Newest Review: ... The Declaration, the main character is a 14 year old girl called Anna who communicates with the reader through a journal (the clue is in ... more
One world that I wouldn't want to live in...
The Declaration - Gemma Malley
Member Name: InchyInchy
The Declaration - Gemma Malley
Advantages: A great read
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.
Dystopia has become a very hot trend in the YA market at the moment, one that I have been hugely enjoying. The Declaration really first caught my attention when I found out that it was based in the UK, England. I don't think I've read any other dystopian that's been set here in the UK, the majority you never seem to find out exactly where they are set, but I always get the feeling the majority are based in America. Even thou this is a very bleak outlook of the future of Britain and a future that I hope never happens, it is one world that is worryingly recognisable in many ways!
When I started reading this I really couldn't put it down. The Declaration isn't a completely original concept, but it has been one of the best Dystopian YA novels that I have read to date and the idea just seemed to work and didn't feel forced or completely baseless in reality. Unlike some other Dystopian YA novels out there Gemma Malley has put a lot of thought into creating a world that reads scarily possible, a world that has repeated past historical mistakes by creating a sub-class of people. Where even more worryingly the general public bury their heads and refuse to see the truth in how their world really works, as long as the masses are comfortable life carries on as usual.
One of the few negative points of this book was that Anna, the main character was a pretty bland and mostly forgettable character. However, whereas this would be a huge point for me in some books, it almost seems to work for The Declaration. Surplus Anna has been trained from a young age to be always in the shadows, never seen as she performs her chores and never out spoken. She only really begins to discover who she is towards the end of the book and I don't really want to say much more for fear of giving away any spoilers. I do think that in the next book Anna is going to be a much stronger character and we will get to know who she is rather than just seeing the meek girl that stands in the background and accepts her place in her world.
This novel wasn't perfect, there were a few info dumps and a couple of chapters that didn't flow as well as the others and a few predictable plot twists, but overall I really enjoyed The Declaration and it makes for a great start to a very promising series. I would definitely recommend this book, it is a quick and easy book to read that really adds to the Dystopian genre. I'm looking forward to picking up the next book in the series - The Resistance.
Five out of five stars.
Genre - YA, dystopian
Published by Bloomsbury (Sept 2007)
Paperback - 304 pages (£6.99)
The Declaration series (which is all now available in paperback to buy) :
1. The Declaration
2. The Resistance
3. The Legacy
Summary: Five out of five stars