Well first of all, I was pleasantly surprised that our heroine (at age 14) decides to get a job in the library. Lirael the Third Assistant Librarian. If only more libraries were as magical and dangerous as hers. I was also surprised that the boy hadn't told me this, before I started reading the book - but then he's pretty good at keeping plot twists to himself.
Unfortunately, all the heroes in this tale are quite tall; this is the thing about 'Sabriel' which annoyed me mildly.
Anyway, I've found 'Lirael' a more exciting read than it's predecesor (I'm lots of trouble spelling that word!). So far at least, I can identify with the heroine slightly more just because she's felt like an outsider in her community, since she's the only one there who isn't a seer.
Now I'm going to work on my essay for another couple of hours, so I can reward myself with another spell of reading 'Lirael' later...