Ever read a book and realize SO MUCH happens at the end? I feel like the lion's share of the action is really coming in the last half. This worries me a little, for if it's not gripping enough in the second half, it may be put aside. I've put a number of books aside for this reason (it's just not picking up and I can't slog through it anymore!). I don't feel my story is doing this, not entirely, but then, I'm biased.
One of my good friends gave me an excellent criticism about the story. I have almost finished the first draft, and it is something I will keep foremost in my thoughts when I start my serious revisions.
My fiance also gave me a very good criticism today... it made me laugh a little. "All your characters sound so... smart!" "I'm smart," I answered. "Yeah, well, all your characters can't be, too." This will also be good to know during revision time :)
It's nice to have amazing friends (and fiances)! And by that, I mean friends (and fiances) who tell you honestly there is a problem, not just pat you on the back and say good job.