Poster Girl by Veronica Roth

A 27-year-old woman who as a teenager posed for a propaganda poster under the previous government is released from imprisonment on condition that she locate a missing girl who was snatched from her family a decade earlier. Her luminescent ocular device, no longer connected to the system that conditioned every citizen via instant monetary rewards and punishments, can nevertheless still be used to spy on her.

The story, told in present tense, explores themes of community and making the best of what you have, like City of Ember. But the world of Roth’s Poster Girl is not a world where anyone emerges triumphant. Mostly, it’s about loss and evil and culpability; not just looking evil in the face, but casting aside self-deception and admitting you carry it inside yourself.

In addition, we’re warned that technology can be misused; specifically that we’re infinitely better off if our data is siloed on scattered devices than if it’s in the cloud, because someday the government will likely get it all, and whoever controls the government will use it however they see fit… and so will the next government.

I read in a review of Childhood’s End that it’s dull because its only plot device is “the slow reveal.” While that’s not the only plot device of Poster Girl, it might partly explain the deflated feeling I had, sunshiny epilogue notwithstanding, when I finished reading it. The 288-page novel hinges on the dark secret at its heart. About which, no more.

When and Why I Read Poster Girl

Got an email alert that a Veronica Roth ebook was on sale and bought it. Apparently she wrote it during the pandemic.

Genre: science-fiction/fantasy
Date started / date finished: 29-Mar-24 to 30-Mar-24
Length: 279 pages
Originally published in: 2022
Amazon link: Poster Girl