It is hard not to be intrigued by a title like Suicide Club!
We follow two viewpoint characters, Anja and Lea, in an alternate US where humans are medically enhanced to live, ultimately forever. The two perspectives show those who are allocated a higher genetic number and allowed access to treatments and medication that will extend their life, and those lower on the scale who live in the poorest housing available and who don’t have the same medical benefits afforded them. It read like an extreme version of the health and fitness obsession that we have in society today, which I found a clever way to make the imagined world Heng created seem only slightly beyond possibility.
This in itself is a fascinating concept, and I think the novel raises many interesting questions about quality versus quantity when it comes to life, including why anyone would want to live forever. It is extremely well written and Heng wrote the two viewpoints so well that as a reader I felt it was a seamless transition between the two – there wasn’t one perspective I didn’t want to hear from, each of the narratives were balanced and well integrated.
However, the pacing of the plot itself I found quite slow and I often felt like the progression was directionless. I’m not necessarily a reader that needs a lot to happen, but I think this could have benefited from some added plot drama, or perhaps being condensced into a shorter timeframe.
I look forward to reading more from Rachel Heng, and I think if you enjoyed books like Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro or Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill you’ll enjoy this.
Thanks to NetGalley and Henry Holt & Company for my ARC in exchange for an honest review. This will be out on 10 July 2018 in the US.