by Gemma Malley Book : Fiction : Juvenile audience  |  1st U.S. ed
Live Long & Prosper   (2009-09-19)
You’ve probably heard the sayings “all good things must come to an end” and “life is good,” right? Well, obviously life must come to an end. You don’t need sayings to know that. But in this futuristic tale by Gemma Malley, the good life never has to end. Every legal 16-year-old gets to choose. So, what’s the choice? Eternal life or a child. Just sign the Declaration and you’re in – forever.
The problem for 15-year-old Anna is that she’s not legal. She doesn’t get that choice or any other choices because she’s Surplus. All the children who weren’t supposed to be born are Surplus. For Anna that means Grange Hall, a training facility, where she’s being programmed to serve the ‘immortals’ until her short miserable life is over. She’s been beaten, starved and brainwashed to believe that her parents were selfish to have her and that it would take her whole life to atone for their sins.
Then 16-year-old Peter gets dropped off at Grange Hall by the Catchers. But Peter’s no ordinary Surplus. He’s got confidence and spirit and all his attention is focused on Anna. He tells her he knows her parents and that they love her. He says he got caught on purpose so he can help her escape. He’s definitely getting into Anna’s head. Anna’s life depends on her ability to continue her training without distraction but it’s getting harder and harder for her to maintain her focus. What if Peter’s telling the truth? How long can she suppress her hidden hopes and dreams for a real life outside of Grange Hall? Is this a trick? Is it a test to see if she’s ready to advance in her training? Or could everything she believes in be one huge pack of lies?
The Declaration is a thought-provoking read and the way things are going now it may not be too far off from tomorrow’s truth.
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