Kooler, the resident crafty goddess, really has outdone herself with this book. The instructions are excellent and cover most of what you'll need to know when cross-stitching.
Some of the designs are a little on the granny-side (pardon me - I don't mean to be offensive), but that's because I'm just 21 and a little biased. But most of the time you're not going to give your 16 year old friends a cross-stitched gift anyways.
The patterns feature precious designs and plenty of color and detail, and range in size from tiny 2x2 sachets to afghans. Her inclusion of finishing techniques besides framing is pretty decent, though I would have liked to see a few more options than the standard ruffle pillows, sachets, picture frames, and pre-made aida items. Nevertheless, you can always adapt these designs into whatever you want.
A few of the designs don't have stitched examples, which I always find frustrating, and a few times she shows alternate color schemes but (perhaps purposely) leaves out the DMC numbers.
This book was the first in my cross-stitch collection and is a definite favorite by far. I recommend it to beginner and experienced stitchers simply because of the quality, variety, and number of patterns. It's an invaluable addition to any pattern stash, because you'll keep going back to it - trust me.