Are you more than the number on the back of your neck?
- from the back cover
First let me say that I did enjoy this book. I was very interested in the ranking system based on some sort of intelligence test. Basically everyone takes a test at 17 (supposedly an equal chance for everyone, but we know it never is). The score determines your rank and you get a tattoo on the back of your neck (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, or VII). Only the ruling family (the Harts) has VIIs. The Vs and Vis are the wealthy ranks. The Is are basically useless and sent to Elsewhere. The IIs & IIIs are the lower classes. Kitty is hoping for a average IV, but since she is dyslexic and can't read, she ends up unable to finish the test and gets a III. Her future is bleak, apparently bleak enough that she is willing to sell herself to the highest bidder at a virgin auction. Bought by the prime minister (Daxton Hart), she is drugged and given a complete makeover so that she can impersonate a member of the Hart family.
I found Kitty completely annoying. She was so demanding and bratty at times and at others completely unwilling to speak up. When Kitty did something, I wasn't sure if she was being brave or just acting rashly. The romantic (or possible romantic) leads were also less than impressive. I found Benjy completely uninteresting and Greyson didn't have much of an impact either. Knox was an interesting character who maybe could be a love interest and Daxton and Augusta make great villains. There was so much backstabbing and twists and turns, it was hard to figure out which side everyone was on. I enjoyed that part at least. I was actually rooting for Kitty to end up with Knox (though I never was sure if he was being honest with her). But it's hard to blame him when she is so reckless sometimes. I wouldn't tell her my secrets either.
Overall, I liked the book. I have already started the sequel (Captive). So far, Kitty is even more annoying and bratty in the sequel. :(
Fans of dystopian fiction. But, if you are looking for a strong character like Katniss (Hunger Games) or Tris (Divergent), look elsewhere. If you don't mind a wishy-washy and annoying main character, the rest of the story is pretty good.