I received an ARC and I voluntarily reviewed it. Thank you Caroline Peckham!
I really liked the first book. I thought that although it was similar to The Hunger Games, it was still original. With this one, however, the similarities were just too strong. Due to this, it took me awhile to get into the book.
I think that there was a lot of latent potential the author did not exploit. There could have been more connections to the past Games within the Games. I think the author could have "dramaticized" the story some more. (Yes, I just made up a word)
Also, some aspects seemed to have been bent to accommodate the plot. What I mean is, things would happen or people would act out of character simply to make the plot work more easily. It doesn't have to be a neat little package, in my opinion, it just needs to be logical and coherent.
The ending saved it for me. And by ending, I mean the very LAST sentence. Those few words are making me look forward to book 3.