Anna lives in Grange Hall, the one refuge place for people like her, people who shouldn't exist. She has lived there since she can remember and there she learns how to be useful. How to payback what she owes to the world for using up valuable resources just by living. But then a strange boy named Peter arrives, a boy who has lived outside Grange Hall all his life, and she starts to question things. Like, should she really be sorry for living?
What I liked?
Anna. Anna's progression through the book is very interesting. She changes quite a bit through out but she never looses her tough, stubborn edge. She can be a bit of a bitch sometimes but she has been given the worst out of life and is just trying to get by as best she can, living by the rules and expectancies of Grange Hall. When you read her diary it's really interesting to see initially how much she loathes her existence.
Grange Hall. Ok no I didn't like The Hall but y'know, I... liked The Hall? I liked how well thought out the hall was. It was well constructed by Malley so you could easily picture it in your minds eye and imagine the suffering that goes on in there for the children's 'own good'
The characters. Even though this is written as a young teen's book there are a lot of multi-layered characters and you get to experience what they are experiencing through the way the book is written.
The writing and world building. Like I said before for a teen's book this is a very detailed book. You learn these quirky little things about the building or the people in it and you get told stuff that later you find out is wrong. It makes you really feel like the whole book is just full of character and history and that this may actually happen because I believe people would go crazy and turn on their belief's if they could have a chance not to die.
This book felt like almost a kid's version of Never Let Me Go. It had the same boarding school feel with a sinister edge. And while there is a difference between the two schools, one planning to have you killed for the grater good and one planning to raise you for a life of servitude and only have you killed if you can't do it, they are still quite similar stories. Although, I feel it will become a lot more about the world and less about the school itself in the other books written in this series.
If you're looking for a series, buy it! If you're only looking for a one shot book I'd skip this.