Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Review: POSTER GIRL by Veronica Roth


Rating: 3/5 stars

Sonya was the poster girl: the face of the Delegation when she was seventeen. Ten years later, the Delegation has fallen and Sonya is just trying to survive in her prison known as the Aperture. That is, until an old enemy returns and offers her freedom if she does one small task: find a missing girl.

Poster Girl is a sci-fi dystopian novel with a mystery aspect thrown in. I was interested in the world presented here, but I feel like it was never fully explained. The people live in the Aperture, which is a sort of prison, and it used to be the Delegation until that collapsed and the Triumvirate took over. People used to have the Elicit, a type of tablet, but now they have the Insight, which is a kind of camera injected directly into the eye. It allows the government to see what you see, but it also used to allow you to see a kind of digital screen overlaying your field of vision, at least until the Delegation fell and the Insight went silent. 

Are you a little confused? Do you have questions? Because that’s a really interesting setup so far, but that’s all it is: a setup. Those are also the only details I got in the whole book, and I needed more. I wanted to know more about the world and the technology but there just wasn’t enough information given in the novel. Both the Delegation and the Triumvirate are bad governments, but also they’re both not? I kept getting mixed signals and nothing was explained enough for me. 

And the book’s title is Poster Girl, and Sonya was the poster girl, but what does that even mean? I never found out. I know her face was on posters around the city and everyone recognizes her, but what was the purpose of that? What was the government trying to promote with her and also why her of everyone? So many questions but so few answers. This novel needed more development. 

I’m feeling pretty conflicted about Poster Girl. I enjoyed the overall plot and the mystery aspect, but I also had some problems with it. I wanted to like it more than I did. If I’m being honest, the only reason I read it was because it’s supposedly going to be the October selection for the adult Fairyloot box, and I try to read all the selections ahead of time so I know whether I like the book enough to buy it. This one I didn’t, and I wouldn’t have read it otherwise. I read Veronica Roth’s Divergent series and also a short story by her, and those were both fine, but she’s not an author that I feel like I need to keep up with or read all of her new releases. I have seen many classic YA authors branching out into adult novels lately, but the handful of those adult novels that I’ve read have been a letdown, and Poster Girl is no different. It wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t great. Truly, this book just needs more development to make it better. At under 300 pages, Poster Girl is a quick read, and it’s no wonder I felt like descriptions of the setting, government, plot, etc. were lacking and also felt like the characters were pretty flat. 

Would I recommend this book? It’s a hesitant yes, but only for the type of audience who is excited by the synopsis. It isn’t going to change your life, but it’s decent while it lasts. I found the ending to be rather anticlimactic and unmemorable, but also somehow still satisfying enough to be enjoyable. I really enjoy both dystopian stories and tech-based sci-fi stories, and while Poster Girl falls into both categories, it’s pretty middle-of-the-road in each. 

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