The well-written characters are what made this novel stand out. It's a very funny book, but with an underlying sadness and yearning. I'm a sucker for any book (or song, or movie) that get's that bittersweet tone right.
The premise--each book follows the main character's life one year at a time and takes place in a different location--the storytelling, and the artwork are great. I didn't quite follow the story of how the character from the first few books became the character in the last books. But maybe that is more like life as it is really lived--somehow we grow up and it's not really clear how or when that happened.