I’m all over the place with this book! It’s a solid debut and well-written, and the plot itself is right up my alley. I’m a real sucker for dystopian fiction and will always jump on anything that is slightly “future world but end of the worldesque”. I just didn’t really connect to Suicide Club. I finished it because I wanted to see what happened in the end, but if I’m completely honest I wasn’t all that bothered.
The book takes place in a future NYC where people are divided into “Lifers” (those whose number at birth allows them to take advantage of different advanced technologies and treatments to live way beyond a hundred years while remaining young) and “sub 100’s” (those who will live their lives as we do today). Everything revolves around the Lifers, and sub 100’s are relegated to areas outside cities, and the populations don’t really mix. It’s basically segregation of the immortal and the mortal, rich and poor, those who “value life” and those who prefer to live life.
Suicide Club’s main characters, Lea and Anja, are both Lifers, but disenchanted with their lives. Or they seem to be. I don’t know, I couldn’t connect to either of them, their minds narrowed by a life of routine and privilege, a privilege that is easily ripped away if you stray outside the lines. The only character I actually really liked was Kaito, Lea’s father. Everyone else was a bit bland and boring. Maybe it was Rachel Heng’s style, maybe on purpose, I’m not sure.
Suicide Club is not a bad book at all, and I’m sure others will love it. I’m glad I read it, but it won’t leave me with a lasting impression. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy!
(I love the cover of the novel, combined with the plot description it would an immediate buy for me in a book store).