This book did not disappoint. Everything I loved about White Cat made it's appearance in the sequel. All the complex characters, his crime family, more con artist stuff, etc. I do eat that stuff up about marks and cons.
I love that Cassel isn't black or white. His struggles with himself felt very real without taking a step back or just repeating what he went through in White Cat. He made very genuine movements in his friendships with Sam and Daneca. I love his grandfather. Anyone with less than perfect family members know it's still possible to crave a relationship with them even if it can't happen [his brothers]. Black got those dynamics right.
Plus all the wonderful social activism. Daneca is a girl I could've been best buds with in highschool and have avoided just like Cassel did his first two years in school. She's a lot like Hermione. Cassel would be Harry and Sam would be the Ron of the group.
I'm not sure if I'm shipping him with Lila though. She makes him work too hard for it. I don't trust her at all. I get that's what he liked about her but my personal preference is to dislike bullies. I'm not sure if she was even worked by his mother for that long or if she was messing with him to get off on him suffering.