This book starts slowly but manages to pick up steam along the way.... Then there's out protagonist. There are times, a great many of them actually, when I really just don't like Katniss. But to be fair, I believe that's how Ms. Collins wrote her. This is a well written book. It starts a bit slowly (as said before) with some relatively extensive recapping but "it" finally does get into the story and moves right along. I found that I needed to keep reminding myself, "this is a 16 year old girl, this is a sixteen year old girl... I'm not a "YA", but this is a YA book.
As the book opens I felt (and it's possible you will to, though of course I have no way to know) that Katniss was caught in the middle of a teen "everything revolves around me" state of mind.... My frustration with her was finally relieved a bit when she seemed to realize this herself. But that didn't keep her from sliding back into this particular state of mind on and off later in the book. As a matter of fact, there were times when I wanted to tell the girl she was a selfish, thick, little twit... But again I believe she was written that way, for a reason. I believe Ms. Collins was/is writing Katniss as a primarily emotion driven girl. And she succeeds.
So, after all that why do I give the book my recommendation? Because it's a good absorbing read with fairly believable characters and a well constructed dystopian world. So far it's an excellent series and I look forward to reading the third volume.