I really didn't want to like Lord Loss. I'm not so good with gore, and even as a teen I wouldn't read Stephen King or watch horror movies (I watched one, and it freaked me out so bad I stayed far away from any others). And I didn't like it...till the end.
The first part I really liked was the chess match at the end. I found it ironic that such a nerdy (and I say that with love, my dad loves chess) hobby would become life-saving for the werewolves. What especially struck me was Grubbs' attitude, though. He figured out that to win, he didn't have to be good, he just had to play with a carefree, if not optimistic, outlook. His attitude was the reason he won, because it was unsettling to Lord Loss. It reminded me of one of the readings we had earlier in the semester, I think it was the chapters in Zollo's book, but I can't remember for sure. Basically, teens' attitudes wavered between really serious about the world in general and saying, "Hey, why not have fun while we can?" So I think Grubbs' attitude was really true to life, and what do you know? It saved the day. I think teen readers can really appreciate and relate to that.
The second part I had to like was the very end. I nearly flipped out on the last page when Grubbs was ready to call the Lambs, and I had to reread it to make sure of the ending. I had such an adrenaline rush from reading (I read most of it in one sitting) that my heart was still pounding when I finished, even though the ending was happy. I also got mad but still had to laugh at the uncle's sick sense of humor. So to get that sort of emotional reaction out of me, even though I really hated the beginning and the goriness, I still had to like the book in the end.