Kathy H. reminisces about being raised at the exclusive boarding school, Hailsham, where she was given the best education, made lifelong friends, and was able to learn to express herself creatively. And yet, even as a child, she knew only "donations" await her. Over the years, as she grows up and moves on, she begins to figure out exactly what that means.
There is much explicit description of rampant sexuality among young people, including sexual experiences and scenes, as well as a teenage girl's research on sex and strong sexual desires. Be warned that the following list is very explicit as well.
A teenage girl explains that she can't "have babies." This pleases other teenagers who are said to want to have sex without worry about babies.
A teenage boy smiles at a teenage girl in an innocently friendly way that embarrasses her.
Teenage boys flirt with teenage girls.
Little girls pretend that a woman teacher is going to be kidnapped by a group of boys.
A woman on a casette tape has an off-the-shoulder dress and is said to look "a little sexy."
Teachers give students lectures about sex. Students get excited and worried about sex. In the lecture, the teacher is said to have used a skelton to demonstrate sexual positions. The teacher mentions being careful about diseases that come with sexual relations. She says that sex affects the emotions and people will fight and kill over who has sex with whom. She says to not be ashamed of the body and to respect the physical needs. That sex is beautiful if both parties want it. The teacher states that the only different why sex is different in the real world is that others produce babies.
Students joke about sex.
Students talk about places to have sex and places not to. If they decided to have sex in a field, other students would pass around binoculars to watch them.
Teens at lunch are caught having sex on a desk.
Teens cannot decide whether their guardians want them to have sex or not. They think that their internal organs need to have sex to flourish.
Teens walk around with their arms around each other and cuddle.
Homosexual sex is called "umbrella sex." Boys are said to have done things of this sort with each other when they were younger.
Teens are said to "snog" each other and "touch each other up."
Teens roll their eyes about someone being a "virgin."
A teen thinks an adult teacher wanted to have sex with them. They tease a teenage girl about having sex with a man teacher.
A teenage boy hints about wanting sex.
Teenagers lie and boast about sex.
Teenage girls wonder if sex will be painful and want to be "wet enough" for it. A teenage girl reads about sex in books and mentions "getting wet" on her own. She watches videos with sex and watches for information, wishing she could rewind the sexual scenes.
Teen girls think another teenage girl is a natural successor in a broken relationship.
Teenagers are said to put arms around each other and "snog" in a corner.
Couples part with "big embraces."
A boy teen is mentioned as wanting a teenage girl to spend the night in his room.
Teenagers are said to have sex in freezing rooms under a mountain of bedding.
A teenage girl is said to have had a few "one-nighters" with teenage boys. She gives up any plans to have a steady boyfriend for these "one-nighters."
Hormones and sex drive are said to "come on" with making out.
A teen girl is said to have a powerful sex drive and to have times when she "can't help herself" but must have sexual relations.
A teen boy is said to have liked pornography magazines.
A man is said to be "religious against sex." Teens make fun of him for this.
Teenagers look at pornography "for kicks" and it is said that this "works" for girls.
Women in a pornography magazine are said to pose with their legs open and bottom out. A teenage girl asks a teenage boy to join her in looking at them.
A young man and woman are said to "go at" sex with "all stops out and in different positions. A woman is said to put her knees up. They even mention doing it "twice in a row." This young man and young woman start having sex to make it "a natural part of their relationship."
A young woman slides a hand under a young man's shirt and then "touches his stuff," getting him "hard."
A young woman says that, as a teenager, even with a boyfriend, she "couldn't resist" having sex with three other guys at a time.
A young woman says she and her friend were cloned from junkies and prostitutes.
A young man hugs a young woman and kisses another young woman on the cheeks.
A young man and woman try to prove they are in love so they can get three years to be with each other before being "carers" for other donors.
A girl is said to have "done sex" on a young man with her hands.
A teenage girl affectionately bumps her shoulder bag into a teenage boy.
A teenage girl gives a teenage boy a little squeeze and kiss.
A teenage boy squeezes a teen girl's shoulder and stands until they are almost touching.
A teen girl tells a boy about her strong sexual urges. A teenage boy empathizes.
A young woman is walked in on while she is wrapped in a towel. (No sexual intent.)
