The Declaration
The Declaration

The Declaration

by Gemma Malley


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781408836880
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Publication date: 11/28/2012
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

GEMMA MALLEY studied philosophy at Reading University before working as a journalist. A successful author of women's fiction, The Declaration is her first book for young readers. She lives in London with her family.

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The Declaration 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 95 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
C.S. Lewis, author of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, once wrote that there are three ways of writing for children. The first is to cater to what children want (but people seldom know what they want and this usually ends badly), the second develops from a story told to a specific child (Lewis Carrol's THE ADVENTURES OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND, for instance), and the third is that it is simply the best art form to convey the story.

Gemma Malley's debut young adult novel, THE DECLARATION, is of the last category.

I am making this point because while THE DECLARATION involves two teenagers, fourteen-year-old Anna and fifteen-year-old Peter, it never feels aimed towards the teen audience Therefore it is categorized as a young adult novel by the age of its narrators rather than its content and this, I believe, will give it an enduring quality. C. S. Lewis wrote, "Where the children's story is simply the right form for what the author has to say, then of course readers who want to hear that will read the story or reread it at any age."

THE DECLARATION opens in the year 2140, and people have conquered death in the form of Longevity drugs. With limited food and fuel resources, waste has become a serious crime and the worst crime of all is having a child. Anna is one of these children. She is housed at Grange Hall where she and other Surpluses are taught that the most they can ever hope for is a harsh life of servitude to make amends for their existence.

Anna is well on her way to becoming a Valuable Asset when Peter arrives at Grange Hall. He challenges everything she has learned by arguing that people who take Longevity are the real criminals and perversions of nature, not the young. He also claims that he knows her parents and that they want her back. Peter is strange and new, but is he enough to make her risk everything to escape with him?

Unlike some novels that use characters, plot, and setting as a vehicle to drive home a message, Gemma Malley never lets the moral and ethical questions she raises detract from the actual story. The characters are well drawn and identifiable, and the language is simple and unpretentious. THE DECLARATION is not without flaws, especially the failure to explain or integrate Mrs. Pincent's involvement with the black market product Longevity+ into a major plotline, but this lends mystery and excitement for a sequel.

