So, about a week ago I started watching The 100 on the CW and I am in love. It’s so exciting and fun and I already wrote a post about how I’m obsessed with it so go see that for more because I’ll just be repeating myself. But the show does not have nearly enough Bellarke in it who is by far one of the most aggressive ships I’ve ever had. However, I was told the books have plenty and that they are really nothing like the show, so to satisfy my need for Bellarke, I decided to turn to the books. I started the first book last night and finished it this morning. It was a fairly quick read and I have to say I was actually somewhat disappointed. It’s not often that you find a movie/tv show better than the book it’s based of off but this is one of those cases.
So where do I begin. I knew the books were different but I didn’t really realize how. We start in the same way, as the show. Clarke is in lockup and the guards have come to give her the bracelet that will track her vitals on Earth. But the first major difference is Clarke’s mother is not alive, so it’s not her who comes to tell her about it. Both Clarke’s parents are dead in the book, which is fine. We follow Clarke’s mother on the show a lot and she’s not the most exciting character, but that was no big deal.
I’d say the first major chance from the books to the show is Wells. In the show he is alive for exactly 3 episodes before Charlotte kills him. We also find out right before he dies that he was not the one who betrayed Clarke and that he let her hate him so she wouldn’t hate her mom. In the books it was Wells who betrayed her, though he didn’t really mean for it to happen like it did, but that it was also Wells who sabotaged the “Colony” (not Ark) oxygen supply. So they get to the ground and Clarke hates him and that’s all fine and good.
But on the ground things are very different. Bellamy is there, and so is Octavia but they’re nothing like their characters in the show, and that is where I think the books are lacking. In the show the whole Bellarke relationship revolves around the fact that Bellamy puts himself in charge and Clarke co-leads to balance out all his terrible ideas. In the books Bellamy does not lead. He never steps up to put himself in charge and instead of Clarke being the headstrong, stubborn realist we get in the show it’s Wells who is always stepping up to balance out the bad ideas thrown out by the “leader” Graham” who is a very “murphy like” character.
Octavia is not the stubborn strong character we know in the book. Yes there’s the whole side plot in the book with the drugs but they keep referring to how childlike she looks and that she seems to defenseless. I’m not sure I really enjoy that Ocatavia.
But the biggest thing I have a problem with in this book was Bellarke. And I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t you pick up the books to get more of that since it’s not in the show?” Well yes, but now I’m disappointed. Bellarke in the books happens in just a few chapters. Bellamy and Clarke get along just fine, so that building trust and friendship isn’t there. They go on a little side mission and find the medicine and Clarke jumps into Bellamy’s arms and then they’re kissing. Just like that. No fighting, no wanting to kill each other, no “princess comments”, nothing. It was too fast, there was not build what so ever. And then we have comments like Bellamy admitting to himself that Clarke is the last thing he think about before he falls asleep. What? You’ve known her for a few weeks at best and they aren’t even around each other that much. It’s not Bellamy who saves Clarke when she falls through the floor it’s Wells.
Another thing I didn’t like was that Clarke spends almost the entire book being angry at Wells, justifiably so, but she forgives him eventually. Then there’s a fire and Wells won’t let Clarke kill herself to save Thalia and she hates him again, just like that. What? That seems like an awfully quick turn around. I don’t know if I’m being picky or if watching the show first just changed my perspective of what’s going to happen but I did the same thing for Outlander, where I watched the show first, got left at a cliff hanger and picked up the books. Those were perfect. They were different in some parts, but the show captured the characters perfectly and it worked.
Here everything is so different, but for some reason I like what the show has done with the story so much more. It’s just more exciting. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and has had me rooting for my OTP for two whole season, practically begging for it every episode, instead of throwing it at me a few chapters in.
The only thing I really like more in the books was the introduction of Glass as a character. I enjoyed reading her Romeo and Juliet story with Luke and liked seeing space from her perspective instead of the way the show does it, where we follow around Clarke’s mom almost all the time.
All that being said I’d give the book 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads or a 65% out of 100. It’s not bad, but for some reason the story just didn’t thrill me the way I was hoping it would. I will read the second books with hopes it will get better but for now I’ll just have to suffer with all the other people who watch the show in hopes that Bellarke will finally happen on the show, because I’m sure when it does, it will be perfect.