Ryan Choi's Reviews > The Declaration

The Declaration by Gemma Malley
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's review
Dec 15, 2011

it was amazing
Read on December 15, 2011

The Declaration takes place in the future and discusses the possibilities of eternal life and its consequences. Because of resource limitations, people are not allowed to live forever if they choose to have a child; thus it is considered a “crime” in society to have a child and live forever. Anna was born and is a child in this situation, and is taught concepts that are considered false. She has been taken away from her parents and she is taught to hate her parents. All is fine until one day, when a boy named Peter joins her, and tells her that he knows her parents and that all that she has learned is not true.
The book was written through the eyes of a teenager, and this book is recommended for young adult readers. However, I feel that everyone should be recommended this book to read, as the issues raised in this novel relates to everybody. Malley just uses the teenager perspective to appeal to the readers that are slowly becoming mature in order for them to form their own opinions and imagine what their future may be like. As a teenager myself, I feel that The Declaration has truly given me a glimpse of what my future could be like. If I ever have children, I would definitely recommend this book for them, as this is one Dystopia genre book that truly relates to society currently.
There were some plotlines that weren’t explored as much, such as the plot for Ms. Pincent. I felt that there was room for exploration with the perspective of an immortal adult compared to the perspective of a teenager who is considered useless. However, I feel that Malley has done that to lead us, the readers, into delving into the opinions and thoughts of immortal adults ourselves. I just felt that there were opportunities in the novel where characters and the setting could be more developed if Malley had done that.
I was amazed at how well Malley tied issues and implications of research today to create such a world that could be a glimpse of our future. The idea of eternal life is very controversial, and relating it with consequences towards the environment as well as society was beautiful. If you could live forever, how would you make life interesting, knowing that you are able to do anything and everything you want? How would you justify yourself living forever? If you had this choice of being immortal or having a child, which one would you choose? How will immortal adults deal with newborns? How would a society react to immortality? The answers to all these questions are difficult to find, and I think that Malley has found reasonable answers to these questions. One answer might include the non-existent shift in power between political parties and authorities, while another may be the disowning and poor treatment of children; Malley had an answer to every questions that could be raised.
I am interested if the story is over for Anna, because I do hope that Malley continues to explore this world; a lot of change can occur in this world in the near future, and I feel that readers need to see some consequences of our creations as the current world is rapidly changing as well.

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