My heart broke for both Deanne and Julius (and really, his name threw me - who names a kid Julius these days?). They both had a hard time growing up, and their shared history made their connection that much stronger. I really liked how Deanne was honest with Julius about her connection to his family before they had sex, and that he didn't hold her responsible.
I liked that Deanne made him look at himself and acknowledge his fear of getting close again. Which made her transformation to her "new self" that much stronger.
What I didn't care for so much was the side story with Kurt. Whether it's because I have high school boys myself or just that I didn't care for their total villainous characters with no redeeming qualities (although some of them did second guess what they were doing) I'm not sure. Maybe I just don't want to acknowledge that boys can be that cruel at that age even though I know it to be the truth, and a rather likely truth at that. I think what blew the scenario for me was their willingness to use guns. That seemed the piece that blew it over the top for me.
Overall, I enjoyed the story very much, and thought the dialogue between Julius and Deanne was what pulled the story together for me.