- The characters. The characters in this book were very VERY well developed. Honestly I can't remember the last time I read a YA book that did such a wonderful job making not only its narrator but all the major and minor characters feel like real people. On top of that, the growth of the narrator over the course of the story is beautifully subtle and impactful.
- The action and pace. I will admit it's taken me a while to get around to finishing this one, but that is more a testament to my lack of time and the book's immense size than it is the story's pacing, which was fantastic. There is constantly something going on, but the action doesn't feel forced or over-done. It just feels honest and horrifying.
- The ending. Oftentimes when you read YA, I think authors feel obligated to find some random, inexplicable way to create a happy ending for the characters. Not so with this one. The ending feels realistic and perfect, although it isn't the most ideal. I also liked the fact that there was a good amount of resolution and closure while still allowing for a few loose ends the reader can ponder over.
- The sudden accent. My only problem with this book was the fact that one of the characters about halfway through the book suddenly begins talking with an accent. For no apparent reason whatsoever. I hope this gets fixed in the final copy, because while you do get used to it, the fact that the character didn't talk that way from the get-go kind of ruins it.
One of the absolute best books I have read in a very long time. Go out and get this as soon as you possibly can, I promise you won't be disappointed.