The 100 Society by Carla Spradbery
Publication Date: September 4, 2014
Published: Hodder Children's Books
For sixth-form student Grace Becker, The 100 Society is more than just a game; it's an obsession. Having convinced her five friends at Clifton Academy to see it through to the end, Grace will stop at nothing to carry out the rules of the game: tagging 100 locations around the city. With each step closer to the 100-mark they get, the higher the stakes become. But when the group catches the attention of a menacing stalker - the Reaper - he seems intent on exposing their illegal game, tormenting Grace with anonymous threats and branding their dormitory doors with his ominous tag.
As the once tight-knit group slowly unravels, torn apart by doubt and the death of a student, they no longer know who to trust.
With time running out, Grace must unmask the Reaper before he destroys everything she cares about for ever...
Thanks to Netgalley and Hachette Books for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
For weeks there was talk of this book floating around the blogosphere - my blog included, as my co-reader received The 100 Society before I did. I was over-the-moon-excited for a new YA thriller. What I was expecting was something different than the contemporary teenage melodrama to cleanse my reading palate. However, I found myself sorely disappointed.
While written well enough, The 100 Society lacked detail and depth. For instance, the protagonist, Grace, I know nothing about her life other than the fact that she has a severe case of "woe is me" syndrome. Her father doesn't love her. Jack doesn't love her. She'll never be good enough. Great, but *why*? What makes - other than the lack of phone calls - her feel this way? I don't even know what Grace looks like! It's the same with the others, too. Trick, Pete, Ed, Cassie, Faith, Daniel, we meet these characters and are expected to feel something for them, yet, know nothing beyond surface facts, that help push the plot along.
Scare factor: I expected to feel, at the very least, some chill. The cover alludes to freight. What I found was that at 20%, 40%, 65%, I still felt nothing but annoyance, even though I had already figured out this whodunit by the not-so discreetly dropped warnings and hints. I attribute this in part to having no connection to the characters.
There is very little that sets The 100 Society apart from the usual YA love story. A triangle and a stalker, that seems to be all you need these days to produce something worth reading.
I badly wanted to love this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't for me. That isn't to say it was terrible. If you're looking for a book that you can put very little thought behind, with lots of drama and a HEA, then you'll definitely want to pick this up. My problem was that I had high expectations, therefore, dissected the story, as I often do.