It has been a while since I went onto one of my favorite sites, NetGalley, to look at available titles to request because I had too many to try and read before YALLfest. I still have a ton of books to read but I couldn’t help myself from looking any longer and I found a couple that looked really interesting. One of those titles is a new release and I believe the first book from author Sarah Negovetich called Rite of Rejection.
Quick synopsis, sixteen year old Rebecca is ready and excited for her Acceptance. A fancy ball full of eligible bachelors and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects her. She is labeled as a future criminal and shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony. A life behind barbed-wired fences with the worlds more dangerous, the rejects, terrifies her. Rebecca joins with a band of misfit teens like herself in a hope of finding someone to make the place a bit less dangerous and lonely. Her new friends form a risky escape plan and she ends up with an accidental fiancé she’s almost sure she can learn to love. But like most things, freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence, she must embrace the criminal within.
I admit I was pulled into the concept and wanted to see what method is taken to make the world “perfect” because there are so many views on this and reading a different one is always makes me wonder if it could work. In Rite of Rejection there is a machine that was created that filtered all those with criminal tendencies. A punishment before you commit the crime kind of thing, it gave me a feeling of Minority Report in that respect. Already you wonder if you could ever agree with this. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? So you’re of age, all of 16 and you get all dolled up to go to your Acceptance, where are either accepted and continue on into a ball and try to find possible suitors or you are rejected and sent to live in a hell hole full of criminals.
There are a few things you see that you expect, the corrupt person in power. Let’s face it, it never gets old because I don’t think one person should have so much power, ever, it corrupts them. Like Frodo and the ring. There is also a romance. Even in hell you can still have feelings even if it seems foolish. I liked that our main character Rebecca admits how silly her little romantic problems seem in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I mentioned romantic drama. At first I was a bit leery of it. But I gave it a chance and I really liked how it played out. I don’t want to say much more and risk giving it away.
Some things I think could have been a bit more flushed out. The machine itself was briefly discussed enough to get a sense for the overall story but I found myself wondering how it took effect, how they made the decisions to change the world into this brand of perfect. Not needed again but I would have liked a bit more to satisfy my curiosity. That’s it.
Now the next part is going to go into depth on a few things that might be slightly spoiler-ish so be warned. Really be warned.
So this “perfect” world is not one I could ever see myself in. Women are pretty much reverted back to the days of being good for little more than taking care of home, husband, and kids. My hackles rose when I read that. I am clearly a modern woman and not into that concept. Women are taught to read because they need to read recipes and notes from their husbands…clearly not my idea of perfection. Moving on though I love that not only are the characters struggling to come to terms with their rejection and the life they now have to look forward to but how do they react when faced with criminals. Sometimes you have to let your inner criminal out in order to survive, but does that make the machine right? Or are you just adapting to your environment.
Back to the two love interests, with a bit more slightly spoiler-ish content. The first guy seems perfect but our MC decides she kinda likes the “taken” one as well. As she grows to realize she doesn’t love the one she has but the one she can’t have, things seem a bit complicated. I was a bit skeptical about this plot line as I started to see it coming to light. Something added for no reason but to add drama. My first thought but then as it played out I realized how happy I was that I gave it a chance. Rebecca could have loved the one she has, back before her life changed, but in this new world she is a new person. She clung to him, the familiar in a scary and new world, what she had been dreaming of. Then as she starts to adapt to her new world she starts to change as a character, thus changing what she is looking for. The drama played to be a larger aspect of showing just how much our MC changed from the start and what she is willing to do to survive.
That's all the spoilers I have. I give Rite of Rejection a solid 4 stars. It kept me interested and made me want to know what would happen next. I was concerned for the outcome of the characters. This book came out on December 4th so check it out. Also tell me what you thought below. What do you think would have to change for the world to function "perfectly" ?