Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

Published by Sceptre, Hachette


In this debut set in near future NYC—where lives last 300 years and the pursuit of immortality is all-consuming—Lea must choose between her estranged father and her chance to live forever.

Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die.

But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.

I really enjoyed this book, despite it not being quite what I expected.

I generally prefer my reads to have sympathetic characters whose motives I can really understand, even if I don’t agree with them. Though this book told its story through the perspectives of two different women, I couldn’t really get a feel for either of them – this would have been an issue for me if there hadn’t been so much more to the story to keep me happy.

To begin with, the opening prologue is a winner. I knew as soon as I’d read it that I was seeing this book through to the end! In a world where technology allows people to live over 100 years, provided they have the right genetic makeup, and is striving towards immortality, some people are choosing to end their own lives.

This book is a very creative and thoughtful exploration of the meaning of life and death, how it affects the people around us and the ethics of it all. It’s presented in dozens of ways, some more significant than others, throughout the narrative and I was fascinated. It was very thought provoking and made me really consider my own values, it’s impossible to judge any of the characters harshly as we have no way of knowing what our choices would be.

The dystopian feeling of this book put me in mind of Logan’s Run, and the writing style of Margaret Atwood. It managed to cover a huge amount of ground in a very compelling way, so I would definitely recommend this book to fans of dystopian fiction, conspiracy theories and philosophy.

I’m curious – given the choice, would you live a regular lifespan of 80years, 150years or 1000?

2 thoughts on “Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

    • Nia says:

      It’s a very gentle ending, I found the questions raised by the middle chunk of the book were more satisfying than the conclusion – but the ending does at least tie up loose ends and gives the main characters some closure.

      Liked by 1 person

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