Going into this, all I knew was that it was a Pulitzer contender that (obviously) received wonderful reviews. I wasn't prepared for how dark it was, and I don't mind that in general- But I have to agree with another reviewer here who said the ending was something of a disappointment. A great story doesn't always have to tie up everything perfectly in a nice little bow, but this just didn't quite do the characters justice, considering how strong they are depicted throughout the entire book.
But I will say that this is such an original story. You really sympathize with these characters, and you find yourself staying up way to late to read just one more chapter... and then another three.