Yikes. 2.5 stars? I guess? I'm not sure how this happened. I loved Masque of the Red Death-level bullshit.I'm glad I got that off my chest right off the bat. OK. Down to business. This probably should not have been a YA novel. It should have been 18 & up. I think the author's hands were kind of tied here, and I feel badly about it. The YA thing barely worked in book one because Araby was young, and... and she was sweet. And naive. And all of that works for one novel, but at the end of [b:Masque of the Red Death|12924275|Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)|Bethany Griffin|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1341716702s/12924275.jpg|15605716], shit went bananas, and it's time for Araby to grow up and make some decisions. Everything needs to escalate.What happens instead is that everyone sits around for the first quarter of the book, making plans and then changing them. Things move along ok in the middle, but the front and back ends of the book feel like vamping. Fully half of the book is teenagers on a scavenger hunt.And the love triangle. It's bad. It was pretty good in book one, but again, I think Griffin's hands were tied because once Araby makes a choice, her relationship will progress. But the characters also just aren't very interesting.You know what else doesn't escalate appropriately is the violence. It is no longer horrifying and immediate; it feels boring and... done. It feels really, really done. Because it all was done. In the previous book.There is also more than one major plot point that is revealed because one of the characters makes a WILD logical leap for the convenience of the author. They figure out where super secret things are hidden repeatedly by simply deciding the things are in a place and being right. The note I wrote again and again and again is "Wow. That's a stretch." I wish we could go back in time to before this book was written and take all the restraints off this book, and just let it breathe and go where it wants to go.I'm sad about this.