Sarah's Stars

Gemma Malley. The Declaration
Bloomsbury  $16.95  ISBN 978-0-7475-8775-0  288 pg.
Reviewed by Rachael, Age 14

A pending surplus from the Outside – he’d know what the world was like, he’d be untrained. He’d be…Anna shuddered with anticipation as she began to write. The truth was that she had no idea what he’d be like – dangerous and difficult, probably – but she knew that things would be different when he arrived. How could they fail to be?

Anna is a Surplus. Her parents were sent to jail for their unlawful and selfish deed of having a child. They disobeyed the Declaration, and thus, got life imprisonment, and lost care of their daughter. This is where Anna’s story begins. After living at Grange Hall for the majority of her life, Anna has come to know her place in the world: one step below animal. She must never accept a gift from the Legals, must never talk down to, or disobey the Legals, must walk with her eyes on the floor at all times, and must never, under any circumstances leave Grange Hall. Anna knows her place, knows that her parents were horrible, selfish people who deserved to die, until one day Peter arrives. Peter is a new Surplus who has been living on the outside for over 10 years. Does he have the power to change Anna’s perception of the world? Of her parents? Of life as a Surplus?

Gemma Malley did an amazing job writing The Declaration. She really encompassed not only the hardships of being a teenager, but also shows how technology isn’t always a step forward. In this wonderful novel, I found myself thinking constantly about what it would be like to live in the future, and to see these immense technological advancements, and how they affect the public. This is a great book, which really gets you thinking!

I give The Declaration 4 shimmering stars for an awfully stimulating read!

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