I finished The City of Ember! And I would have written you a blog in the middle of the book, but I finished it at the beach so that wasn't really possible. Sorry about that.
[There are some spoilers below, so don't read this if you don't want too many spoilers!]
This book pretty much met all of my expectations. The story was nice, and it was definitely directed at a younger audience. The concept of Ember itself is interesting, and something that could maybe sometime happen in the future. I mean, if mankind did pretty much destroy itself, there would be those people who would want to save it, and would go to great lengths to do so. Even if it meant creating an underground city.
The idea of a corrupted government is definitely not a new one, but it is one that always makes a story more interesting. If the one mayor hadn't been corrupt and hadn't thrown the box with "The Instructions for Egress" into a closet after he couldn't open it himself, then the book wouldn't even exist because the people of Ember would have escaped when they were supposed to. And of course, the current mayor and his Guard must also be corrupt.
While reading this book, I kept forgetting that Lina and Doon (the main characters) are only supposed to be 12 years old, and whenever I realized that it kind of annoyed me since they aren't constructed as 12 year olds. They act and speak like they're about 18, and even though children in Ember grow up much more quickly than children in this world, I feel like the author could have made them more like 12 year olds and less like adults. More like Lizzie, maybe.
Overall, I think it was a nice read. I would probably recommend it to a middle school aged crowd though instead of a high school/young adult group. It did catch my attention enough that I'll read the rest of the series and watch the movie though, so props to the author on that one.