Title: Rite of Rejection
Author: Sarah Negovetich
Series: I freaking hope so but nothing is given so it might be a standalone.
Published: December 4th, 2014 by Smashwords Edition
Genres: Young adult, dystopia
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
You can click the cover to go to its Goodreads page.
I received this book via Netgalley for review, which in no way affects my opinion.
Synopsis: 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.
If you’ve read the synopsis I’ve given above, you might understand why I requested this from Netgalley. I like dystopian books and this seemed like it would be a good one. I am so happy that I got approved for this book, I enjoyed it even more than I was hoping to!
First of all, I will talk a bit about the plot. This book starts the weekend of the Acceptance, when Rebecca is getting ready for the ceremony. But for a reason unknown to her the Machine labels her as a criminal and she is sent to the PIT. Every person/child who is a danger to the society they live in is sent there and it functions as a prison -without any rules.
The story was quite fast-paced in my opinion. In the beginning of the novel, Rebecca is a girl ready to become Accepted, then she soon gets Rejected and labeled as a criminal and stuff happens. It wasn’t rushed at all yet I felt as if so much happened.
I feel as if the writing style didn’t just give you a fast-paced feeling but a descriptive one as well. The author didn’t skim over the terrible things that will probably happen when humans are put in those situations -ever seen/heard of Das Experiment? Witnessing life in the PIT through Rebecca’s eyes was really interesting, but gruesome at the same time. I don’t want to give anything away, but the abuse -both physical and mental- is not skimmed in this book which in my opinion is a good thing, it’s a big part of how the society works and views those labelled as “criminals and waste”.
Secondly, the characters. There were so many interesting characters in this book: I don’t even know where to start. Rebecca, Eric, Daniel, Elizabeth, Molly, Constance, Thomas. Even if they only had the smallest part in the book they intrigued me. I would be interested in novellas from every single person’s POV. The novel combines characters from different social classes, sexual orientations, skin color, everything. Rebecca seemed a bit superficial in the beginning, which I guess is how everyone is raised in this society, but still. The only point when she “bothered” me a bit is when she first got sent to the PIT. She truly saw herself as deserving to be there and a criminal even though she had never done anything wrong -or had any intention to do so in the future. Just because a machine said it. What? She soon evolved and grew though and it was truly great to see.
This novel also deals with topics that are important, yet which people don’t like to talk about. I can’t really tell you which ones because that would probably be a spoiler but you see the main characters go through a hell of a lot.
About 50% into the book, there was a little alarm bell going off in my head: ERROR. LOVE TRIANGLE. Well, not really a triangle, more a rectangle? Without giving anything away about the story, I want to say: there is no love rectangle, nor is there a triangle -to my huge relief. Trust me on that. It may seem like it for a while but there isn’t one.
I would definitely recommend this book to you -if you like YA or dystopian books of course. If you hate the genre, then don’t read this. I thought the writing was fast-paced and so descriptive and honest. The scenes of situations happening in the PIT were horrible to read -although I do think they probably happen in normal prisons now, unfortunately- and I could really envision the PIT. The characters were great as well and I found myself getting quite attached to them.
As a last note, I really hope this is going to be a duology and not a standalone. I can’t deal with that being the ending!
P.S. Note that I said duology. I think this story could benefit so much from a sequel and I would gladly read it. Even though I am obviously not the author and have no say in that whatsoever, I just wanted to mention it.