I had read a handful of reviews about this book before picking it up, and I don't think I've ever been less surprised by a book. It was exactly what the reviews had told me it would be. In many ways, that is good, because this is clearly a well regarded book and series. As many have said, it walks a thin line of target audience. The characters are young teens, the reading level is appropriate for middle school, but this is all contrasted with a dark story about survival, death, and killing.
I believe Suzanne intended this. As a listener, everything from the style and pacing to descriptions and immature love story constantly reminded me that the characters are young teens. This heightened the experience.
I feel like I have nothing to complain about, because I think Suzanne is a gifted writer who executed well on her story. She did what she set out to do. I knew exactly what I was getting into, and I was entertained throughout. I can't give it 5 stars though, because I just don't care too much for story. The plot is predictable. Despite having many, many plot twists- there was only one that I didn't see happening far in advance. And that one that surprised me was actually just a tease because the very next twist a few minutes later undid the effects of the surprising one. I didn't care about any of the characters. I couldn't relate to any character. This is possibly because I'm a man and it's told from a teenage girl point of view. The politics are childish. In the end- I don't plan on finishing the series.
Narration was good. Easy to understand, easy to listen to, and even drew me back in at a few moments when the story wasn't keeping me interested.
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