Even though it contains a handful of science fiction and young adult hallmarks, such as a utopia/dystopia setting, wonder drugs, and finding and defining oneself, it cannot be dismissed as merely a youthful 1984 knockoff. It is mostly a book about people, fear, and loss. Themes that are, if not always, exquisitely accessible in this age.
Kaylene Kilbarger More than 1 year ago
A lot of twists and turns...great story overall really enjoyed wont be disappointed
gladeslibrarian More than 1 year ago
You've probably heard the sayings "all good things must come to an end" and "life is good," right? Well, obviously life must come to an end. You don't need sayings to know that. But in this futuristic tale by Gemma Malley, the good life never has to end. Every legal 16-year-old gets to choose. So, what's the choice? Eternal life or a child. Just sign the Declaration and you're in - forever. The problem for 15-year-old Anna is that she's not legal. She doesn't get that choice or any other choices because she's Surplus. All the children who weren't supposed to be born are Surplus. For Anna that means Grange Hall, a training facility, where she's being programmed to serve the 'immortals' until her short miserable life is over. She's been beaten, starved and brainwashed to believe that her parents were selfish to have her and that it would take her whole life to atone for their sins. Then 16-year-old Peter gets dropped off at Grange Hall by the Catchers. But Peter's no ordinary Surplus. He's got confidence and spirit and all his attention is focused on Anna. He tells her he knows her parents and that they love her. He says he got caught on purpose so he can help her escape. He's definitely getting into Anna's head. Anna's life depends on her ability to continue her training without distraction but it's getting harder and harder for her to maintain her focus. What if Peter's telling the truth? How long can she suppress her hidden hopes and dreams for a real life outside of Grange Hall? Is this a trick? Is it a test to see if she's ready to advance in her training? Or could everything she believes in be one huge pack of lies? The Declaration is a thought-provoking read and the way things are going now it may not be too far off from tomorrow's truth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book. It was so detailed that I felt like I was living in the book! I even had dreams I was the main character! I definatly reccomend this book to all who like sci- fi and books about the horrific future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked how the issues this society would bring into our life are addressed. Pretty cool book. I am buying the next one today.
DayBug More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Read it in one day, just couldn't put it down. The sad thing is, is that I can totally see this happening in the not so distant future. Great idea, great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If there is anyone out there who enjoys books like these, semd me a nook.friend request so maybe we can share some good books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book a lot! I can not wait to get the second one. I would say that it is one of the best books that i have read in a bit
charlotteriley13 More than 1 year ago
It's year 2140, Longevity have sustained a population that never dies of old age, or get sick either. Which means, Anna isn't suppose to be here. In 2140 no one should have children is this society that can't sustain any more growth. "The Declaration" Is a commitment in which you agree to sign it and not have children in order to live forever. Refuse, you live as in outcast. For surplus Anna, and many of the other surpluses at Grange Hall, it only gets worse. These kids (boys and girls) are living outside the law. Grange Hall is a place where kids of all ages have to live, work, and learn to maybe become a "Valuable Asset". Anna, is 15, she is working to be a Valuable Asset. So maybe her existence on this earth will be repaid. But, soon will all change... When Peter, I new boy comes to Grange Hall, it makes Anna world spin upside down. Peter brings knowledge about the outside world. He is very fond of Anna, and begs her to escape with her. Anna is not sure what to believe or what is coming in her fate. The book "The Declaration" is a superior book for the teenager audience. I gave "The Declaration" three stars, because, on the up side of this book, it was interesting, intellectual, and just fun to read! The down side of this book that it was almost predictable, and... It was not the best book in the world! I would recommend this book to a younger crowd. This book has some action, drama, and a little romance! "For centuries people have yearned to find the fountain of youth. . . The Declaration paints an unsettling picture of what might happen if we ever do" -The Wall Street Journal
FantasyFanatics More than 1 year ago
This book is about what would happen if we lived in a world where people could live forever simply by taking a small white pill every once in a while. Because people live forever and the world is over-populated already, people must agree to the Declaration-a document that states that if yo agree to the declaration, it means you are accepting the tiny white pill that lets you live forever. but in exchange, you are not allowed to have children. if people had children, the world would become way over-populated which would lead to catastrophe. If you really think about it, this book is very accurate as to what would happen. it is something that could definatley happen in a not so far away future. it really makes you think and you want to learn more about this alternate future or this new world and want to know what happens to the main characters Ana and Peter. As thier relationship grows, so does the story and it keeps you mesmerized. i reccomend this book for people who enjoy learning about an interesting new world, people who like a little romance, danger, drama, and adventure! i definatley reccomend this book for anybody. an amazing read! read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's so interesting to read sci-fi books like this, where the situation and plot is so realistic for some sort of future world that is really not so far off. I highly recommend it for any teenager. It's a great story, and you'll surely speed right through it.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 22 days ago
A gripping science fiction novel with an interesting plot, well-constructed world, unexpected twists and turns, and characters to care about. In the year 2140 Longevity drugs promise everlasting life... as long as you sign the Declaration and agree never to have children. Anna is an illegal child (called a Surplus) and she's lived nearly her whole life in a training center where she's taught to hate her parents for selfishly inflicting her upon the world and to be absolutely obedient so that she might be a Valuable Asset and pay back Mother Nature for her parents' sins. When she meets Peter, another Surplus who has spent most of his life on the outside, he tells her that her parents love her and want her back and Anna is forced to decide what she will do.
