It's great! What I love the most is how dark and gritty the world felt. It was so cool because most of this book takes place in our world and yet it still feels darker. The author does a great job at world building. One of the best examples of world building that I've ever seen.
The characters are all great. I do think a few fell just a little into the "I'm just here for plot reasons", but only a few. Most of the side characters were actually very flushed out in my opinion. Our main character Isobel is very well rounded and I loved her. I also like that it showed that not all cheerleaders are bitchy. One of my best friends was a cheerleader and she was so sweet and awesome (most of her friends were your typical cheerleader type but she wasn't.) I like that Isobel wasn't scared to stand up for herself. She did what she thought was right, even if it meant losing her friends. I love people like that.
Varen... I have a soft spot for any alternative person. I usually fall for them in any book they are in. Varen was no different. I fell for him right along with Isobel. He's so perfectly dark and such a lonely soul. I can see why he did the things he did and I can't fault him. I understand him.
The plot is top notch, it does take a while to get started but I'm glad for that, it gives you time to get the characters set up and the feelings between the two to start. I can't wait to dive into the next one which I recently got.