Friday, January 6, 2012

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

Amazon Description: "It's the year 2140 and Longevity drugs have all but eradicated old age. A never-aging society can't sustain population growth, however…which means Anna should never have been born. Nor should any of the children she lives with at Grange Hall. The facility is full of boys and girls whose parents chose to have kids--called surpluses--despite a law forbidding them from doing so. These children are raised as servants, and brought up to believe they must atone for their very existence. Then one day a boy named Peter appears at the Hall, bringing with him news of the world outside, a place where people are starting to say that Longevity is bad, and that maybe people shouldn't live forever. Peter begs Anna to escape with him, but Anna's not sure who to trust: the strange new boy whose version of life sounds like a dangerous fairy tale, or the familiar walls of Grange Hall and the head mistress who has controlled her every waking thought?
   Chilling, poignant, and endlessly though-provoking, The Declaration is a powerful debut that will have readers agonizing over Anna's fate until the very last page."

My Review: The Declaration was a very DIFFERENT type of dystopian book. For one thing, it wasn't too unrealistic. There was obviously the futuristic aspect---certain people slaves for messed-up reasons---and there was also some of the creepy advanced technology (a serum that helps you stay young for almost forever!). But for the most part? Very realistic! No flying hover cars, no holographic people, no destroyed countries... It all made sense. That's what I liked about it---it didn't follow the cliche dystopian outline (even though I do like that outline, at times...). The characters were interesting and easy to read about, not too serious or war-like; they were more realistic. They actually SEEMED like teenagers. I personally feel that no matter what year---whether 1400 or 3100---and what type of society, teens will be teens. So the characters worked. The plot was interesting and kept me reading and flowed well. It also made me think quite a bit. The social commentary was all about how people obsess so much over their looks THESE days, going to extremes (plastic surgery)...what will they do in a hundred, or a thousand, years, when technology is even MORE advanced? ...An intriguing and creepy question, no? Anyway, this was a pretty good book. Not TOO exciting or amazing, but a good, solid read.

Cover: The cover is very pretty. I love the colors together: scarlet, sky blue, and steel gray. Who knew they'd go so well together? The image is beautiful as well, pretty yet twisted, a butterfly trapped within coils of wire. Think about the symbolism of THAT!

Overall Grade: B-

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