As these two novels by GEMMA MALLEY form a series I thought I'd bring you the two books as one post.
My name is Anna and I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't exist. But I do.
Anna hides her secret diary away each night because she doesn't want to get into trouble for breaking the rules. Life in Grange Hall is governed by rules, rules that have to be obeyed in order to make up for breaking the biggest rule of all. Being born.
But when Peter arrives and starts to tell Anna shocking things about the outside world, she learns to question the rules and, with Peter, struggles to escape the past and find a better future.
...... From the outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: 11 January 2140.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: "Being surplus means you have to limit your impact on the earth." she said. "They don't want us dead. They just don't want us spreading disease, or being too weak to be Useful."
The year is 2140. The battle against ageing has been won and people can now live for ever. But not everyone thinks that eternal life is a good thing and a resistance movement is fighting the drive for eternal youth.
Peter finds himself involved in a struggle not only against the authoritarian government, but also against his own family. A struggle that will test him to his limits and make him question his loyalty to Anna, the girl he loves, and everything he has ever believed in.
..... From the outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: Overhead lightning, bleak and uncompromising, shone down into the small room like a prison guard's searchlight, picking out every speck of dust, every mark on the cheap carpet, every smudged fingerprint on the window sill.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: Longevity did not appear out of nowhere, Peter; it is simply the latest invention in a long line of inventions - antibiotics, vaccinations, X-rays, even sanitation - all of which extend man's life substantially.
For books written with an age range of 12 plus in mind these deal with some quite heavy, scary and complex issues. Topical with their talk of over population, stem cell research and other environmental issues both books are powerful and thought provoking. Well written and with some interesting characters - I especially liked the extremely sinister Mrs Pincent - who all grew and developed wonderfully over the course of the books so that I'm sure young people will identify with them, both The Declaration and, it's sequel, The Resistance had me thinking of what it means to be human.
My only real criticism of the books being the designs on the front covers - The Declaration's cover being quite 'girly' with it's slightly shiny cover and butterfly image and The Resistance's cover being much more 'boyish' with it's spiders web design - which is a shame as I'm sure the stories themselves will appeal to both sexes.
So which, if any, book did I prefer?
It has to be said that I enjoyed The Resistance more. More thrilling and moving at a quicker pace, it was 'darker' and much more disturbing in it's content which, on reflection, along with it's spider cover, may make this more of an appealing read than The Declaration to boys.
Both books I will doubtlessly re- read as I'm sure much is missed in the first reading, I will be surprised if they are not made into a film(s).
The Declaration and The Resistance were purchased from The Book People.