There are so many things that I would love to go into about Alex, Julian, and Lana's mom...but that would be giving away just too many potential spoilers; and it would totally ruin the experience for anyone about to read the book.
The book is written in Lana's present reality, but it also flashes back to scenes from her past. Take your time reading this book as it follows Lana from "Now" (as a member of the Resistance in NY) to "Then" (as she rediscovers who she really is in the Wilds). Lauren Oliver packed a lot of punch in this book and, at times, you can almost feel the emotion rolling off of the pages like a thick fog. You will feel the weight pressed against your chest at times during this book because poor Lana is put to so many tests, both emotionally and physically.
Let me just say that by the end of the book I was (literally) sitting on the edge of my bed, wide-eyed, and by the last words, I was cursing out loud (and, I will admit I wanted to smack Lauren Oliver - sorry Lauren, I love you!, but that was my first reaction) because the book was over and I cannot believe that Lauren Oliver expects us to sit and wait until February, 2013 for Requiem to come out so we can find out what happens next!!!!!