Honestly, going into this book I wasn't expecting much. The blurb sounded intriguing enough for me to want to pick the book up, but the story didn't reel me in like I wanted it to. In fact, the beginning basically turned me away from the book, but I kept going anyway and ended up enjoying the ending more than the beginning.
The beginning was a little ruff, to put it mildly. Kitty is assigned to Denver, which means she will be far away from her boyfriend Benjy, so guess what she does. If you guessed goes to Denver, you are wrong. If you guessed that she decides to become a prostitute for a couple months because she thinks that's totally ok since one of her friends is a prostitute and hasn't gotten hurt yet, then congratulations you're spot on. Who actually does that? Oh right, Kitty. At first I thought that Nina would talk her out of it, but apparently Kitty is really set on being a prostitute. Another thing that really bothered me was that Benjy was mostly concerned that other people would be sleeping with Kitty and that he wouldn't be her first. She has to convince him that none of them matter with some sappy words and he doesn't really think much about her safety or that it's illegal so she could get arrested for it. It all was a little too weird for me.
The rest of the book was basically a typical dystopian. There's an evil dictator, a rebellion, and a girl from a lower ranking class that becomes part of the rebellion. I thought there would be more about the rebellion and the politics since most of the blurb talks about how she has to put an end to the rebellion that she believes in. Unfortunately, it was more about her becoming Lila and how the Hart family is twisted. I understand that it was necessary to make Daxton a dictator, otherwise there would be no story, but I thought it was a bit excessive to make him a people hunter too, like he wasn't already enough of an awful person.
The book began with Kitty already having Benjy as a boyfriend and on rare occasions this works, however this was not that occasion. Their relationship felt very forced and fake because there was no build up to it. The only thing they have going for them is that they've known each other their entire lives and Benjy tried to help her learn how to read. The main reason they didn't work for me was because Benjy was a very flat character. There was nothing about him that made me want him and Kitty together. I didn't care what happened to him and it was difficult to understand why Kitty cared. I'm pretty sure there's a love triangle (or maybe a square) and if there is I definitely like Knox better than Benjy.
Overall, Pawn wasn't horrible because it kept me reading until the very end and was fast paced. The writing was kind of elementary (I'm not really sure how to describe it) but it just lacked description beyond the size and color of things. I'm not saying that I want pages and pages of description, but just a tiny bit more would have made the book just a little better.