whiteknight50 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Gemma Malley. I listened to this one via audio book, and it was beautifully done. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys dystopia, well written, fascinating story line, and a really disturbing picture of where our current societal attitudes could carry us.
JRlibrary on LibraryThing 22 days ago
The book takes place in the year 2140 where, due to a prolonged scarcity of resources, people sign a Declaration, agree not to have children, and are able to take Longevity drugs which make them live forever. When the story begins, we meet Anna, a surplus (an illegal child) who has been in the Grange Surplus House since she was tiny and is now considered a Pending, which means pending employment. She is training to be a Valuable Asset to a Legal and has already had an internship. She is also a Prefect and is told to make up the bed when a new male Pending arrives. Of course, she is full of questions since most Surplus arrive as Smalls or Middles but never Pendings. She is even more confused when Peter, the new arrival, seems to know more about her than she knows herself, and she is terrified once he begins to talk to her about their need to escape, and suggests nonsensical things like her parents actually wanting her. This was an interesting read. Those who liked the Shadow Children series by Haddix, especially Among the Hidden, or those who liked Unwind by Shusterman would enjoy this book as well.Book two is called The Resistance and is out in hardcover already.
Cats_Critters on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I loved the theme of this book, a perfect world where no one dies, but that means the world is quickly over populated. Meaning you end up with surpluses, childern born illegally who are forced to work to "repay" their sin of being alive.Our main characters are Anne and Peter, Anne who has been at Grange Hall (where surpluses are raised and taught how to work)from the age of 2 and a half and is a "Perfect" surplus. Peter only shows up after the base story line has been layed down. Anne believes what she has been taught her whole live, that her parents are horrible, selfish and she is doing the only right thing by paying for her sins. Then she meets Peter who turns her way of thinking upside down.....My problem is I figured out the main plot "twist" before it happened. But over all a good read, with an interesting plot.
jcmontgomery on LibraryThing 22 days ago
It¿s been a long time since I¿ve read a book in one sitting. ONE. As in I didn¿t realized I had, until I finished and looked up to find my cats very grumpy from lack of attention. Maybe I should change my rating system from stars to a ¿grumpy kitty meter¿. If I did, The Declaration gets 5 out 5 Shredded Shoes.The premise for this dystopian novel derives from the author wondering what a society would be like if humans could live forever. However there remains the issue of population control.In the year 2140, this is managed by the Declaration, an oath taken by those wanting immortality:"Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth. Sign the Declaration, agree not to have children, and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For the children born outside the law, it only gets worse ¿ Surplus status." ¿ From the back coverThe story is told from the point of view of Surplus Anna: a young, indoctrinated, yet authentic voice. The realization of what is really going on in the world would not have the dramatic impact it does, if the main narrator were anyone else.". . . captured when she was young and brought up in a Surplus Hall, a place where she is taught to hate herself and her parents; to be told again and again that she owes a debt to society, to Mother Nature, whose generosity she has abused by her very existence." ¿ Description of Anna by the authorTo help her enlightenment is Peter. Another Surplus, but not like any Anna has known before. He¿s spent most of his life on the ¿outside¿. What unnerves her most is that he knows things about her that he shouldn¿t. Luckily, seeds of doubt have already been planted in Anna¿s mind, so it isn¿t too hard to accept her sudden decision to turn her back on the only life she¿s ever known.The author states that ¿The Declaration is, I hope, a story that will challenge its readers, that will stay with them, that will make them think about the freedoms and privileges we take for granted and about the price paid for these. But, ultimately, The Declaration is Anna¿s Story.This story does stay with you. Makes you wonder how many of us are willing to accept our true role on this planet, and whether or not it should be an infinite one. What price would any of us pay in order to have a longer life? Would we accept a Fountain of Youth if what we had to sacrifice, is youth itself?Another highly recommended read. I can¿t wait to get my hands on The Resistance and The Legacy.
SMG-MMorrison on LibraryThing 22 days ago
when i read this book i was intranced by how it made me feel like i was almost in the story it was verry gripping and i found myself not letting it go its about a girl who lives in this hall that takes little kids who "were not meant to be born"!
veronica17 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
In a future where nobody dies and having children is illegal, Anna lives in a "surplus" hall; basically a prison where illegal "surplus" children live. Life is miserable but Anna likes it that way - until Peter shows up. Peter, the new kid, fills her head with the idea that Anna's parents are searching for her, but she doesn't believe it. When she finally does believe him, the two teenagers devise a plan to escape from the surplus hall. When they do, a ruthless search party is sent after them, but Peter and Anna eventually find Anna's parents, and all seems well. But the catchers find them, and Anna's parents sacrifice their lives to save them. At the end, Anna learns that no form of government should be able to restrict the human spirit, no matter where or how they were born. This book turned out pretty good, but I have to admit that I became bored in some chapters, but this is still a great read. (320/320)
mrsderaps on LibraryThing 22 days ago
