Poster Girl – Veronica Roth


Sonya was the face of the Delegation and a true believer. Her Insight, “a circle of light around her right iris”, was her constant companion, ensuring she was never alone. Every choice she made was assigned a value, adding or subtracting DesCoin.

“It’s a game that assigns moral value to even the smallest decisions of your life.”

When the Delegation fell, it was replaced by Triumvirate. Almost everyone had their Insight, the technology that was used to track, reward and punish, removed. Sonya, who was 16 when the photo that made her famous was taken, was only a year older when she was imprisoned.

Now the youngest person in Aperture, Sonya is given an opportunity to earn her freedom by finding an illegal second child, Grace Ward, who was three when she was taken from her parents.

“Our offer is simple,” he says. “Find her – or find out what happened to her – and earn your ticket out of here.”

Since the Delegation fell, Sonya’s world has consisted of two streets, Green Street and Gray Street (Delegation colours) and four buildings. Building 1 is a place of acceptance and feels most like a prison. Building 2 houses most of the young people and is a place of chaos. Building 3 is a place of pretending. Building 4, Sonya’s building, is a place of reminiscence.

This is the first time in ten years that Sonya has stepped foot outside her restricted world. She adapts surprisingly well to the changes, taking it all in her stride rather than wandering around aimlessly as I’d expected she would have.

I would not have done well living in this world, where you lose three DesCoin just for groaning. DesCoin reminded me a bit of the points system in The Good Place, although motive doesn’t appear to factor into DesCoin maths.

Because I didn’t get to know many of the people imprisoned in the Aperture, they were mostly interchangeable to me and the romance didn’t work at all for me. My favourite character was Knox, mostly because of her attitude and her active resistance against the status quo.

One of the scary things about Sonya’s world is that it’s only degrees away from our own. Status buys you privileges that are illegal for everyone else. Technology is literally imbedded in you. The government controls your choices and who you become is largely predetermined. I can easily imagine a world where society moulds its citizens in such an extreme way to play the role that’s been designated for them.

“Find out who you are when no one is watching.”

Content warnings include mention of death by suicide.

Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb


Sonya Kantor knows this slogan – she lived by it for most of her life. For decades, everyone in the Seattle-Portland megalopolis lived under it, as well as constant surveillance in the form of the Insight, an ocular implant that tracked every word and every action, rewarding or punishing by a rigid moral code set forth by the Delegation.

Then there was a revolution. The Delegation fell. Its most valuable members were locked in the Aperture, a prison on the outskirts of the city. And everyone else, now free from the Insight’s monitoring, went on with their lives. 

Sonya, former poster girl for the Delegation, has been imprisoned for ten years when an old enemy comes to her with a deal: find a missing girl who was stolen from her parents by the old regime, and earn her freedom. The path Sonya takes to find the child will lead her through an unfamiliar, crooked post-Delegation world where she finds herself digging deeper into the past – and her family’s dark secrets – than she ever wanted to.

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