It wrapped up in a nice and neat bow at the end with a Hollywood-like epilogue. So, yeah it appeals to the HEA aspect, but...
1. I don't know why the author had hints of a revenge plot for the hero who wanted to get out of the gang, then had him get shot by the very man who shot his father, only to, next
, get beat up badly directly
after in order to execute his EXIT from the gang... it was convoluted and not effective enough to be believable.
2. Maybe there could have been better execution of background and setting. It was hard imagining Fairfield HS having such rich kids and then ones who were gangbangers is such close proximity. Sure, this could happen, but an explanation of region and demographic could have helped the storyline, I think.
In all, it gets a 3 out of 5, because of the alternating POV between the two characters and some of the character development of the two main characters, showing that they have in common: protectiveness and responsibility to family. Some of the dialogue was great also.