Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion (bk. 1)
Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi/Thriller
Subjects: social classes, government, identity, Washington DC
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 343 pgs
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Summary/ product description: “YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP 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 Review: I read this book in one day. If my eye never got tired, I may have read it in one sitting. This book is full of twist and tons of family and political drama. It’s like The Selection by Kiera Cass in a bunch a ways, but with less romance and more action. There are unique characters and a great plot. It read as a movie, almost. The world building is completely unique, but it’s definitely well done. This book is fast and you won’t be able to stop reading. Get ready for a real page-turner.
Kitty is dyslexic. I haven’t read any books with a main character who has a learning disability. I think most authors are avid reader, so they wouldn’t usually write a character who doesn’t read a lot. Lots of people have this learning disability, but most are able to get over it by the time they’re a teen. Kitty still can’t really read of write. This is why she only is placed as a III after her test. Benjy, who was in the group home with her, and also her boyfriend, has helped her with writing and reading assignments. He’s really smart and thinks that Kitty is smart too, even if she can’t read. Kitty is clever and good at memorizing. When she becomes Masked, she quickly learns how to act like Lila.
The most unique think about this book is probably the Masking. Kitty unwillingly undergoes a plastic surgery procedure that make her look like the Prime Minister’s niece, Lila Hart. The change her face, hair, make her taller and more curvy in places. Her eyes stay the same since her and Lila have eyes that are the same shade of blue. Kitty looks in a mirrior and doesn’t see herself anymore. This story is about identity. Discovering who you are and where you belong in society. There’s a caste system based off of one test. They receive a tattoo of their rank afterward. The major question is, “Are you more than the tattoo on the back of your neck?” You should have the freedom to decide your own destiny and make you own choices. Society should choose your life for you. Life should be what you make it. The book had so really great discussion questions in the back of it in case anyone wants to use this as a book club book.
There may have been not much romance, but there was a lot more action than I expected. There was a lot of deceit between characters. Everyone has a secret. Not everyone is who you think they are, or on the side that they should be. This Hart family is one crazy messed up family. I really liked the character Knox. He wasn’t part of a love triangle, but he was Lila’s fiancée. Kitty doesn’t swoon for him because she loves Benjy and wants him back. Knox is pretty helpful and has some strong beliefs, but he helps Kitty along the way, and teaches her how to be Lila. Lila was apparently involved in The Blackcoat Rebellion, and that’s supposedly why the prime minister’s mother Augusta wanted to get rid of her. There are some major twists near the end and a really epic ending. I wonder what will happen in the second book. I highly recommend this to fans of The Selection series by Kiera Cass and fans of the TV show Scandal. It you love political intrigue and thrilling stories with lite sci-fi, then check this out.
Cover Art Review: Cool cover. I recognize the labyrinth symbol from art history. It was in a cathedral, on the floor and meant to symbolize a journey. The eye is behind it and you see the III in the pupil. I like the title and the way it’s debased.