I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but I was hesitant to start the second. The story from the first book didn't set itself up well for a sequel, and I wasn't entirely sure where the plot could go. After reading this book, I am not sure I like the answer to that question.
Part of the beauty of the first book was the inner darkness Juliet is constantly battling, and the overall creepiness that permeated the entire story. This second book takes almost all of that away, and decides to focus more on the character development. This wouldn't be such a bad thing, if I liked the direction in which they took any of these characters. Juliet spends most of her time in this second book bouncing between two points of a love triangle without any rhyme or reason. Juliet's new friend, Lucy, is possibly one of the most frustrating secondary characters I have ever read in a good while. She exists just to be in the way, make horrible decisions, and cause problems.
Aside from the horrible character development, the plot twists in this story, particularly near the end of the book, are just over-the-top crazy. Half of them don't even make any sense. It really felt like Shepherd was simply looking for excuses to pull more and more classics into this series. I understand the mindset here, but the way these characters are stories were incorporated into the cast and plot needed a bit more subtlety.
The first book in this series was wonderfully dark and creepy. The plot was interesting, fast-paced, and I absolutely loved it. The second book, however, slows the pace to a crawl, takes away almost all the creepiness and replaces it with a horribly frustrating love triangle, ridiculously over-the-top plot twists, and unbelievably annoying characters. I am still on the fence about reading book three, but I think this series is just not for me.