The blurb: Anna Covey is a ‘Surplus’. She should not have been born. In a society in which ageing is no longer feared, and death is no longer an inevitability, children are an abomination. Like all Surpluses, Anna is living in a Surplus Hall and learning how to make amends for the selfish act her parents committed in having her. She is quietly accepting of her fate until, one day, a new inmate arrives. Anna’s life is thrown into chaos. But is she brave enough to believe this mysterious boy? This is a tense and utterly compelling story about a society behind a wall, and the way in which two young people seize the chance to break free.
My review: I grabbed this book at Gatwick airport and I’m really glad I did. There was limited time to get to my gate (don’t you hate how it takes hours to get to gates at Gatwick!) so I went for the quote on the front and the cover art which is really striking.
And I didnt look back, I read this book in a day. It’s a really interesting take on the green/resources/future generations books that there seem to be a lot of at the moment. In Gemma Malley’s future, longevity drugs have been created using stem cell technology which eradicates death and disease, leading to an over-population crisis. The resulting Declaration means you sign up for everlasting life but you are no longer allowed to procreate. Any parents caught having kids get locked up and the children are taken to surplus halls where they are brainwashed into being the perfect servants, without the longevity drugs. The only way to have a child is to ‘opt out’ of the declaration and you’re allowed one child, a life for a life.
This book covers many topics that are controversial without being ‘preachy’. Much food for thought.
The Declaration is the story of Anna Covey, a surplus for much of her life and her exploration into who she is and her place in the world. It’s a great book, I think the beginning could be tighter, there’s an awful long time spent in the surplus hall and all the other action feels like it flashed by far too quickly. However it’s a fantastic set up and one Malley revisits, I believe, in future books. A great little Ya find that I would recommend.
7.5 out of 10 stars *******.5!
BUY ME! The Declaration