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I Am Alive (I Am Alive, #1) - Cameron Jace 3.5 stars

I Am Alive is based in a society, more specifically a district called Faya, where people are ranked from 1 to 10 when they turn 16. This ranking determines their future. Their career and status in life. A 10 has never been found, and anything under 5 is a "monster". "Monsters" go into an arena, on ranking day, to compete to the death. Those that live through the challenges then fight Carnivore, a genetic mutant tiger. No one wins against him, but if they do they get to be ranked and live with everyone else.

Decca is the main character and the story is told from her POV. She is determined and strong willed. I didn't mind her, but gee was she also very annoying. She "talked to herself a lot", as well as having "flash backs" and dreams.

I liked Leo better. He was originally ranked a 9 but found himself in the monster arena for a song he sung. In the beginning he didn't talk much (for a good reason, and no, I'm not telling) and when he did talk it was brief and to the point. He was all business, and you learn later on why. I kind of enjoyed the fact he irritated Decca.

There were a lot (I felt like there were a lot) of short punctuated sentences. I know they were there for a purpose but I think it was a case of point lost due to the amount of them.
For example:
"Oh. My. God. What have I done?" (Loc 386 8%)
"I hesitate. I can't. I won't" (Loc 906 19%)

"Audience praise. Audience Hail. Audience boom" (Loc 916, 19%)

The world building wasn't too bad, but there were points that I couldn't really picture, especially at the end where she fell. I couldn't picture where she was or the difficulty of where she was.
I was a little confused as to the explanation of why the z's (zwitter instead of twitter for example) and the history when it was discussed towards the end as well as the justification for everything - ranking, arena, etc. It all just seemed to lack purpose.
The ending was a surprise though. I mean I figured it was possible but not to that extent.
The technology was interesting. The iAm's that were really smart smartphones. The clairVos were awesome though hearing others that are experiencing your experiences would be so annoying!

Overall I enjoyed it. I was reading it at night and would look forward to getting into it. While it was very Hunger Games-ish, it was different enough to make it interesting.
This is/was so hard to rate. I don't think it deserves a 3 star rating because it was really good, but I couldn't justify a 4 star rating. So I've done something I haven't done before- I've given a 1/2 star rating.

If you haven't read The Hunger Games, you'll enjoy this. If you have read The Hunger Games, you'll still enjoy this. The setting and the characters making it interesting and different enough that you wont get bored with it.

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