genre: ya dystopian
If a pill was made that could make our bodies live forever, how long do you think it would take for our earth's resources to run out? In The Declaration, such a pill WAS created - and in order to ensure that life on earth could continue without upsetting that delicate balance, new laws had to be in place in order to stop people from having children. You want a child? You have to opt-out of eternal life yourself. If you don't opt-out? Your child is a Surplus. A sin. A stain. A black-hole of resource-use that will not be tolerated.
Anna is a Surplus.
She is raised in a Surplus Hall with other surpluses, training to become valuable to society by eventually working as a housekeeper or menial worker. She has been told her entire life that she should hate her parents for flaunting the declaration and letting her be born. She knows about the Catchers, whose job it is to do whatever it takes to find Surpluses and either put them in a Surplus Hall or dispose of them. She's been trained well, she knows her place, she doesn't ask for a thing.
But then Peter arrives, speaking about forbidden things, and everything changes.
The Declaration is a real page-turner, a fantastic "what-if" of a book that is terrifying in its plausibility. Anna is real and conflicted, faced with a world that has stomped her into pieces, and buried deep is such a fierce longing to be loved. I think this book would make for a fantastic discussion, so many ethical issues at play. The "bad guys" in this book are mainly one-dimensional, but the one we get to know the most ended up being much deeper than I'd thought. I've just requested the sequel from my library, I can't wait to see what happens next.
book 7 for the 2010 YA challenge