The 100 Society by Carla Spradbery

the 100 society
317 pages
Expected publication: September 201

 

The 100 Society isn’t a perfect book. It’s not mind blowing, it’s not revolutionary, and it’s not really all that creepy. But somehow, I found myself enjoying this. Once I embraced the campy sort of feel, everything was okay.

The book starts off with Grace and her friends trying to complete a game of sorts. The game is called The 100 Society. The mission is successfully tag 100 locations around the city without getting caught. This might not sound like a big deal, but Grace and her friends are part of Clifton Academy. A boarding school filled with mostly rich kids, where doing things like this is seen as sinfully tempting. If caught, not only are they faced with expulsion, also (maybe, but not really) risk jail time. Tagging, despite how pretty some of the artwork can be is still very much against the law.

The high stakes involved in this game doesn’t deter Grace and her friends, it only makes them more determined to complete these tasks. Grace is especially connected to this, because her older, smarter, and all round awesome brother tried to do this when he was a student in Clifton. He got bored and never finished, but Grace only has four more places to tag before she’s done.

Things do start getting out of hand, when text messages and emails appear telling Grace and her friends that nothing is as it seems and that someone is lying to them. This wouldn’t be so weird, except there’s also a stalker who is breaking into their rooms and attacking them. To top things off, the school’s Headmaster/Principal stated that if he catches another tagging, then there will be consequences.

By the end of the book, not everyone will survive. But till then, who does Grace trust when everyone seems like a suspect?

Like I mentioned before, The 100 Society isn’t a masterpiece. The characters never feel real. I didn’t connect with them and those that I did find someone interesting were hardly shown. There is romance here, but it’s the same kind of romance that you see in a lot of things. Pete loves Grace, but she sees him as only a friend. Grace loves Trick, short for Patrick, a bad boy scholarship student with tons of tattoos. Faith, Grace’s best friend, is in love with Pete.

There’s also Ed and Cassie, but they’re together and not part of this square. Well, there is this one guy named Daniel who loves Cassie, but she sees him as a creep.

In terms of characterizations, no one is really developed. I do think Cassie had potential, but after an attack she’s hardly shown again in the book. Trick does have some depth, but its pretty clichéd. He’s a scholarship student who constantly feels like he has to prove himself that he belongs at Clifton, even though he didn’t pay for it like everyone else. I feel like Grace was trying to be a fully fleshed out character, but nothing really developed in her favour. She kept mentioning how she feels like her dad loves her older brother more than her, even though we never really see this happening. She also feels like she needs to step away from her brother’s shadow, but the only thing that connects her to him is this 100 society thing. She kept saying these things, but as the reader we never really see where she is coming from.

I did want to like Grace though, because I can relate to being under an older siblings shadow. But I kind of wish the book showed us this instead of telling us.

The writing is also a bit of a miss in some scenes. For example, there’s one where Grace and Cassie are talking about a character that died. Cassie says something like, “You don’t think (said character) is….” And Grace thinks to herself that she knows what Cassie is asking. The readers know what Cassie is implying here, but Grace has to spell it out by saying. ‘Cassie was asking if said character was dead.’

I feel like you need to give the reader a bit of credit here and not have to spell everything out. But this sort of thing does happen in the novel.

Despite that, I did enjoy reading The 100 Society. I liked the plot and even though I was right about who the bad guy was, I still wanted to see where Spradbery would take the story. Things were predictable, not only when it came to the plot, but the romance as well. Still, once you stop taking the book so seriously and view it more as campy, you tend to enjoy it more.

Plus, Faith is a bit of a jerk to Grace and it was kind of fun to watch. Since Faith loves Pete, she tends to take her anger at the love being one sided out on Grace and telling her things like, “Pete deserves better.” And things like that. I kept shaking my head and wondering what she was on about. The first introduction we have to Pete is him making puppy dog eyes to Grace as she tells him, “You’re a great friend.”

Then I started to think that maybe Grace knew about Pete’s one sided love, because it was obvious, but she doesn’t. She’ll constantly tell him that he’s a great guy and a good friend, but according to Faith this is leading him on.

She did kiss him, but that was because of certain things……

Anyways….

Overall: if this was a television show I’d probably watch it, which is why I think I liked the book even though it had a lot of things that I don’t normally like. The writing isn’t the best, the characters don’t always feel like they’re really there and are clichéd, the romance is predictable, and Grace is a bit stupid. But I did like the plot and the overall campiness of the story. It’s not the greatest, but it did help pass the time.

 

Novel was provided by netgalley

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