It started a bit slow, but once Part Two begun, it kept getting more and more appealing. I like books that are told from diverse POVs, and it worked perfectly here. Sometimes I felt a pause might be lacking between POV changes, though. Constant changes between POVs inside a single chapter could be confusing.
Most of the characters were interesting, yet not completely likable (or not remotely likable, some of them). They were the story, and they felt real. I found myself missing Barry Fairbrother too. He seemed such a nice guy, indeed!
I think my favorite character might have been Krystal (yeah, with her ending and all), and I liked Sukhvinder and Andrew too. I could relate a lot to Sukhvinder. I thought I liked Fats when he was first introduced. However, I instantly changed my mind and hated him from the moment I knew he bullied Sooks (liked that nickname). And yes, he was an asshole after all.
I ended up liking Samantha too. Tell me about living in a place you hate so much...
I hated Howard and Shirley, but in the way you'd hate them if they were real but you find them good characters and like they way they were written.
I loved how social issues were added to the typical small town story. I guess most countries deal with the same discussions regarding places like the Fields. Everything sounded so close to home, even if I don't live in the UK, nor even in Europe. People's hypocritical reaction to Robbie's death
was so accurate I instantly thought about analog real-life cases.
(Ok, I wanted to write longer but I have to go and I guess I would forget to continue this...)