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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for Teens
I have just finished reading this book with my 9 yr old daughter, she chose the book on a trip to Waterstones and I have to say I was somewhat surprised! However, we both thoroughly enjoyed it and I found myself reading pages and pages of it to her, going well beyond her bedtime at times. It is a somewhat dark view of the near future with well written characters and a...
Published on 7 July 2009 by I. Price

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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept
This is a book that is aimed at a young adult readership, but it's one of those gems that can be picked up by an older reader and, because of the interesting concept and style of writing, can be enjoyed by them as well.

I found the central theme really refreshing - there are no vampires or supernatural creatures here, just humans living in a future society...
Published on 6 Oct 2011 by Kate


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept, 6 Oct 2011
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This review is from: The Declaration (Kindle Edition)
This is a book that is aimed at a young adult readership, but it's one of those gems that can be picked up by an older reader and, because of the interesting concept and style of writing, can be enjoyed by them as well.

I found the central theme really refreshing - there are no vampires or supernatural creatures here, just humans living in a future society where immortality is valued above all, and having children a punishable offence. Anna is a Surplus - as in surplus to requirements - who was discovered by the authorities as a toddler and taken away from her parents. She believes that she isn't worthy of hopes or dreams, or a life of her own, and is instead content to lead a life of service without asking too many questions.

Then Peter comes along and changes everything. Soon Anna is left questioning her every belief and her world is turned upside down. A tense adventure follows, with a very dramatic climax - and I'm sure a sequel is soon to follow.

The plot is cleverly written, the characters believeable - especially Anna's - and, although I found the ending rather a little too neat and couldn't work out for the life of me how certain parts of it were planned in advance by certain characters, I enjoyed it.

To anyone who's a fan of Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games series or Richelle Meade's Vampire Academy series, this is a must read.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for Teens, 7 July 2009
By 
I. Price (East Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Declaration (Paperback)
I have just finished reading this book with my 9 yr old daughter, she chose the book on a trip to Waterstones and I have to say I was somewhat surprised! However, we both thoroughly enjoyed it and I found myself reading pages and pages of it to her, going well beyond her bedtime at times. It is a somewhat dark view of the near future with well written characters and a gripping plotline. As a cynical forty-something I was somewhat taken aback to find a tear in my eye in the final chapter, if you have kids of your own and you read it you will understand why....

Well worth a read for young and old (middle aged anyway - no longevity for me!) alike.
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71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 2 Oct 2007
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Declaration (Hardcover)
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.

Five Stars and a Gold Award.

Reviewed by: Natalie Tsang
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best reads in a VERY long time, 24 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Declaration (Kindle Edition)
Surplus Anna is almost 15. She and many other children live in Grange Hall where they are taught to believe that their existence is is a burden to Mother Nature and humanity. It is now 2140 and since 2030 Longevity drugs helped cure all illnesses and made natural death impossible. People are old and don't die, but if the population keeps growing then there will be no space more children. Due to this, having children is against the law and to show that you agree to this law, you have to sign The Declaration.
The children at Grange Hall are brainwashed by their house matron Margaret Pincent to believe that their parents are sinners for signing The Declaration and then having children. They are treated badly and punished, when orders are not done, by being sent to Solitary (the basement of the building), deprived of something (a blanket, hot food etc) or by simply getting beaten.
But when Peter arrives with news about Anna's parents, EVERYTHING changes. Peter urges Anna to escape with him, though she is hesitant at first, she agrees and the two of them escape to Anna's parents. All this while Anna keeps a journal in which she writes all of her thoughts and plans on escaping. But this journal gets into wrong hands and becomes a problem for Peter and Anna.

* * * * *
I give this book five stars out of five because I think that Gemma Malley has done an incredible job of imaging life in the future and creating a story around it. The descriptions are very detailed in a few aspects including the look of Grange Hall - it felt like I was seeing it first hand. What I loved about this book is how it related everything back to the base of the story like a Mind Map. The story was complicated but it fit extremely well almost like puzzle pieces, things that didn't make sense at the beginning, fell into place easily at the end. This book was possibly the best books I have read in a very long time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Declaration, 15 July 2012
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This review is from: The Declaration (Paperback)
I read this a while ago, and it paints a rather negative view of the future, should we find a way to live forever.
Lets face it, a lot of people find the subject of death rather daunting, and so it follows therefore that someone would invent a way to stop it, and this is the main premise of this book.

The way in which the 'Surplus' children are treated in diabolical to say the least and i'd like to think that things would never come to that. The idea behind the story is that if you choose not to have children then you can take the drug that stops you dying, indoing so you have to sign the decleration.
Any parents that do have children whilst taking the longevity drug is arrested and the child locked up with the other surplus children.

Anna, the main character is one of these and at the beginning she believes all the lies she's been told, but her mind starts to change when a new boy turns up and starts telling her some rather frightening truths...

