The Declaration by Gemma Malley | TeenInk

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

March 1, 2010
By alwaysummer BRONZE, Cambridge, Massachusetts
alwaysummer BRONZE, Cambridge, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Yesterday isn't ours to recover but tomorrow is ours to discover

What would happen if you lived in a world where you could live…forever? It’s 2140, and Longevity drugs have been created to ensure eternal life for everyone who agrees to the Declaration- but there’s a catch. In the rules, it states that having a child is becoming one too many and that if you decide to have a child, you must Opt Out, meaning that you will not be eligible to take the drugs that let you live forever. “A life for a life,” it says. Any parent who is found to have disobeyed this rule gets severely punished, and lucky children who are not immediately put down like animals are allowed a “second chance” at life. As a result, Grange Hall is created, a living hell, where Surplus children are forcefully sent to make use of their undeserving life by learning how to serve the Legals. In The Declaration, the adults in the book are given a chance to make this life-changing decision. The Declaration, a novel written by Gemma Malley, is a suspenseful novel that’ll have you crawling for more.

Surplus Anna, one of the many surpluses among Grange Hall, is brainwashed to believe that she has no right to exist, a burden on Mother Nature, and must work hard to replay for her parent’s sins. She is reminded from her instructors every single day, that she is an unwanted nobody who would better off be dead. Anna assumes that her parents are selfish, disgusting criminals who didn’t think about anybody but themselves, and tries to become a Valuable Asset by being the best Surplus anybody could be. When Peter shows up at Grange Hall, things take an unexpected turn in Anna’s life. Peter seems to mysteriously know everything about her from her true identity to her unknown past. When he tells her a ridiculous, yet a fantasy-like story about her parents, Anna immediately decides to ignore him. She thought he was only trying to ruin her goal of becoming a worthy Surplus, trying desperately to be loved and wanted, which she had been working towards for practically all her life. Nonetheless, when a shocking event occurs, leaving Anna hurt and angry, she decides that maybe Peter’s tales weren’t made up after all. Then, it’s up to Anna to decide whether or not to take a serious risk that could threaten her very life.

There are endless lists of things that I admire about this book. For an example, the two symbols that the author thought of for Anna and Peter really emphasized the connection between them. Secondly, the author always has the reader wondering about what will happen next. Almost every chapter ends as a cliffhanger, creating a strong urge to desperately want to read more. You can never pry your hands off the pages, and your curiosity will beg you to read on. The author drops the bomb on you when you least expect it to, and there was one truly unexpected jaw dropper that had me absolutely stunned. While I was reading, it was as if I was walking along a corner blindfolded, not able to see what the other side held for me. Surprise after surprise, I was constantly entertained. Additionally, while I was reading this book, I learned a whole set of new vocabulary. The author managed to naturally squeeze in decent, unique, extraordinary words that you don’t hear of in every day life such as blasphemous, enigmatically, surreptitiously, acquiesce, and curt.

Moreover, the writing style of the author was extremely creative. The sections of Anna’s diary were wonderful because I got to hear Anna’s inner feelings about events that were happening to her. The different points of views also added a whole another burst of flavor to the book. I got to know each individual character in the book better, as well as how they were thinking. It was remarkable because instead of the plain, old, usual one character narration, I got to hear two sides of a story. These are only a few things out of the many that I love about this book.
WHIIIIIIIIRP~!!!! Crash! Boom! BANG! Step into the invisible time machine… 130 years into the future!!! Can you imagine how different it would be from today? Do you think that it would be an absolute dream to be alive then? Think again- it wouldn’t be so overwhelming for everyone. I liked how the author decided to have the future as the timeframe for this book. It taught me to treasure every second I get to spend on this earth, along with the thought that getting to live forever might not be the glorious dream everyone thinks it would be. Although this is a fictional novel, I think that people can really learn a lot from this small plot. The book kind of connects with the real world, and makes you think about the rapidly improving technology that is constantly changing our world in both better and worse ways. This book deeply touches on the sense of humanity. In general, the plot was very well thought of and the story really made me think about the future for our universe.
There is absolutely nothing that I can criticize about this book because there are no flaws to judge. I adored the ending, and it really taught me a lot. The ending re-connected to the beginning, like a giant circle. I can’t wait to read the sequel to this book, and I’m sure you’ll be no different. Although it would be perfectly fine ending this way, I am eager to find out more about Anna’s life. Even though I can’t criticize the text, the only thing that I would change about it is the cover of the book. It isn’t as appealing as it could be, and might affect the first impression of this book. Otherwise, there wasn’t anything that I disliked.

From the very beginning of the book to the very end, I was totally sucked into Anna’s world. The whole book seemed so real, although it was horrifying to even imagine that for a second, everything from the book could take actually place here in real life. Different emotions bubbled inside of me from all the action in chapter after chapter making me truly feel things as if I was in the book. It grew on me more and more as the story went on and even strengthened me in many ways. Things always seemed to move quickly, and time went especially fast when I was reading this book. With no hesitation, I can give The Declaration a full 10 out of 10, assuring you that it’s a thrilling, page-turner you should no doubt, not give a second thought about reading.

In conclusion, you should definitely find a time when you can devour the pages of The Declaration that are full of endless excitement. Give the book a chance to work its magic and unravel the beautiful tale of Anna. It’ll be as if you’re under a spell… that you’ll love being under. Let yourself get a glimpse of what Gemma Malley imagined the future could one day turn out to be like. Given the option, would you Opt out … or leap at the chance of living forever?

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This article has 3 comments.

on Mar. 6 2010 at 9:42 am
Ladekeye BRONZE, Cambridge, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 15 comments
I like your review although it is long i spent time to read it . . . lillian told me not to read the book . but i deff . will now !

on Mar. 5 2010 at 5:50 pm
alwaysummer BRONZE, Cambridge, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Yesterday isn't ours to recover but tomorrow is ours to discover

thxxx!!!!! :D

(it's rly long... i should have shortened it so more ppl would read it..)

on Mar. 4 2010 at 7:58 pm
mgirma12 BRONZE, Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 6 comments