I've just finished the third Vampire Diaries book and I think I can say that this is my favourite of them so far :).
This book solves a mystery that was in the other 2 books - what or who is possessing the town where this book is based. The show takes more from this book than the other ones I believe.
We still see the drama between Elena and Stefan and Damon but we also see twists and turns with the other characters as well as a little more of Elena's family.
There's an evil force at work more in this book than the others so far. I can remember being excited when reading the last few chapters of this book when I was a teenager - I just really wanted to know what would happen!
LJ Smith's writing style wasn't confusing, like in the last two with the diary entries. There were still diary entries of course but they flowed better - they weren't as disjointed from the rest of the story.
I overall give this book a 4 stars. I look forward to reading Dark Reunion (book 4) soon :).