Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich

A great debut!

From Goodreads:
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. 

Rating: 3.5 Stars
I picked up this book because a friend recommended it. I am always nervous when someone recommends a book I didn’t hear of before. What if I don’t like it? Would they be offended? Well… I don’t need to worry about that for this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I would recommend it to dystopian fans in a heartbeat.

The concept of this book was great. Rite of Rejection is the first book in a beautifully written young adult dystopian series. We first meet Rebecca as a very innocent 16 year old that is looking forward to her Acceptance ceremony. During the Acceptance ceremony, the Machine tests subjects in order to determine whether to accept or reject members from society. The Machine is supposed to determine which teenagers are going to become criminals and reject them. These “criminals” are sent to the PIT to live out their lives. The teens accepted become full citizens of the society. Following the Acceptance ceremony, there is a ball where the newly accepted citizens begin looking for a spouse. Soon thereafter the men will receive their Assignment and take their place in the workforce, while the women’s responsibility is to bear and raise children and maintain the household.

Rebecca has never considered the life people have in the PIT. There is no indication that she is not fit to be a great member of the society. She is looking forward to the ball that is supposed to follow the Acceptance ceremony and the prospect of meeting a boy that she could one day marry. I instantly loved Rebecca; she seemed intelligent, a little naïve, and totally out of place. There was a sweetness and innocence in her character that made her very likable.  

Before the Acceptance ceremony she goes shopping with her best friend and their moms.  From the choice she makes when purchasing a dance card for the ball we get the feeling that she is different from other girls her age. She picks out a very old fashioned dance card for the ball in which possible suitors are supposed to sign their name, while all the other girls pick out the newest high-teach gadget that would allow boys to just scan their cards to reserve a dance. Not long after selecting her dance cards she meets Eric, an extremely handsome boy who asks her for the first dance at the ball. The chemistry between these two is instant. But before making it to the ball something goes horribly wrong. The Machine rejects Rebecca and marks her as a criminal and she is taken straight to the PIT.
Her new life in the PIT is brutal. The living conditions are deplorable, there is hardly any food, and there is trash everywhere. The author did a great job at vividly describing the horrid conditions. There are a few crimes that Rebecca witnesses during her first few days in the PIT that shocked me to my core.

Without much choice and because of the hardships she encounters, Rebecca matures quite rapidly. There is a lot character development in Rebecca as things get harder and the conditions in the PIT worsen. When she first comes in she is far too trusting of people and has a few close calls, but as the story progresses we see her intelligence and strength shine through. While in the PIT, she meets and befriends a group of people that soon become more like her family; they are a family with a mission. They want to escape the PIT, but things go horribly wrong and new plans need to be made; plans that would expose the Cardinal and the fact that the Machine does not work as people were made to believe.

I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll just mention a few things that prevented me from giving this book a higher rating. First, I wanted a bit more information on The Machine and The Cardinal. I felt like there should have been a bit more information on how the Cardinal became so powerful, what led to this society, and how the Machine came into existence.  Also, I would have liked a bit more development on the supporting characters. The book contains some romance as well, but that also felt a bit sudden and under developed.  I wish the characters had spent more time together to allow the reader to develop a stronger bond with their relationship. However, once it happens it is beautifully written and very believable.

Overall I think with another 20-30 pages giving more depth to the things I mentioned above, I would have rated this book 4.5 stars. I was very impressed with the world Negovetich created and I am looking forward to the next book!


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I liked your summary and I agree with most of it. Always want more, the curse of all readers ;) I would have went with an old school dance card too, I liked her reasoning.

    Thanks again for submitting questions for my interview.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Rite of Rejection. I really appreciate it. I had several readers ask for a bit more of the backstory on the Cardinal so you can look forward to that in book 2. :) Also, I spent a few weeks in Romania back in high school. It's a beautiful country.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I really enjoyed the world you created.

      I might be a bit bias, but I agree, it is a very beautiful country. Hopefully you'll get to go visit again. :)