I didn't enjoy Stiefvater's writing - I'm sorry, but I didn't. Most of the time it's too flat, and when it isn't, it's clumsily poetic. There were a few brilliant bits of prose, but mostly I just don't care for her writing style. No - I liked this book because of the characters.
Ronan was my favorite. I'm still not sure if I like the rōnin play on his name, but I absolutely love this guy. He's nasty and blunt and rough and rude, but he's got a really good heart, I think. He's one heck of a character.
Adam is awesome, too - a little on the whiny side, maybe, and pretty pathetic at times, but I love him anyway. He's just a really good character who happens to have a lot of realistic flaws - exactly the way I like 'em.
Gansey was a bit too predictable, but I liked him a lot. If it hadn't been for the lame prophecies and stuff always getting in the way of his natural evolution as a character, I think I'd have liked him better. But he's sweet and stupid in all the right ways, and I bet he'd be an awesome friend to have, so I'm glad he holds the raven gang together.
I didn't like Noah at the beginning, but I do actually like him now. I still think he's a bit worthless, but when he was being ghosty and creepy he was awesome. And his backstory is pretty neat, too, although once you found out [spoiler] he was a ghost [/spoiler] it was awfully predictable....
Blue was actually a really good character - seriously, this surprised me. I'm so sick of all the YA heroines out there who are all the same, but Blue was more unique. She was tough without trying to force herself to be a "woman of power", and she wasn't even completely stupid, although she missed some painfully obvious clues. But she's one of those crazily realistic characters who don't seem like they could exist, but you know they just have to, somewhere. I didn't quite love her, but I did like her, and I hope [spoiler] please please please, don't go and fall in love and ruin yourself, Blue. Stupid YA love - especially triangles - will ruin pretty much any good female MC for me. [/spoiler]
The plot was okay, too - nothing epic, but enjoyable, and it kept my interest. My main problem with the story itself was the weak climax. I won't go into spoiler territory, but it was so obvious what was going to happen, and the whole thing felt rushed to me.
Really hoping the next book is as good as this one, though! [spoiler]That shocked me, considering my horrific previous experience with this author. I hope this book wasn't a fluke - I hope Stiefvater can keep it up.[/spoiler] I'm going to be looking out for it.