3.75 stars, rounded up to 4.
Pieces of Pink by Annelise Driscoll is a gritty dystopian novel where the country is split into color-coded castes. Whitecaps being the highest (your politicians and rich) and Pinkcaps being the lowest--an entire group of people forced into prostitution. This is a must-read for fans of The Handmaid's Tale.
I love how dark Driscoll is willing to go. She doesn't shy away from the dark, sinister aspects of society or humanity, and in my opinion, that's what makes the dystopian genre so great. Although it was hard to connect to her at first, I did end up enjoying our protagonist, Grey. Ama was my favorite character, although we only see her for a brief time (maybe more in book 2?), but that speaks to how talented the author is in making you fall in love with the characters she's created. Roz was another favorite of mine--fun, protective, and a badass who's there to guide Grey through life as a Pinkcap. Arik is another part of the main group who I loved. He's sweet, soft-spoken, and gentle and a perfect contrast to Roz.
Th reason I didn't give this a full five stars was mostly because of the pacing. I personally felt like this book could've had at least another 100ish pages to flesh some things out. I would've liked to see several different conversations and emotions play out on-page that we only end up getting a summary of, like following a certain character's death. Not seeing this made it difficult to connect and didn't give me a chance to mourn (or try to understand) with the characters.
The timeline was also a bit confusing. There were times when it felt like only a couple days had passed within the story, but then I'd come across a line like "over the past few weeks." Time skips are totally fine, and I can't think of a single book that doesn't utilize them at least once, but again, following massive events, they felt out of place and made it difficult to connect.
Overall, I did really enjoy this book and am excited to start on the sequel!