"This shit is going to be a TV show?" was the first thing I thought of when I turned the last page of this book.
I was initially interested in 100 by Kass Morgan when I found out it was going to be adapted into a TV show on CW channel (I think. I may have got this wrong, so please correct me if I got it mixed up!). As I have mentioned over and over again in my reviews, Dystopia and Post-Apocalyptic remain as my favourite genres ever, so it's a no-brainer that I really wanted to get this book as soon as it was out. Conspiracies! Suspense! Thrills! I was expecting these all!
Like many others before 100 by Kass Morgan...
It left me disappointed...
It started with a bang. We're introduced to Clarke, imprisoned somewhere in a space settlement, for allegedly doing a heinous crime, a crime which was also related to her parents'. We're informed that in this world, as soon as a prisoner turns 18, he is granted a trial and can either go free or be put to death. Fortunately, Clarke has been chosen as one of the hundred teenage prisoners to be sent to Earth, their previous they left three hundred years ago due to the Cataclysm, an nuclear-something-radiation-something event that crippled their planet. They are to be sent there to find out if the world is still liveable, and if they survive, they will be pardoned of their felonies. Sounds exciting, right? Yup, I was ecstatic myself. The general plot sounded like something that could attract A LOT of twists and conspiracies!
And then the romance came...
Which pretty much ruined this book for me.
What would you feel if you were stuck in a planet, all by yourself and 99 other strangers (okay, make that 97 because OF COURSE there has to be a love interest and that mandatory best friend), a planet, which, may I remind you, has been labeled toxic due to the immense radiation in the past? You'd think about survival... right? You'd at least TRY to set aside your feelings and think about how you could live for another day, right? Right. Of course. Any rational being would. Unfortunately, Clarke and the rest of the three characters, which all have their own chapters, by the way (holy shit, four POVs?!), think otherwise. What could have been a really good sci-fi, action, post-apocalyptic dystopia turned into one mushy drama-rama, like those telenovelas from Latin America that my parents used to watch. That means a lot of conflicted feewings, jealousies, love rages, etc. etc. It made me RAGE.
Imagine this: you just crashed into Earth with the other delinquents. You're a boy and you weren't supposed to be in this operation, but you risked your life in order to "protect" the girl you supposedly "love" but hates you because you betrayed her in the past. A lot of people have been killed on impact, a lot are injured, and a lot are dying. But you focus on that one speshul girl and end the chapter with, "I'll make her fall in love with me."
If you're that kind of person, come here and let me punch you please. Many times.
I felt rage each and every chapter as soon as they got to Earth. Sure, there were some fighting over food, over equipment, over medicine, but those were in passing and in the larger scheme of things, were put aside for the romance aspect. The unnecessary, annoying part took a large percentage of the book that it drove me bat-shit insane. See, look here. If I wanted drama, I have other avenues for that (like my life, for instance) and I didn't sign up for it especially when the synopsis is all about Danger! Conspiracies! Survival! It was a constant questioning of WHO KISSED WHO, THEY KISSED WHERE, WHO IMPREGNATED WHO, WHO WAS SEEN EMBRACING WHO, and I'm like... fuck you, boo. Fuck you very much.
Here's a very memorable quote that would make you want to punch a brick wall:
Clarke rose with a groan, her muscles stiff from their hike yesterday. But it was a good kind of pain; she'd walked through a forest that hadn't been seen by a single human being for 300 years. Her stomach squirmed as she thought about another distinction she'd inadvertently earned — the first girl to kiss a boy on Earth since the Cataclysm.
Awesome priorities, by the way. /sarcasm
And because the romance aspect was the number one priority, nothing really happened on Earth in this book. Yeah, like I said, there were some fighting here and there, but generally, all of it were just idle stuff. And when exciting events started to happen, BOOM! CLIFFHANGER! GOTTA BUY THE NEXT BOOK GAIS.
The writing was also very juvenile. I did not like it at all. I found no depth in it, and was very telling than showing. There were four narrators (Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, and Glass) and chapters rotated among them, each one having a present and a past thing, which made the flow of the story absolutely terrible and wonky. I kid you not that it gave me a migraine (I had to skip the last eighty percent because it was at that point that I GAVE ZERO FUCKS ANYMORE), and a lot of the past stuff were nonsensical gibberish that could have been omitted. Because of that, the characters lacked personalities as well. The characters were complete simpletons. Girl offends guy she kissed, he storms away, and she cries about it — all in 2 pages. Next chapter. Guy gets all moody, and both are acting like they had a nasty, drawn-out confrontation when it fucking barely lasted half a page.
Aside from that, they were just flat, annoying, and stupid. Clarke was annoying. She's this holier-than-thou character, making herself the kindest of the group when I found her very self-righteous. Wells, on the other hand, is this dude who threw away everything (EVERYTHIIIING) to follow Clarke. He's borderline, Edward-creepy with his quest to make Clarke fall in love with him again (yes, of course! Because that is SO obviously important!) Of course, like any other typical YA, here comes Bellamy, the survivalist angry/cocky loner whose role also includes the-mandatory-love-triangle! There's also Glass, another girl who managed to escape and get back to their space/moon settlement (how they got there we have no idea), who I found extremely superficial and shallow. Here she is, just escaped from a fate supposedly worse than death, and the first person she goes to is of course... her ex. Who she found is with another girl. DUN DUN DUN DUUUUUN... DRAMA ERRBODY!
Anyway, fuck them.
I see reviews where they are praising the world-building, and I'm left scratching my head because I'm wondering if we even read the same books. World-building? What world-building? Unless you count that single sentence explaining there was a sort of nuclear-ish war 300 years ago and a paragraph of the shady judicial system as world-building, then yeah, okay, fine, but I'd have to disagree. How they even got to space and built their orbiting settlement were never even explained in depth (in fact, I'd wager it was never mentioned at all. YES, GREAT WORLD-BUILDING), making everything just one big blur.
All in all, I hated this book a lot. I read this while I was on a flight back home and I totally regretted it. I could have made my flight memorable if only I chose something better. I mean, I was disappointed in a lot of dystopia/post-apocalyptic books... what would make this any different? Should've known better. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. If interested, I really think you're better off watching the show. It may be better than this crap and would probably explain the countless plotholes the novel has. I would imagine some things would be changed.
Final Verdict: NOT IMPRESSED.