I think this wasn't really my book - though the plot was interesting,and Kathy had some incredible thoughts on human nature and the people and events around her, I couldn't shake the feeling of the prose being very stilted, and everything being very understated. In a way, I suppose this was the point - I felt very melancholic while reading the book, which seemed to be Kathy's mood as well, but I think that had I not loved the movie, I wouldn't have read more than 10-15 pages of it.
The character I both loved and hated most, funnily enough, was Ruth. She was a combination of traits that annoy me most and traits that I possess and find useful - just because she wasn't the best at bluffing doesn't make it any less useful a skill, though from what I read, she didn't seem any happier than Kathy or Tommy.
Kathy was a character I couldn't bring myself to like at all - I really like active characters/people who talk about their problems and try to fix them, and Kathy's insistence on the atmosphere being wrong was very annoying to me, especially since she never quite seemed to learn from her experiences - the only times she really took control of a conversation were when she was afraid Tommy would say something stupid, which doesn't speak well of their relationship and her trust in him.
Tommy was far more childish than I expected - there was definitely a strong child-like element to him in the movie, but whenever I read his scenes, I felt like I was reading about a 9-10 year old boy. He was also very passive the whole time, which is likely a behavior that is naturally encouraged in Hailsham, where everyone just does what they're told.
Even so, I feel that the main problem I had with this book was that it was a character-driven novel that simply didn't make me care about it's characters. Even so, it was a book worth reading, for nothing else if not for Kathy's various observations.