I had the impression from GoodReads reviews that Stiefvater is just another lackluster, derivative YA writer. It's harder to evaluate style when listening to an audiobook, but I thought this was terrific. The situation is haunting, the characterizations are rich, and themes of class and friendship are explored with humor and insight. Even what seems likely to become a love triangle seem original, because it's organic to the story and very lightly touched upon. (This first book in the series is not a romance.)I had some issues with the narration. Patton has a very attractive, husky voice which wasn't at all hard to listen to. But at first, I found it very hard to keep up -- I was reminded of being told that most directors could be replaced by a tape loop repeating 'slow down… slow down...' Either it improves or I adjusted to the pace, but I continued to be distracted by the lack of one distinct narrators voice; he tends to fall into whichever point of view he was voicing at the time, which can be very jarring when there's a sudden perspective change. The harshness of some of the voices seemed off -- Ronan sounds much too old to be in high school -- and the softness of some of the others also wasn't quite right. Still, he does a good job of distinguishing between a large cast and it was a decent reading overall.