Anna Covey is a 'surplus'. She should not have been born. In a society in which aging is no longer feared, and death is no longer an inevitability, children are an abomination. Like all surpluses, Anna is living in Grange Hall and learning how to make amends for the selfish act her parents committed in having her. She is quietly accepting of her fate until, one day, a new inmate arrives. Anna's life is thrown into chaos. But is she brave enough to believe this mysterious boy? This is a tense and utterly compelling story about a society behind a wall, and the way in which two young people take the chance of breaking free.
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Amazon Significant Seven, October 2007: I've seen a wave of new young adult novels come across my desk this fall, and among them Gemma Malley's The Declaration has captivated me the most. We meet Malley's heroine, Anna, in a society that's unraveling. One hundred or so years earlier, "Longevity," a new drug granting immortality, took the world by storm, only to lead to an untenable swell in population. Anyone who wants to live forever in this brave new world must agree by law not to have children (thus the eponymous declaration) ... or else. Anna is a "Surplus," a fallout of this decree who ekes out a stark existence (in a neo -Dickensian outpost known as Grange Hall) with the hope of becoming a Valuable Asset to the adults immortal. However, with the arrival of a new Surplus, Peter, who's lived on the Outside his whole life, she discovers a path to the life she might have lived. A world in which children struggle against the adults in charge isn't a new concept, but Malley gives it a provocative twist in a debut that echoes Margaret Atwood, Aldous Huxley, and--most recently--Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go as it explores what happens when you tangle with reproductive power. --Anne Bartholomew
Gemma Malley studied Philosophy at Reading University before working as a journalist. She edited several business magazines and contributed regularly to Company Magazine and the Sunday Telegraph before moving into the civil service in a senior communications role at Ofsted. The Declaration is her first novel for a teenager audience and she is already working on the sequel. She lives in South London with her husband and baby son.
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