Book Review – The 100 & Day 21

Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi

The 100 by Kass Morgan ISBN 978-0-316-23449-8 $10.00US/$11.00CA
Day 21 by Kass Morgan ISBN 978-0-316-23455-9 $18.00US/$20.00CA

I have a guilty confession. I read YA books because I find them easier to read than the regular fiction. I read them when I need something I can complete quickly, easily, and don’t have to think too hard while I’m enjoying the experience. Another, slightly less, guilty confession. I ended up reading both of these books on the same day. All 634 pages of them. I just couldn’t stop myself, I really enjoyed them.

My budget for entertainment reading is pretty low so I went and read reviews on the series before purchasing them on Amazon with a gift card I had received from my employers over Christmas. Allot of the complaints about the books revolved around how the author chooses to write the story from the perspective of 4 different people. 2 girls and 2 boys. I actually really enjoyed this aspect of the book. It gave me the ability to see what life was like from several different perspectives. The author switches from one person to another fairly quickly which I also liked. It didn’t give me enough time to become bored with the one character’s point of view before switching to another and then back again.

Every one starts out on the space station, where humanity has lived for the last several hundred years. Their ancestors were forced into going when Earth’s nations had a war that poisoned the Earth with radiation. The station starts to run out of resources so decides that they will send 100 of their throw away people as guinea pigs to Earth to see if the radiation levels are safe. These happen to be teenage delinquents. What about the imprisoned adults? Well, since those that were imprisoned were wastes of resources they were killed. Then released into space. The underage delinquents were supposed to be re-evaluated and then either pardoned or executed depending on the severity of their crime. Of late though, all were being executed because of the lack of resources. The story starts when the 100 are being sent down to Earth and flashbacks are sprinkled throughout.

The 2 boys are Wells and Bellamy. Wells grew up as the leader’s son and led a somewhat charmed lifestyle. Bellamy grew up in the “slums”. The two girls, Clarke and Glass, were born in the stations “upper class” and both led the same somewhat charmed life as Wells. Glass manages to stay on the station. If I were to tell you anymore I risk giving away too much! You’ll just have to read the books and find out what happens yourself :).

One of my favorite parts of the books was just a paragraph or so long in the second book. Two of the characters are comparing the history they learned regarding the ancestors going to the station. Each has a very different version of what actually happened. If this was real life what really happened would most likely be something in the middle but it reminded me that history is written by the winners. Sometimes it isn’t what actually happened and each of us are responsible for seeking knowledge instead of just swallowing what others want us to know.

The television series based off the books is very different than the books. I think allot of this is just because it’s hard to interpret print media into visual media. Some of the other stuff that they changed is because it makes for a more exciting show. Several of the characters from the books aren’t in the show and one of my favorite characters in the show isn’t in the books at all. At least so far.

It’s a very exciting book series and I recommend reading it as some point. There are several swear words but as swear words go they aren’t all that bad. There is violence and the books do contain descriptions of death and severe illness that might make younger, less mature readers squeamish. It does let the reader know that several characters have intercourse, though no description of the act is ever mentioned. Over all I feel these books weren’t a waste of time and very fun to read.