This is an exciting novel aimed at Young Adult readers, so if you’re under the age of twelve it’s probably best that you leave it on your ‘to be read’ list for a couple of years’ time. However, if you’re older, it’s time you discovered the literary gem that is The Declaration. This novel is set in a dystopian world, which is disguised as a kind of utopia. In case you didn’t know, utopia is a term that describes an imagined place or community in which everything is ideal or perfect. A dystopia is the opposite; everything that is not desired in a community can be found in a dystopian setting. In this book we are in the year 2140, in Britain, where there is a drug called Longevity which allows it’s takers to live for eternity. Due to the consequent overpopulation thanks to nobody dying and everybody having children, anyone wishing to take Longevity had to sign a Declaration agreeing to never have children. Any children born of those taking Longevity were thenceforth illegal and taken to Surplus camps where they would be taught to be useful to society.
Our protagonist is one of these Surplus children. Her name is Anna and she is fifteen years old. She has been in the Camp since she was two and is one of the best in the camp; she’s even a prefect! She believes everything that the Camp has told her, so she believes that she is a burden on society and that she doesn’t deserve any kindness. However, one day a boy named Peter is captured and brought to the Camp and he changes everything. Peter tells Anna stories about the outside world that don’t fit the world view she’s been taught at the Camp. He also tells her that her parents love her and trusted him to break her out of the Camp. Anna’s belief in the Camp’s teaching is truly ingrained in her consciousness and it is incredibly difficult to persuade her of his truth, but with some eye-opening work experience outside, and a few overhead words in the Camp, Anna is ready to believe Peter’s version of the world.
How will they escape from the Camp and how will Anna find and react to her parents after being taught to hate them all her life? To find all this out you absolutely need to read this book! Perfect for anyone with a yearning for action and adventure, The Declaration will definitely leave you wanting more, but that’s okay because it’s the first book in a fantastic trilogy! This books works so well because it is convincing. Like all renowned dystopian books, you can see the possibility in the situation. You feel like it could really happen. It’s realistic! Therefore it leaves you asking questions of yourself; would I be able to break out of the Camp? Would I want to? I would argue that a book that can make you question yourself, rather than just the characters in the pages, is truly a book worth reading! Enjoy!