In the year 2140, it is illegal to be young. Children are all but extinct. The world is a better place. Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth. Sign the Declaration, agree not to have children and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For the children born outside the law, it only gets worse – Surplus status. Not everyone thinks Longevity is a good thing, but you better be clear what side you’re on. . . . Surplus Anna is about to find out what happens when you can’t decide if you should cheat the law or cheat death.
This started out really slow. I actually almost gave up after a few chapters but I pressed on and I’m glad I did. The slow start made way for a faster-paced ending. Not fast, mind you, but definitely faster than it began.
I was kind of annoyed that the book started with a diary entry; It felt like a lazy way to begin a book. You know, instead of showing the reader the world in which they’ve been dropped into, the author pens a diary entry that basically outlines everything that’s happened in the last century. Sort of. But then the diary became a very central part of the story and it made a lot more sense. And I was glad I knew what was written in it. So, at first it was annoying, but then I got it and was OK with it.
So Anna is a teenage girl who has been living in a facility for the majority of her life where is regularly beaten, told she is worthless and brainwashed to believe that she is a waste of resources and the only way to make up for that is to serve those who are “legal”. I found her character very believable. She was naive and immature and uneducated and, of course, she’s going to attach herself to the first person who comes along and is actually kind to her. It makes perfect sense. Do I like it that she falls in love with the first boy that was ever nice to her? Not particularly. But it’s believable. I felt for Anna. I understood her. I even related to her on a few different levels. And I mostly liked her.
Peter was less believable for me. He said things in ways that didn’t sound like a boy would say them. He spoke kind of girly. He was a bit whiny. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but I just didn’t like him very much. Maybe it’s that he didn’t feel very well-rounded. He was a flat character. Many of the characters in this book turned out to be flat. Which is disappointing. I did enjoy the end scene with Mrs Pincent, though. She still felt flat but it was nice to see a bit of layering going on with her, get her background story. And it was a good ending.
I don’t really have too much to say about this book. It was slow but interesting. I loved the idea and the world in which this story was set. But, then, I’m a sucker for dystopians. I loved that it was British; Most books I read are American. I just didn’t love everything about this book. The characters weren’t as well-rounded as they could have been. The plot was predictable. Some things were kind of cliche. But I liked it. I will read the next book in the series.
Sexual Content: None
Violence: Moderate (lots of talk of beatings and violent stuff but I don’t remember if there are any scenes.)