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After the fall

Cover of Poster Girl
A review of Poster Girl by Veronica Roth

In her stellar adult fiction novel debut Veronica Roth explores what happens when a totalitarian, dystopian regime falls and whether or not the society can rebuild without repeating the same patterns and mistakes. And she does all of this through the eyes of someone who was complicit in that regime's behavior.

The Poster Girl of the title is Sonya Kantor. As a teenager Sonya's parents agreed to her photograph being used on a poster that promoted the rigid moral code set forth by the Delegation. Under the Delegation all of society was comprehensively monitored and surveilled through implants. Every choice an individual made could earn them points (for making the right choice) or lose them points (for making the wrong ones) and for teenage Sonya, the system was great. She loved being able to gain more points not only by doing things correctly herself, but by pointing out the failings of others. And then came revolution and the fall of the Delegation. High ranking members and representatives of the Delegation have since been locked up in the Aperture, a prison on the outskirts of the city. Sonya, just past the cutoff age for kids who were too young and recently released, and poster girl for the evil regime, is among those who never expect to leave the Aperture. Until one day a man from her past visits and offers her a deal she can't refuse. Help find the last of the Delegation's stolen children and Sonya will be allowed to go free. Though Sonya is skeptical about the deal, she feels driven to take on the task, hopeless and dangerous though it may be.

Can someone who once was an active part of the problem infrastructure learn and change and once again belong in society? Do they deserve that chance? Those were questions running through my mind as I read this compelling, fascinating page-turner of a novel. If you enjoyed the subtly-twisty, thought-provoking nature of Station Eleven, I think this will be right up your alley.


Aug 29, 2022