***“I think sometimes you can outstay your welcome.” The YA dystopian genre is almost exploding with books at the moment, but for me Malley’s The Declaration was probably the first I read. I read it when it was first released and I remember still being up at 1am, devouring it page by page until I finished it. Reading it second time around with one of my Goodreads friends, the feelings have pretty much been the same. Set in a world where no one has to die of diseases or old age, surely everybody is happy? Living forever gives you so many possibilities, doesn’t it? No, it doesn’t. In a world where you can live forever, no children are allowed. Energy and food is scarce. Everyday life is monotonous and boring. You still age physically, even if Longevity pills keep you alive. Malley’s world is dark and oppressive, stifling all forms of new life. For illegal Surplus Anna, life is harsh, offering no pleasure. After all, in the eyes of society she shouldn’t even be alive; her only purpose in life is to learn how to serve Legals. I have read reviews complaining about Anna and what an annoying character she is. I have to admit that she is annoying at times, but for me that makes her all the more real. Her thoughts are a result of a lifetime of brainwashing and these ‘Surplus statements’ make her more dynamic as a character, showing the level of control government departments have over all citizens, even ‘legal’ ones. For the most part, this book is written from Anna’s point of view. However, multiple points of view were introduced to great effect in the final part of the book, adding to the suspense already building as the final twists were revealed. The best thing about this book was that the romance which sparked between Peter and Anna wasn’t the main focus. Perhaps more authors writing for this genre should consider this? As with The Returners (which I reviewed earlier this year here) Malley’s premise is frighteningly foreseeable. Everybody hopes to cures for terrible diseases like Cancer or AIDs, obviously a world without the pain of death would be incredible. However, without death there is no life.