“It’s not the pain of experience, but the death of a chance for experience that hurts the most.”
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.
+++I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley
Rite of Rejection is Jane Austen meets Suzanne Collins. It draws you in with old school romanticism and the giddy anticipation of a future engagement and abruptly sends you on a dizzying spiral into destitution and primal need. It’s brutal, life in the PIT is a game of cat and mouse where no one really wins and dejection reigns supreme, and yet, Rite of Rejection glorifies the powerful, beautiful resilience of human nature and how fiercely we cling to hope.
- Rite of Rejection is a romance but that isn’t the focus. The chemistry between characters is subtle, it lets the reader ease into it in a smooth, enjoyable way. There’s no bad boys, no sarcasm or snark, just feels that swoop you up into the moment and leave you light-headed at times and frustrated at others. Sarah Negovetich does lack of chemistry wonderfully. It’s not painful or forced, it’s a confused and torn existence that Rebecca struggles through. I appreciated that Sarah did not shy away from that or make it too clear-cut.
- The PIT is a terrifying place. The fear and anxiety resonates off the page in a cloud of suspense and queasiness. Scenes of danger, the dark alleyways, the crime, the way that men leer at the women and the promise of abuse is enough to turn anyone’s stomach. Some scenes are hard to read, they are full of torment and powerful emotion. Becca’s indecision about whether to fight or ignore the crimes committed in front of her is raw, agony but incredibly real. Her pity for her fellow sisters in the PIT, the realization that the trauma could some day be her own, and her weakness physically all culminate in a horrific feeling of helplessness that is almost crippling.
- Becca is headstrong and selfless for the most part. She’s constantly worried about others and puts them above herself, valuing calm and peace over tension. She tries to smooth things over but is unafraid to speak her mind when it matters most. She takes risks, and yes, sometimes she’s consumed by emotion, overreacts and puts herself in danger and you might want to strangle her. Becca perseveres through every obstacle and never gives up hope. Even when she is tested over and over, something within her fights for freedom. Becca is remarkable in her humility and the compassion she has for the downtrodden.
- As a sucker for Victorian literature, I was absolutely enthralled by the beginning of this book. The prospect of finding a future husband, a ball, dance cards, dress shopping, all of it was magical.
- Some of the secondary characters disappeared. There wasn’t much focus on their personalities or developing the relationships between characters. Molly and Constance sort of fizzled out and the dynamics between Becca, Daniel, and Eric were mild, if not glossed over a lot of the time. Elizabeth’s hatred was also random. It felt like something was missing, a disconnect between this ragtag family of rejects.
- The reasons behind the grand betrayal were unclear and barely mulled over. This might’ve added more dimension to the culprit’s character. (Purposefully vague in order to not be spoilery)
- More explanation of how this world became a dystopia was needed. What the Cardinal stands to gain, how the territories are divided, general knowledge of how the world outside of the PIT operates were left unanswered.
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