i read this book without having read the prequel, yet i still found it very easy to follow. if youre used to dark, twisted, mysterious v.c. andrews, this book will probably disappoint. the plot is good, the characters (for the most part) well-developed. the main character is strong yet flawed, without being annoying. an easy read, but some might be made uncomfortable with several mentions of uneasy sexual identity. a few plot holes and loose ends that are never tied up, but a good book nonetheless.