Once again, a book which I came to know about through Sinéad.
It doesn’t hurt that we have similar taste in pretty much everything (except maths, blehhh), so we can easily recommend things to each other.
The year is 2140. Scientists have invented a drug called Longevity, which cures all diseases and effectively evades death.
Naturally, with the absence of death, a population crisis was not long behind, leading to the signing of The Declaration, which outlaws procreation unless you Opt Out.
Anna is a Surplus – a child who should never have been born, surplus to requirements and forced to Know Her Place and learn at Grange Hall how to serve the Legals who are allowed to exist. She hates her parents for creating her and condemning her to this stolen life.
That is, until Peter appears at Grange Hall and tells her that her parents love her, and want her, and that she can escape with him and live a life beyond the constraints of being a Surplus.
And, naturally, adventures ensue.
It’s your typical dystopian fantasy – very similar to Uglies or Delirum. Teenage girl thinks ‘this is how the world should be’ until mysterious stranger shows up, changes world view, and incites escape attempt.
I still enjoyed it, though. The thing about dystopia is that the different reasons for how the world is the way it is can be as interesting as the human interest story at the forefront of the novel. The worldbuilding is just as important as the primary action/escape. And The Declaration succeeds in this. I’m curious about the declaration, who signed it, when it came in, how people accepted it, what other countries have done, how the rebels exist, how they continue to live, what drives people to still procreate, and all of these interesting little things.
I finished The Declaration in a little under a day and will read the second and third books in the trilogy shortly. It’s nothing mind-bending, and hasn’t stuck in my head like other books I’ve read recently, but it’s certainly worth the read, and I’ll finish the trilogy without much complaint if it stays at the same standard.