First off, let me say that I genuinely liked this book. I found the story compelling, and it always drew me on to read "just one more chapter". I think the premise was interesting, even though it's not vastly different from many other dystopias out there. I also liked how Elle (the heroine) was not a stereotypical female action hero -- she has a lot of weaknesses, but she is willing to fight for the ones she loves. Honestly, she reminds me a lot of Lena from Delirium, except that she isn't as annoying as Lena. Fortunately.
There are two reasons why I didn't give this book the full five stars. Firstly, I felt that the editing was perhaps not the best. There were a few run-on sentences, and the writing felt clunky at times. Secondly, you would have thought that, having grown up in the ARC, Elle would have gotten used to it, and not be so sensitive to the feeling of being underground. Despite this, she feels constricted a lot, and has trouble going into small spaces. The fact that she's not comfortable with the only life she's ever known seems unlikely to me.
My verdict? Take a chance and download this book. If you read it and you find that it's not for you, then no harm done. If you like it, buy the next one. As for me, Talented (book 2) is the next thing on my wish list.
(review of free book)