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REVIEW: When Lightning Strikes (1-800-WHERE-R-YOU #1)

Title: When Lightning Strikes
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: 1-800-Where-R-You
Published: 2001
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Jess Mastriani has never been what you'd call a typical Midwestern teenager—her extracurricular activities, instead of cheerleading or 4-H, include fist-fights with the football team and month-long stints in detention. A part of Jess would like to be the prom queen her mother has always envisioned her being, but another part is secretly counting the days until she's saved up enough money to buy her own Harley.

Then something happens that guarantees Jess will be one of the least until her newfound talent ends up getting her dead.

I have loved Meg Cabot since I was in high school and I first read The Princess Diaries.  So with my love of The Princess Diaries I decided to give another shorter lived series by Meg Cabot a try, and on a personal level I have really liked it.

This first book reminds me of the writing style of The Princess Diaries, Jess Mastriani is writing the story of what had happened to her.  The events of what had caused her to be able to find missing children.  Personally this is a very quick and easy read but I did love the story telling style of Jess telling the FBI her side of what happened.  This book has been in my TBR pile not because it was written by on of my all-time favorite authors, Meg Cabot, but because I watched the TV Series that was loosely based on the books.

Now onto the review, if you are one of those people who like to take a red pen to everything you read, you may want to skip this one.  I like to think that this is supposed to be written by a 16 year-old and I have read some papers I wrote at that age, I do not understand why the teacher gave me a passing grade (and there are times I still can not seem to form a sentence correctly.)  But other than a few hard to understand sentences this is a very good book.

Jess Mastriani is writing her statement of events to the FBI that led to her being able to find missing children on the milk cartons as well as the events afterwards.  Everything from being struck by lightning because her best friend wanted to walk home, to the escape from the "closed" military facility she goes to because her brother has a problem with the press on the front lawn.  Jess has a lot going on within just this first book even some everyday teen girl problems - boys.

Loved it and can not wait to enjoy the next 4 books in the series.

REVIEW: The 100 by Kass Morgan

Title: The 100
Author: Kass Morgan
Series: The Hundred
Published: 2013
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In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.
Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

So The 100 by Kass Morgan is a post-apocalyptic society where the Earth has been completely uninhabitable.  With the “Ark” Space Station they have been living on running out of air, the Council decides to send 100 juvenile delinquents down to Earth to see if it is inhabitable for the rest of the population.

Overall this book was pretty good, hard to read at times if you get so absorbed in your reading that you miss the chapter change and all of a sudden you are reading a new character (I had to start a few chapters over because of this).  The characters are great they each have an interesting back story which leads to them being in the “Detention Center”; of course this makes it hard to keep up with also since each character also has their own flashbacks in the middle of their “Scene”.  So yes hard to read but if you are paying attention to what you are reading it can be a pretty quick read.

It has all the things that every good YA has in it, No Parent Supervision and a Good Love Triangle.

The Earth in the years that no one has lived on it is pretty interesting from two headed deer to what was once a church now abandoned with trees growing through it and bodies left kneeling where they died.  Yeah the Earth has changed a lot in the years that humans have lived in space.

SPOILERS are coming, if you plan to read this book and do not want to be spoiled stop here.  If you have read it or just are not interested keep on reading.

Personally I think a society that thinks teens are an acceptable test subject needs to rethink their life choices but this society has a lot of questionable decisions they have to live with, and I get it Survival of the smartest and the most useful.  The more your occupation is useful to society the more “money” you get for food and other necessities.  But some of the things these people do to “save” as many people as possible are kind of scary.

Let’s look at the people whose lives we follow with this book alone.  What we know about them and the crimes that got them “locked up” until their 18th birthday.

Clarke’s parents were both killed for testing radiation levels of Earth on the kids that were Unregistered aboard the Station.  Now these kids already have no parents as they were killed for having them to begin with as that is a crime and then to be tested on by people of the Council (Though said person denies giving order) is just wrong.  Since Clarke had spent a lot of time in her parent’s lab bonding with one of the girls, Lilly, she was also found guilty of the same crimes as her parents and locked up.

Wells, was Clarke’s best friend and “boyfriend” until he told his father what Clarke told him about the testing her parents were doing.  But when listening to a conversation his father was having with the Council about the mission to Earth and the timeframe on when it should happen he knows he needs to speed up the date as well as get himself on that mission and that is what he does.  I love and hate Wells, I hate him for breaking the confidence of the girl he loves but I love him because he gets himself arrested so that he can join her.

Bellamy is 1/2 of the only pair of siblings living on the space station.  Most people choose someone to be the “sibling” type but they do not have any by blood.  Besides your parents it is very unlikely that you have any blood relatives aboard the Space Station with the way the laws are.  And when said sister is going to be sent down to Earth he knows as her older brother he needs to get on that ship to protect her down on Earth.  In doing so he got the Chancellor shot but he made his way on the ship to protect the girl who he has spent most of his life protecting.

Glass is the last character we follow.  I like her character because she is not on the ground, she is our eyes and ears on the Space Station since the moment Bellamy fought his way on the ship she escaped and went to find the man she loves.  Glass is now a “free” woman on the Space Station but at what cost, the guy she loves may have moved on to another girl and she has not told him her dark secret that got her arrested to begin with.  The pregnancy that should never have happened and the fact that she said the baby’s father was his best friend, and not him to save his life.  Glass sees people going on with their lives like nothing has changed but she also sees the bad in the fact that the council seems to be limiting oxygen to the decks that could be considered “non-essential”.

Overall this book has some great scenes: a kiss between Clarke and Wells on the ground, a kiss between Clarke and Bellamy, as well as some shirtless Bellamy (this will make fans of the show happy).  And even the discovery that there are people living on the ground and they are not that friendly.   I will admit to Shipping Clarke and Bellamy already in just the first book.  I think they make a great couple already.  Then there is Clarke and Wells who I just think do not work, I mean he turned in her parents when she trusted him with the information.

If you were one of the 100 sent down to Earth what kind of skill would you bring to the Survival of yourself and fellow friends? Personally I know how to fish and hunt (not well) now I may have to find the tools or learn how to make the tools from things that are in the woods but they were sent down to Earth with some weapons and one was a bow and arrows so I think the hunting thing I could figure out.

Personally I have fallen in love with this book and can not wait for the sequal this fall.

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