Poster Girl

Veronica Roth. Morrow, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-358-16409-8

After the collapse of a tyrannical government, a woman’s search for a missing girl leads her to uncover a chilling family secret in this sluggish dystopian mystery from bestseller Roth (Chosen Ones). The Delegation ruled the Seattle-Portland-South Vancouver megalopolis with an iron fist, keeping its citizens under constant surveillance using Insight, an ocular implant that tracks the wearer’s every action. Ten years after the fall of the Delegation, Sonya Kantor, a former poster girl for the regime who’s been imprisoned for the role she played in its propaganda machine, is given the opportunity to earn her freedom by locating a missing girl, Grace, who was stolen from her parents by the Delegation. As Sonya searches, she struggles to navigate the much-changed, post-Delegation world and, as her family’s dark past comes to light, she’s forced to reckon with the repercussions of her parents’ actions and confront her own shifting morals. The worldbuilding is fascinating, but Roth only scratches the surface, with more time spent developing Sonya’s life in prison than exploring the outside world or the ramifications of using Insight. This lack of depth extends to the protagonist; though readers will appreciate Sonya’s journey to self-awareness, her lack of interiority makes her difficult to invest in. This won’t go down as one of this talented author’s better works. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary. (Oct.)
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