All in all this is a fantastic read which can be rather hauting at times if you seriously consider the consequences of a world where no one dies.
The one message that is sent again and again (in different ways) is that people are not meant to be immortal, things do come to an end and that ultimately life will go on, it sounds very tacky, but really it isn't.
This is a powerful and emotional read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Wants to Live Forever?, 21 July 2009
By 
Quicksilver (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Declaration (Paperback)
The premise of this book is simple. In the near future scientists create a longevity drug.
Nobody dies from natural causes, the population explodes and 'The Declaration' is created to control it - Every citizen who uses the longevity drugs must agree not to further propagate the species. Any new children born are considered 'Surplus'; the unwanted consequences of their parents' selfishness, and wasters of the Earth's valuable resources.

Anna is a model Surplus, subservient and brutally trained for a life of obedience and servitude. In this novel, Dickens meets Orwell; Anna lives at Grange Hall, an orphanage run by a totalitarian state. After she meets Peter, a recently captured 'illegal', Anna discovers that life in the outside world is not quite what she has been told.

The near-future drawn by the author is scarily plausible, and the sections that deal with the drugs, government and manipulation of the population are fascinating. It's a shame there weren't more of them. Most of 'The Declaration' deals with Anna's life at Grange Hill, and is a little run-of-the-mill, dwelling on terrible food, nasty teachers and petty squabbles between the children.

This though, is only a small gripe. Malley's novel remains readable throughout and the ending will knock your socks off. One of the best realised dystopian visions I have read in a long time, 'The Declaration' is well worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING BOOK, 26 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Declaration (Paperback)
I strongly recommend this book. I have read all of the series and when I was reading them I couldn't put the book down. I have already recommended this book to familly and friends and my friend is already on the Resistance (the second book.) It is suitable for all ages. I read it when I was eleven and my Mum has read it too! It is sometimes quite complicated so isn't really suitable for readers below 9. If you do buy this book I bet you will enjoy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASSTICCCCC, 25 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Declaration (Paperback)
AS A TEENAGER I LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS WAS THE MOST AMAZING BOOK I HAVE EVER READ! IF YOU WANT MY ADVICE GO FOR THE HARDCOVER ONE THOUGH, THE COVER IS SO SIMPLE YET COMPELLING! I BORROWED THE FIRST TWO FROM MY FRIEND THEN PROMTLY BOUGHT THE WHOLE SERIES FROM AMAZON WHEN I FINISHED!!! FANTASTIC XX
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing, 31 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Declaration (Paperback)
This book is full of action and suspense. Starting in dull Grange Hall and set in the future, Anna writes her diary about the life of a surplus. The battle against ageing has been won and you might think the world was perfect. But it isn't. I started to read this book one evening, planning to read just a few pages, but when I looked at the clock when I had finished reading, I realised I had been reading for two hours!!! This is an amazing book which will change the way you look at the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Declaration, 20 Sep 2010
By 
Vicki @ Cosy Books - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Declaration (Paperback)
I've wanted to read this series for ages. The premise is brilliant, a not so distant future where the cure to illness, disease and old age has been found and people live forever but children are forbidden. Finally getting around to it in time for the release of the final book of the trilogy, I flew through all three books within a couple of days.

The Declaration is the first book in the series and introduces us to Anna and the world where people live forever thanks to a drug called Longevity. One of the downsides of eternal life is over population. If no one dies then there's no room for anyone else to be born. To solve the problem the Government, or Authorities have created a Declaration making procreation illegal. But there are still children born, children like Anna. The Authorities solution is to deem these children surplus, strip them of any human rights and rip them away from their parents. These children are then housed in a Surplus Hall, beaten, starved and trained to be a Valuable Asset, or in other words, slaves.

I adored every page of this book and read it in one go. The future Gemma Malley creates is shocking. Anna's story, along with the other surpluses is heart breaking; the idea of assigning such labels to children is horrifying. Yet there's also something very believable and familiar about the story. The Surplus Hall, while set 100 years in the future, brought to my mind the workhouses of the past in many ways. Life is hard and children are stripped of anything that makes them human. Mrs Pincent, the cruel house matron, wouldn't be out of place in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. Longevity, the wonder drug that means everyone lives forever, never aging and never getting ill is quite frankly horrifying. Yet again there is something believable about the situation and the problems created by it both on the population and the world's resources. It wasn't at all difficult to imagine life with longevity and that made the story very scary indeed.

Gemma Malley's writing is very readable, I found myself completely caught up and involved in the story. The characters are vivid and well developed. I particularly liked Anna, who is quietly strong and resilient even when she doesn't know it. I was thoroughly behind her throughout the book. Peter intrigued me immediately with his intensity and passion for his cause. My only complaint while reading this book was that we didn't really get much of an insight into the world outside the Surplus Hall and I had a lot of questions relating to the beginnings of Longevity and how it was used. However I started the next book in the series immediately after finishing and all my questions are addressed then. Overall I though The Declaration was a fantastic first book. It's extremely readable, gripping, emotional and thought provoking and is one I will think about for a long time to come.
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The Declaration by Gemma Malley (Hardcover - 3 Sep 2007)
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