Review: The 100 Society by Carla Spradbery

The 100 SocietyPublished: September 4, 2014 by Hodder Children’s
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 317

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…

I have really mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it enough to finish it in a couple of days, but I had a lot of issues with it, too. The beginning of the book was pretty interesting and wonderfully creepy, but after that, it lost a lot of steam. The pacing slowed down quite a bit and I found myself feeling like I didn’t necessarily need to continue on, but I did, and while the pacing does pick back up quite a lot, the book was unfortunately missing a lot of things that I craved from this story.

I wanted a lot more background about The 100 Society, Clifton Academy, Grace’s family and life in general, Grace’s friendship with Daniel, and Grace herself. The supporting characters had their quirks and stood out from each other well enough, but more about them would have been nice, too. What we were given was pretty basic on all counts. I was initially super overwhelmed when all of Grace’s friends were introduced within a couple of pages of one another, as well, haha. I was left reeling, though, when I realized probably three-quarters of the way through the book that I had no idea what Grace looked like. I realize that readers will read a description and still apply their own mental image of what the characters look like, sometimes regardless of the description on the page, but not knowing what Grace looked like made it kind of hard for me to visualize some scenes, even if I put my imagined Grace in the scenes in my head.

I really wanted to know more about The 100 Society, the group’s previous tags, and more about Grace’s brother’s history with the 100 Society. I think that could have been really interesting to help the reader draw some parallels between their involvement, but we weren’t really given enough information to do that.

I also had a hard time believing some of the situations/characters’ reactions in this book, and found it extremely frustrating as a reader that a lot of the drama in the book could have been avoided if someone had just alerted the proper authorities. I get that they could have been expelled, but at a certain point, I think being expelled would be preferable to the alternative… but apparently these characters didn’t think so!

There was also the inclusion of a YA trope that I really hate, and it felt really tacked on in this story, and that was a major disappointment for me. :(

All of my issues aside, though, The 100 Society was a fun read, and though the pacing may not have been the most consistent thing about it, it was still a pretty quick read regardless. I’ll admit there were a few reveals surrounding the mystery that left me very confused and trying to do mental gymnastics to match my guesses with what Grace was thinking, but overall I enjoyed it. So in the end, I guess I had a lot of issues with this book… but still liked it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for the opportunity to read this book!

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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