I am not the least bit hesitant to recommend this book. It has a great concept - an original idea with original characters. It starts out strong and I was gripped by the first portion of this book. Surprisingly, the story telling is uneven and by the end of the story it was not that interesting and the characters prove to be quite formulaic. It is not that you don't know how the story is going to end from the very first page, its just that the author seems to run out of ideas and there are very few interesting wrinkles shortly after the Hunger Games get under way. When a friend later told me that this book was written for a "young adult audience," I was not surprised - but surprised that I was expecting more.
Interestingly, weeks after listening to this book, I saw the movie. Although I was glad to have read the book so that I understood many of the details that the movie doesn't explain, I was surprised that the movie was so much better than the book (which is almost never the case - in my experience). There is an intensity and emotional appeal that the movie succeeded in creating that was missing in the second half of the book.
The narration was good. No concerns there - even though some have criticized the choice of an adult narrator for a story with teen characters.
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