Since I have already reviewed 101, I have decided to give you guys someone else’s opinion of the book. One lucky person will walk away with a free pdf copy of this book. The last day to enter to win a copy of 101 is Saturday September 8th. The entry form is at the end of this post.
Author: Margaret Chatwin
Synopsis: How do you get desperately needed answers when no one is talking? Who do you trust in a place full of criminals, a place where it’s easy to mistake friends for enemies and enemies for friends? And how is it possible for one girl to seemingly vanish into thin air, especially when the place is surrounded by sixteen foot high electric fences?
When Trigg and his sister Ren are sentenced to township 101 for the crime of defending themselves, and Ren suddenly comes up missing, Trigg must ask himself these same questions.
Something else he’d like to know is, how do you survive when the flaws of the NAO’s justice system has turned a simple punishment into a game of life or death?
Our first review is Elisa’s of Lost Inside the Covers.
Elisa’s Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
It is so intense! I love it, but I have to go bury my head in the sand a bit.
Full on tears as I finished this book…at work no less. I am a freaking mess, runny nose, drippy eyes, ugh! This book pitbulled me at the beginning. It grabbed me by the throat and shook me around forcing me to read, read, read. Then it slowed down, the pitbull relaxed its jaws magically and I could read at my own pace. At the end, it stood there growling at me, scaring me to death because it had a crazy look in its eye. Someone was going to die and I was a big fat chicken and took my time to get there. I finished finally, just now. I read the last few pages and am now a so in love with this mean old book I can’t stand it. I won this ebook from Today in Shenaya and really enjoyed the Pledged characters interview with the 101 characters. Click here to check it out.
101 is a YA, sort of dystopian book about a government where there is no mercy, no light sentences, only super harsh “justice”. Any and all infractions of the law are treated the same. You are thrown in a township surrounded by electrified fences and men with guns in the middle of nowhere to serve your time. I guess a lighter crime just gives you less time in the township. You live with other criminals. The government doesn’t much care if you are killed, it just means you are out of the system. Anyone who kills anyone is killed themselves, problem solved! Less criminals to deal with.
Trigg and his sister Ren are thrown in township 101 when they are caught escaping their abusive father in his car and are convicted for car theft. They are immediately separated and Trigg spends a lot of time trying to find Ren. That is when the pitbull let me breathe a little. This becomes a jail story. You find out the hierarchy, who is really ruling things around there and Trigg learns, eventually, to fight back. His father’s abuse caused Trigg to just take the beatings so his sister would stay out of the bullseye. To survive in 101, he needs to learn how to fight. There is graffiti on the house next to his, Kill or be Killed and it is true in the township. Trigg learns how to be a survivor, a leader and a man. Sometimes being a pacifist isn’t enough, your non-action will doom you, while an offensive might just work. You have to fight for what you believe in and those you love to elicit change.
This was a harsh book, with violence and killings and rape, luckily we are told about, not shown the rape. But it also includes love, friendship and affection. The characters are excellently drawn and I enjoyed both the good ones and the bad ones quite a bit. The ending culminated and was over quite quickly and a little conveniently, but it works. This book is going to stick with me for a long time. If you like YA and can handle the tough stuff, I encourage you to read it. 4.5 stars.
Our next review is from Ymelda who gave it 4 of 5 Paws. Here’s what she had to say:
Ok, so I picked up this novel, 101 by Margaret Chatwin. It was not by my own accord, as I have never heard of her (it’s cool, she has no clue who I am either). My sister recommended this book to me. I was a tad bit skeptical because this is the same person that told me that Twilight was a wonderfully written love story, and we all know that’s not true. Against my better judgment I followed her advice and I’m thankful I did. **little note here, this does not mean that I will stop questioning her choice in literature** Although I am not an indie author connoisseur, I am now definitely a fan thanks to Ms. Chatwin’s words. 101 is a dystopian novel…go ahead Google it….I’ll wait….. Its ok, I did the same exact thing!
Ok, now that you are familiar with DYSTOPIA, as am I, (my word of the day… I intend to use it in all of my conversations today!) this book gives us insight to what a world would be like with a no mercy type of law. If you break it, you pay for it. I used to be a firm believer of this idea that there should be no excuses. If you commit the crime then face the consequences and they should always be the same across the board. I failed to recognize the small cases where one must make use of our human instinct and empathize with criminals and have some kind of heart prior to passing judgment.
101 takes us on a journey of Trigg Hale and his sister Ren. Ren has committed a crime in order to save the life of her brother. Trigg takes Ren and attempts to flee in order to begin a new life elsewhere, unfortunately, they are stopped and arrested. Leading to their sentencing, we learn about the justice system and how each criminal is taken to the same living facility without concern over what crime was committed. All law breakers were cohabitating and basically living a life under a watchful eye, but creating their own laws within. Let me stop here for a second. I loved the introduction of the book and I loved the development of the characters. What made it hard to follow for me was the time that they were sentenced to for the crimes they committed.
**SPOILER** You see, I love the law and tend to know a bit about criminal law. In the state of Florida, if one shoots INTENTIONALLY another person, you can be charged with life as this is attempted murder (granted if the dude/dudedette survives). In this book Ren was charged with shooting her father and was sentenced to eight years. EIGHT YEARS!!! C’mon now, this is supposed to be a legal system without mercy! Show me no mercy. That is a piece of cake compared to the type of things we deal with on a daily basis. Trigg, who stole his father’s car, and was an accessory to attempted murder only got three years. In today’s society that would grant you at least fifteen years, depending on your attorney. Needless to say that this took me out of the story for a bit and I had to work myself back in and pretend that this was “harsh” punishment.
Once I did get back into the book, I was introduced to the most hateful Lucifer like human in the world, Ace. This dude was hot. Charismatic like no ones business and someone that you just want the worst pain in the world to rain down on him and soak his body with an acid that will slowly decay every living cell in his body and cause them to pop. As each cell in his body begins to pop, I want his brain to register the pain and there is nothing he can do about it because he is tied down and each acidic rain drop is falling slowly starting with his feet and working its way up. Slow, antagonizing death….matter of fact while we wait for each cell in his body to pop, there should be an army of rabid monkeys biting at him and stabbing him with alcohol soaked daggers to intensify his pain. Yeah, totally hated his character.
Actually, I hated his demise a little more. I just wish that Ms. Chatwin would have given me a little more insight into his **SPOILER** death. I wanted to see him suffer for the pain that he caused. Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. I really hate Ace.
Any who, Trigg spends his time hunting for his sister. It takes him forever, but he made a few decent friends while imprisoned. They help him find her and once he has her, all hell breaks loose. He’s number one on Ace’s most hated list and this dude makes sure that Trigg knows it.
Along the path of survival, Trigg realizes that Ace is up to something. Something that will change the lives of all those incarcerated. There’s nothing he can do, or is there?
I don’t want to give too much away on this book, but I must say that it’s a must read. There were a couple of grammatical errors (yeah, you’ll probably find some on my review too, but I’m just saying) and the whole legal thing made me loose interest for a second. Overall though, this book is an excellent read. It has a great story line. The characters were well developed (as demonstrated by my hatred toward Ace) and towards the end, her words had me jumping out of my seat. This was my first introduction to indie writing and I have to say it will not be my last. She has a couple of other books available and I believe, that I will be purchasing one right now. On my Jeter scale (Jeter is my pup) I give 101 four paws…
P.S- To my little sister with a questionable taste in books, stop smiling, I still don’t respect you for reading and loving Twilight. =)
Now for a chance to win a copy of 101 just fill out the form below: