upon a Time, and she reached into my chest, withdrew my heart and give it a good squeeze. I sat in a corner and cried little eyes out at a few scenes. Aimée did a wonder job keeping the readers guessing without her entire novel. As soon as you figured out where the story might be going, she pulls the rug from out from under you. People aren't who they say they are. The evil that is bleed through these pages turns the pages red with all deadly sins. And I loved every damn minute she did.
4.) The ending
The last thirty or so pages were so hard to put down! And the ending of PAWN leaves readers wanting more of Kitty but cursing that they'll have to wait for book two, Captive. Which I'm sure will be a nail biting waiting and a nail biting book. I mean just look at that title! Anyone who knows Chess, knows no good could come from being captive.
~*~I can't for everyone to read this book so we can talk! You can purchase PAWN at B&N, Amazon or your preferred local book store.
Many hugs! And happy reading!