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The series is set in a dystopian society where everyone takes a test at 17-ish to determine their “number” which determines their place in society. I think 7 or 8 is the highest but only the founding family is the highest number. The main character has never been able to read and so she gets a really low score and runs away to become seemingly a prostitute but is “bought” by a member of the founding family because she resembles his dead niece. He drugs the girl and she wakes up wrapped in bandages and has been surgically altered to be identical to his dead niece in order to keep the public from finding out she died.

There are 3 or 4 novels in the series.

Possible plot spoilers:

The dead niece turns out to be alive after all and was leading a secret rebellion to take down her family and fix society. In the society, level 1 people are like the disabled or mentally handicapped and they are presumably killed. Also, elders are eventually also sent away as well. The main girl finds out that the place they’re sent to is actually somewhere that the founding family goes to hunt people but that’s honestly just a small side plot.

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  • You already got the correct answer but the question in the title that made me visit the question perfectly matches William Gibson's Mona Lisa Overdrive (though perhaps the dead girls isn't dead, just removed from normal life)
    – pipe
    May 28, 2023 at 11:17

1 Answer 1

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This is Pawn by Aimee Carter.

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.

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    OMG THANK YOU!!!! This is it!!! You are amazing. It has literally been driving me insane lol.
    – Megan C.
    May 28, 2023 at 2:31
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    @MeganC. - Don't forget to upvote and to mark this as 'accepted' to show that it's the correct answer
    – Valorum
    May 28, 2023 at 7:43
  • @MeganC. I added spoiler tags to the text of your question, based on what was not in the blurb in this answer.
    – Criggie
    May 29, 2023 at 3:21

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