The 100: Book 1

Book review by
Karen Wirsing, Common Sense Media
The 100: Book 1 Book Poster Image
Captivating tale about teens sent to recolonize Earth.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids learn about the politics and ethical issues of the death penalty. Readers also are encouraged to protect and care for the beautiful planet on which we live.

Positive Messages

Moderation is key. Kids get a glimpse of the problems that come with too much or too little government involvement. Also, at times, it's good to question authority to discover the truth for yourself. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each of the four main characters displays great loyalty, bravery, and self-sacrifice. However, at times these characters make decisions based on hormonal impulses rather than analytical reasoning.

Violence

One man is shot with a gun, and another boy is shot with a bow and arrow. It's discussed that many people have been executed by the government through lethal injection. A mother, who suffers from mental illness, commits suicide in front of her two children. There are fistfights and an attempted rape. 

Sex

It is revealed that teens engage in consensual sexual relationships, as one teen ends up pregnant. However, these scenes are not described in detail. Passionate kissing takes place among boys and girls. 

Language

Lots of uses of “bulls--t," "sh-t," "bitch," "bastard," and "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Two of the three wings on the spacecraft are occupied by lower-income families known to suffer from alcohol and drug addictions. Also, a secondary character develops a drug addiction to sleeping pills, which were prescribed to her while she was in the hospital. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The 100: Book 1 closely follows four juvenile delinquents and their journey to recolonize Earth after only ever living in space. It's a futuristic dystopian novel that includes some violence. All crimes committed are punishable by death through lethal injection, and it's mentioned that countless people in the colony have already been executed. One character is shot with a gun, and another with a bow and arrow -- their fates are left unknown to the reader. A son finds his mother on the kitchen floor submerged in her own blood after she attempts to commit suicide. Teens engage in consensual sexual relationships, and there's passionate kissing. One of the main characters (a teen girl) becomes pregnant, which is a capital crime due to the strict population-control laws. There's an attempted rape. Drug and alcohol abuse are discussed, and one character battles an addiction to prescription pills. There's also a hefty amount of swearing ("bulls--t," "bitch," "s--t," "bastard," and "a--hole").

User Reviews

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byKattris February 22, 2015

BEST BOOK EVER! (though Day 21 is sort of better for me)

This book is great for older children, preferably, 11/12 and up. There are sexual references, a bit violence, lots of profanity but I LOVED IT! The plot is ver... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCari.advice November 17, 2015

Great Book!

It is a dystopian, futuristic novel with lots of violence. I'm 13 and by now I am used to violence in books and compared to others, this book is quite calm... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE 100: BOOK 1 is a dystopian sci-fi novel and the inspiration for the CW series of the same name. The story takes place 300 years after a nuclear war polluted all of Earth's sources, forcing surviving members of the human race to settle in space aboard a giant spacecraft. Due to the limited supply of natural resources such as oxygen, water, and food, the authoritarian government has implemented extreme measures, making all infractions capital crimes. This severe regulation applies only to adults, whereas minors can be retried at the age of 18. Apprehension that the spacecraft has only a few good years left, the Chancellor decides to send 100 juvenile delinquents on a mission to recolonize Earth. On this journey, the reader gets a close look at the four teens, whose lives are intertwined with love, hate, loyalty, and betrayal.

Is it any good?

The 100: Book 1 is a captivating novel about four teens who set out to survive the most impossible of circumstances. Author Kass Morgan effortlessly weaves the four narrators' tales while cascading between the past and present. Flashbacks don’t always work in novels, but here, scenes flow naturally and keep the reader anxious to learn more about each individual’s personal story. Morgan examines issues that could arise if there were a cataclysmic decline in society while subtly shedding light on contemporary real-life political issues. Also, readers must consider the ethical dilemma of whether to punish another human being by depriving him or her of life. 

For sci-fi seekers, the only drawback is the hopelessly romantic one-liners topped with extra cheese, such as, “He tasted like joy and joy tasted better on Earth.”

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dystopian novels. Why do you think books about oppressive futuristic governments are so popular?

  • Do you notice any similarities between political issues discussed in the novel and issues we face in America today?

  • How does The 100: Book 1 compare with other dystopian novels you've read? How is it different? How is it similar?

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