If you could live forever, would you? And, if most people said yes, how would the world deal with the competition for valuable natural resources and energy?This is the premise for Gemma Malley's The Declaration. Under the Declaration, people who chose to opt-into the Declaration do not have the right to reproduce. If they do, their children are called Surplus. These surplus children are taken from their parents in raised in institutions, where they are beaten, near-starved, and convinced that they are virtually worthless. Their only hope is to learn to be Useful and to serve the Legals.This is the basic life story for the main character, Surplus Anna. She was discovered when she was just two years old, and has been told that her parents were greedy law-breakers. Raised in the Grange under the watchful, cruel eye of Mrs. Pincent, she has learned to be meek and to not question her life's lot. She believes this to be true and her only concern is to find a way to become Useful and to find a good placement where she can wait out her life in complete servitude.That is, until an older boy named Peter shows up at the Grange. He is much older than the average new Surplus, and is filled with revolutionary ideas and is wild by Surplus standards. Peter challenges everything that Anna has believed for her entire life. When he starts calling her "Anna Covey" and talks about her parents and says that he knows who she really is, he puts her world into a tailspin.Though she resists Peter's information and knowledge, she cannot help but be intrigued. Is there more to life than being a servant? Does life have value, even if one is born a Surplus?I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've actually had it for a long time, but had never read it. I found it on my free reading shelves in my classroom, and vowed to read it for a Dystopian challenge. Normally, I read all of the books on the shelves that I make available for my students, but this tricky title slipped in without my knowledge.I am so glad that I read this book. I really and truly stopped to think about what our world would be like if there was an option to take Longevity drugs. What I imagined is not pretty. I think that many countries would use this as a way to reward the rich and eliminate the poor. I'd worry about several of the minority populations on our planet. How would they survive and persist if there were expensive drugs that only a small population of people had access to? I could go on and on. This is a great book for conversation and would be perfect as a whole-class read or as a book club selection.
lauren97224 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
This book takes place in the year 2041. People have made a drug, Longevity, which makes it so that you can live forever. You must first sing the Declaration, which states in return for Longevity, you will not have children. Anna is Surplus, an illigal child, living in a Surplus Home. She has been taught that she, like all Surplus's, are worthless, and have to right to live, and that they must pay back their debt by serving. She doesn't question this until a new boy comes to the Surplus Home. The boy, Peter, says he knows Anna's parents, and has totally different views than what the Surplus Home teaches. He belives that Longevity is wrong and totally believes people should have children. Anna is annoyed, but soon begins to think that what Peter is saying may be true. So Peter and Anna escape, but they are still Surplus, and they have people after them, desperately searching for them. How will they survive?If you liked Unwind by Neal Shusterman than you will definately like this book. I think Unwind was a little better, but not by much. And if you like this book, check out The Resistance, the sequal.
ark76 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
In the year 2140, it is 60 years after the Declaration which required everyone taking Longevity, a drug that stopped aging, illness and death, to stop having children. Only those rare few who "opt out" of the drug could have children, so for the most part, the world is empty of children. Children born illegally to those on the drug are "Surplus", captured, sent to brainwashing centers where they are raised to be useful servants. This story of Surplus Anna begins when she is 14 living in a center, soon to be sent out to work. She has been fully trained to be compliant, believing her parents are criminals, that she should not use any of the worlds resources and doesn't have a right to be alive. A new surplus arrives and everything she believes is challenged and her acceptance of her status and security that provides is suddenly threatened. The Declaration challenges its readers to consider the effect of biotechnology advances and whether a disease free world is worth the consequences. Longevity was created as a cure for cancer and AIDS and ended up making people live too long for the earth's resources. The themes of population control, free will, value of life and death are all themes reminiscent of other young adult fiction: Margaret Peterson Haddix' Shadow Children series and Unwind by Neal Shusterman. My favorite quote from the book is: "I think flowers can be just as important as food, sometimes. I think it depends what you're hungry for".
LarsTheLibrarian on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I honestly would not recommend this as a YA novel. With a little more emphasis on the scarier aspects and the viewpoint not in Anna's head, it may have been suitable as an adult novel. Or with one intense scene toned down slightly, it would have been a fine middle grade novel. In my opinion, if young adults were the intended audience, the childish tone and tendency to talk down would make them throw this book across the room. Anna is supposed to be fifteen going on sixteen, but the voice used to portray her feels more like eleven. I wouldn't mind so much if I honestly thought this was a device to show how stunted her maturity was due to the inhumane conditions.Everything is preachy, we are repeatedly hit over the head with the moral "your parents love you, you belong in the world yay" and are repeatedly told how bad the villains are. Anna has been indoctrinated her entire life, but she overhears one conversation and all of a sudden, OH that woman is evil! Anna was only the heroine because of who her parents are. She is completely passive and we never see why the clear hero, Peter likes her or goes through so much danger for her. I really found her weak character to be the last straw.edit: Just remembered another thing that bothered me...the sci fi premise was very full of plot holes, often mentioned and passed over quickly, as if some editor noticed it so a line was thrown in. If this pill is so powerful you can grow a leg back, as is mentioned early in the book, why doesn't it work on skin? There are a few more giant holes like that.
sharu08 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
In the novel, The Declaration encompasses a girl named surplus anna and she try to be a prefect at everything she is assigned to. In the begnning Surplus Anna was a perfect girl who could do any task. Throughout the middle, she preserves to escape with Peter because she wants to meet her parents. By the end, Surplus Anna realizes she doesnt belong in Grange Halls but belongs outside of Grange Halls.300/300
jessica08 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
In the beginning of The Declaration, Surplus Anna is introduced as a young girl who hates her parents. Her hatred just grows when the owner of her slave-like home tells her they broke the law, therefore putting her there, and they are bad people. In the middle of the story, Anna falls in love with a rebel surplus, Peter, who was actually there to find her and escape with her back to her parents. By the end of the story, Their parents end up killing themselve so that Anna and her baby sibling can live, and Mrs. Pincent, the house owner, kills her exhusband so Peter ends up living too. Peter and Anna end up living together helping the Underground Movement abolish the whole Surplus Movement. (320/320)
callmecayce on LibraryThing 22 days ago
A story about living forever, which oddly we don't have a lot of -- or at least I haven't read much of. It was good, but not special.