In a world of falling birth rates people aim to live as long as possible - they go for regular check-ups to ensure their Nutripack diets, low-impact exercise and stress levels aren’t having a negative impact on their health. After all, the Government are reportedly rolling out Third Wave Immortality any day now and who will be healthy enough to be chosen for it? Lea thinks she is the perfect candidate, until her past catches up with her and she falls into the dark world of The Suicide Club.
In many ways, Suicide Club falls into a lot of clichés in the dystopian Sci-Fi genre. Lea starts out to be the model-citizen in the bizarre future world but when she starts to see the world through different eyes she realises that everything is not as perfect as it appears. The one difference in this book as opposed to many others like it is that this is not an action packed, world ending conclusion – just something that impacts the main characters.
The concept of living forever, and how far we go to live a healthy life in detriment to enjoying it and living it to its fullest is a great premise. It’s also a world that is not so far away from our own society with devices like Fitbits, healthy eating fads and apps to tell you to drink more water or when to stretch already a reality. Although I quite enjoyed the book, I agree with other reviewers that perhaps there was a bit of a missed opportunity for more of the story to be developed. I also found myself wanting to find out more about the world itself – for example, the algorithm to determine how long someone has to live at birth was referenced a lot but I didn’t really understand how it was calculated, the Third Wave was also mentioned a lot with perhaps more sinister undertones but nothing more was explored, even Lea’s work for the HealthTech company sounded interesting but wasn’t really fully explained. Perhaps this is because Suicide Club at its heart is a story focused on its two main characters and about family, death and letting go rather than changing a regime or saving the world.
The book changes perspectives between Lea and Anja, the main characters and also explores flash-backs from their history as well. I enjoyed the changes in narrative and didn’t find any of it particularly confusing. However Lea’s violent tendencies which are explored in the flash-backs, seem to be at odds with her character in the present. You perhaps don’t get introduced to the life-loving first version of Lea for long enough before the first incident occurs to realise this.
Overall I enjoyed Suicide Club although I felt there was definitely scope to increase the story in places. The world was very interesting and it left me with a lot of unanswered questions, wanting to find out more. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the opportunity to read Suicide Club in exchange for an honest review.