Title: Rite of Rejection
Author: Sarah Negovetich
Publication Date: December 4th 2014
Rating: 4.5 stars
“Before you stands the future.”
Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
A life behind barbed-wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she’s almost certain she can learn to love.
But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence, Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.”
Note: This eARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
It was refreshing to read a dystopian book with a lack of overtly fancy, shiny new gadgets that characters would be using at every opportunity…Instead it contained mostly 21st century technology which could perform logical tasks. But there were various clues sprinkled about that immediately made me infer that this is a dystopian novel.
Unfortunately, as it often happens in YA literature, there was a love triangle!…Which I didn’t like. When developed properly, love triangles can be cute, fun or even hilarious but this one seemed pretty under-developed. I felt like it existed without really mattering that much (especially considering, one character seemed to be totally unaware that he is even part of a love triangle..but maybe that’s just me!).
Speaking of characters…Through the course of the book, I grew quite fond of the characters (and was naturally disappointed when I discovered that some of them might not be who they claimed to me). Rebecca, the main character, simultaneously exasperated and interested me. My frustration would constantly bubble up when she started freaking out over the smallest of things after surviving “the lawless penal colony” for a month or two. I felt annoyed that she hadn’t grown a thicker skin after all she had experienced. Instead, time and time again, she kept running to Eric whenever anything “bad” happened. I think she could have been a stronger main character but all the same, I might not have reacted any better than her if I had been sent to the PIT….
I found Rebecca to be constantly struggling to fulfill one dream or the other. She kept obsessing over her future – first, the future of a life with her husband after Acceptance and later, a life of freedom after escaping from the PIT. There were very few scenes in the book where she embraced the present and lived in the moment. But I suppose that is why the scene when she finally does embrace the present is so significant. Its a demonstration of her having finally developed the ability to find happiness in her bleak surroundings.
Eric and Daniel (the love interests) were both good looking (obviously) but from the moment I met them I preferred Daniel to Eric. From the start, Eric’s behavior verged on possessive and I felt like he was trying too hard. He seemed a little desperate and more than a little pushy at times. And the way he kept flirting with her (despite being surrounded by criminals)…well that was just downright cheesy. Daniel, on the other hand, was way more down-to-earth and logical. Not to mention, he rescued her from a future of prostitution (don’t worry, it’s not actually a spoiler..just a memorable scene).
Do I recommend this book? Well obviously! Even if you’re going “been there read that,” at every dystopian book you see – if you haven’t read Rite of Rejection – you’re definitely missing out!