A autographed copy of the book was given to me by my aunt when I was around 9. At the time, I was completely uninterested in anything not related to fantasy (though honestly, not much has changed), so it didn't appeal to me. But I do remember reading it anyway and being impressed. I liked the authors writting and the characters were very realistic to me. I haven't had the chance to go back and reread, so this is all based on my childhood memories.