Teenage girls laugh at how a teenage boy had sex.
A teen girl calls a teen boy "sweetiegums."
Teens are said to have a "coy manner" after some sex.
Teenagers have a relationship just for sex.
A woman watches a girl dancing with a pillow to her breast and assumes she is pretending to have a lover in her arms. (She is not.)
A young woman lays next to a young man on abed and prods his knees with her toe. He puts his head on her shoulder.
A young man and young woman give each other a small kiss.
A man and woman put their arms around each other.
There is constant mention of a young man and woman, who are not married, having sex with each other.
A boy, in the midst of a tantrum, accidentally hits a girl on the side of her face. She is not hurt and he apologizes later.
A donor, after a third donation, is said to not make it.
A donor has pain after operations.
Children joke about committing suicide by running into electric fences.
Children, who are scared by the wind in a forest, punish another girl by hauling her out of bed, holding her face up to the window, twist her arms, and force open her eyelids. The girl is said to sob and have a night of terror.
There is a rumor that a boy went into the forest and was found dead with his hands and feet chopped off.
There is a rumor about a girl not being let back into the school grounds and dying out in the forest
A teacher says that sex affects the emotions and people will fight and kill over who has sex with whom.
A boy gets a gash on his elbow. The wound is described. Students tease him his elbow will unzip like a bag, the bone will show, and the skin will flap around. Students then talk about donating organs being like unzipping a body and letting a kidney "just fall out."
Teens make vomit noises about another teenage relationship.
A young man's bleeding after a surgery keeps him homebound.
A young woman dies after a second organ donation. She is in lots of pain and is not fully conscious.
A young woman dying lays on a table trying to cling to life.
A man doesn't want to be terribly sick after a fourth donation in front of a woman.
A young man is worried about being conscious and not dead as they donate the rest of his body.
A donor doesn't survive and dies suddenly.
A young woman is said to have had a hard operation.
A girl thinks a boy looks like a "dog doing a pee" when he raises his foot in the air. (He is having a temper tantrum.)
Boys tease another boy by cleaning the toilet with his toothbrush. There is said to be "sh--" all over it.
A boy is said to swear.
"Idiot" is used six times.
"Stupid" is used twice.
A teen girl teases a teen boy about mud on the back of his shirt, calling it "poop."
G-- knows" is used twice.
"God help us" is used three times without any reference to actually calling on God's Name.
God's Name is used in vain five times.
A young man is said to "go for a pee."
A young man is said to curse.
Christian Principles: None
The premise of the book is raising clone children in a privileged boarding school because a few people believe they are still human beings even though they will only donate their organs later and die young. The ethics of using human clones entirely as organ donors are only slightly touched upon at the very end, but it leaves the reader with a vague feeling that it is heartless. However, the clones themselves seem to be unusually fine with their lot, even though they don't understand fully what it means to donate and have no hope of ever getting a real life.
Almost all of the book centers around the boarding school itself and the almost idealistic way the children were educated and grew up. However, none of these children were taught anything about a God who they would have to answer to for their sins. Only once the main character asks a teenage boy if he has "found God" because his mood changed. Except for that, there is no reference to morality whatsoever. A boy is teased mercilessly for a large part of his childhood. Sexuality is rampant and has no morality attached to it. A teacher mentions being careful about diseases that come with sexual relations. She says that sex affects the emotions and people will fight and kill over who has sex with whom. But she does almost nothing to stop the teenagers from having sex multiple times with multiple partners. Whole chapters in the book are devoted to the teenagers' sexual practices, discussing it matter-of-factly, as if they were discussing their eating habits. Not only do the characters never even say, "I love you," but there is not a single bit of committment to each other, no talk of marriage whatsoever, and sex is viewed as a necessary toy. The main character mentions sexual details that are inappropriate and shocking, including casually stating that the boys tended to sexually experiment on each other. Their teacher even states that the only reason why sex matters more to people in the real world is that others produce babies whereas the clones do not. This attitude toward sex and relationships goes clearly against God's Word.
Cigarette smoking seen as bad, but a young woman states that she thinks they were cloned from prostitutes and junkies. Donors are also given drugs to ease their pain.