Book Three of the Vampire Diaries. Yes, I kept reading it. If you've read either of my previous reviews of these books I'm sure you think I'm crazy for subjecting myself to more of this torture and wasting more of my time. I think you might be right, perhaps I am crazy. There have been plenty of series that I never read past the first book, so it isn't an undying desire to finish what I've started, I quit stuff all the time, perhaps it's that as ridiculous as this book was, it was not boring.
This book starts out right after Elena has "died" and woke up a vampire (a side effect of having unknowingly ingested too much of both Stefan and Damon's blood over a long period of time). Somehow during this transformation Elena has forgotten that she loves Stefan and is convinced she instead loves Damon, whether this phenomenon is a result of having more of Damon's blood then of Stefan's or if it's just a fluke, it's not really explained. Surprisingly, Damon does not take this as fact and instead shows the first bit of chivalry and kindness and stops Elena from killing Stefan (as Stefan is trying to harm Damon), and tells Stefan we have to get to the cause of her change in behavior before they take anything she says seriously. This is a total un-Damon like thing to do, all things point to him being overjoyed by this turn of events and not caring what caused it, just wanting the "win" against his brother.
From this point Damon becomes a different character, I suppose it could be seen as a more "likeable" character, as he is far more helpful and no longer, above all else, desires to destroy his brother. To me it just seemed bland and fake. I almost prefer the total jerk, at least he seemed somewhat interesting. This new version is like a robot.
It is revealed at the end of the book that the town founder's wife Honoria Fell was a witch and since her death has been protecting the town. One would think that if that were the case she's obviously doing a terrible job, as a teacher is killed and vampires have come and settle in "her" town. Plus, the whole "mystery presence" in this book. So when she tells the gang "I'm done now, the coming battle is yours", they should be thinking, well great, as you were providing so much help to begin with. Whatever.
It is finally revealed that the cause of all the terrible occurrences is Katherine (not Damon as Stefan and Elena thought), who actually is not dead but faked her own death to make Damon and Stefan "sorry" all those years ago when she "turned" them both. Katherine is also responsible for Elena's "death", but did not count on her having had Damon and Stefan's blood and therefore becoming a vampire.
In the end Elena (without her "magic" ring that protects vampires from sunlight in these books) leaps at Katherine, removing her pendant that is protecting her, and they both burn in the sunlight. Elena's dying words to Damon and Stefan are to take care of each other. The book ends with Elena having sacrificed herself to save Stefan, Damon, and the town. Seems simple enough. A definite ending to a trilogy, it even says "The final conflict" right on the cover of the book, seems pretty definitive to me...
Bottom Line: This book does provide closure, and if you've read the first 2 books, the 3rd seems like a definite end...