Wednesday 9 September 2009


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?

Like I mentioned the other day, this book is from a list I found over at The Book Smugglers. But I also remember reading a review by Tez not long ago. So I was looking forward to reading this one... and it didn't disappoint!

I actually loved it.

In a world where living forever is a real concept for adults, children are seen as Surplus and are taken from their parents and stuck in institutions. While inside, they're taught that their parents hated them - otherwise, why else would they have had them? - and that they'll pretty much only be good for slavery. It's a terrifying concept, and one that is explored and very successfully achieved in this book.

Anna is a Prefect in Grange Hall. She's also a Valuable Asset and asides from keeping a journal (which isn't allowed) she pretty much plays by the rules. However, when Peter arrives and insists that he knows her parents, Anna's life starts to change and leads her to a scary adventure. She can't help but question everything around her, everything she's been taught by the cruel House Matron and the instructors who discipline them with beatings and isolation.

This was a fantastic book! I loved everything about it, and felt so sorry for these children and teenagers who's only crime had been to be born. None deserved to be treated the way they were. I also liked the twist that is revealed towards the end of the book that involves Peter because it brings the whole issue full circle. Very clever, indeed.


Anonymous said...

Hi :)
I hadn't heard of THE DECLARATION before and it is definitely on my ToBeRead list now.
What a great review.
Thanks for sharing Yolanda,

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

You're very welcome! And thanks for popping in. :)

Tez Miller said...

Thanks for pimping my review :-)

P.S. There are so many graphics on your BlogSpot page that it's really hard to read. Or maybe my computer sucks, which is quite likely ;-)

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