The 100 by Kass Morgan (The Hundred #1)
Little Brown, 2013
A while back, I was judging a speech tournament like I do almost every Saturday in the winters when one of the students from my school was going on and on about this great TV show he'd been binge watching. He was so enthusiastic and the whole time I couldn't help but think This sounds super familiar. And then it hit me - I'd ordered this book for our library years ago! The 100 TV show is based on (more like inspired by) this novel by Kass Morgan, and while the two are wildly different, they both are action packed and kept me on my toes!
So, a recap. The book follows four teens who, like the rest of the survivors of the human race, have spent their entire lives living on a space station. That's how it's been for the past 300 years, ever since war left the planet toxic. Strict rules are in place to ensure survival, and even minor infractions by adults are punishable by death. Minors are imprisoned with the chance at a retrial when they turn 18. But now the space station is dying, and people need to know if it's safe to return to the ground, so 100 juvenile criminals are sent down. While they've each broken different laws, one thing becomes clear on Earth: there is no law here.
At first I was nervous when I saw how many different points of view there were, but I had absolutely no trouble following the story. Clarke, Bellamy, Wells, and Glass all have stories that intertwine, yet are each tackling their own demons, some of whom I was more sympathetic or empathetic to than others. I also felt like the pacing of events on the ground was much faster on Earth than the chapters taking place in space, but that could be because there were more characters there.
People expecting the book and show to be identical will be in for a surprise - other than the basic premise and some character names, these two stories are very different. This was some escapist reading for me, in a way reminding me of The Selection books by Kiera Cass - there's nothing too deep or complicated going on, but the story was engaging so I'll keep up with this series, on the page and on the screen.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!
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