Sunday, May 3, 2009

Review by Alex- The Declaration

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

In the year 2140, it is illegal to be young.

Children are all but extinct.

The world is a better place.

Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth. Sign the Declaration, agree not to have children and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For the children born outside the law, it only gets worse - Surplus status.

Not everyone thinks Longevity is a good thing, but you better be clear what side you're on. . . . Surplus Anna is about to find out what happens when you can't decide if you should cheat the law or cheat death.

So pretty much, adults take Longevity drugs and have stopped aging, therefore living forever. These people are called Legals. Not everyone agrees with the drugs and would like to have children, so are called Opt-outs. Many people still have kids however, who are not always Opt-outs, or there is much confusion. Surpluses, kids who should not have been born, are taken to residences like Grange Hall, where Surplus Anna lives.

The main character is Anna, and most of the story is through her point of view. Anna's such a sweet girl, and it makes me so sad to read about her. She was captured from her parents when she was around two years old and taken to Grange Hall. Her parents were put in jail for having an illegal child. Anna is now 13 going on 14, but her voice is very young. She has no real friends in the hall, because she's been made a Prefect, and poor Anna strives to be perfect, to become a Valuable Asset. She really wants to prove her worth, or at least not seem such a burden to the world. Her teachers do not help, and all the adults constantly say how awful Surpluses are, how they never should have been born, how they should hate they're parents, how Surpluses need to work to make up for their parents mistake, how how how how how. All lies. Cruel lies that the kids believe. Especially Anna, who can't recall anything else, and believes in her horribleness with all her heart.

Until Peter comes. Peter is 15, I think, which is very late to be coming to Grange Hall, or really, just late in general to be caught. Peter has all these opinions that Anna is not used to, and when Peter tries to get closer to Anna, she shies away. Peter is different, and he has things to tell Anna that she doesn't believe- or does she?

I actually really loved this book. It's all in third person, omniscient, and skips inside different people's minds. Most of the time, it's in Anna's point of view, but it will change to some of the adults POV also. It never goes to Peter though, I'm pretty sure. Which I think is actually really good, because it adds more mystery to Peter, which is probably the point.

I just felt really sympathetic to all the characters. For Anna, who always just expects to be beaten and doesn't know kindness. For Peter, who really is still a child who has never known true freedom. I even felt something for Mrs. Pincent, the head of Grange Hall, who gives out beatings constantly, and is pretty much all around terrible. But when the POV goes to her perspective, from the beginning, you can tell that something happened to her, and she became so awful and cold-hearted because of it. It's not until around the end of the book that readers find out however.

It's a really good setting. It's just- thought-provoking, and really interesting. I really do love sci-fi. Always so fascinating. There's so much possibility in this book, in science-fiction. I love Anna and Peter. I actually felt like crying at some parts, although I did hold in my tears.

Bottom line: Really interesting sci-fi read I think lots of people would like, if into sci-fi. Even a bit of romance thrown in, which is really cute I think.

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