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The Vampire Diaries #1-2: The Awakening and The Struggle

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Twilighters will like!

This was probably the right up there with the twilight books. It is incredibly suspenseful, and has the same endearing love as the twilight series. I didn't really understand the summary of the book, so here's one of my own that I think explains it better.

Elen...
This was probably the right up there with the twilight books. It is incredibly suspenseful, and has the same endearing love as the twilight series. I didn't really understand the summary of the book, so here's one of my own that I think explains it better.

Elena is the head of the school. She doesn't feel all that special, but other people seem to think so. She's always turning heads in the hallway. But when Stefan, the mysterious cool-car driving sunglass-wearing hottie comes to school, he doesn't even look her way. Elena swears he'll be hers.

Damon Salvatore is sexy and ruthless. He doesn't believe in the same practices of his brother, so he drinks human blood. Once he sees Elena, he's determined to make her his, whether she likes it or not. He's blown into fury seeing the love she has for Stefan, and he's determined to change that. He'd do anything to possess Elena.

posted by Brookeylynn on December 7, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

22 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

The Vampire Diaries

Smith, L.J. (1991). The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle. New York: HarperTeen.

9780061140976

Tell me if you've heard this plot? Teenage girl is strangely attracted to the smart, dangerous, supernaturally-powerful and rich outsider at her schoo...
Smith, L.J. (1991). The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle. New York: HarperTeen.

9780061140976

Tell me if you've heard this plot? Teenage girl is strangely attracted to the smart, dangerous, supernaturally-powerful and rich outsider at her school who initially resists his special attraction to her. The eventual and tentative relationship is challenged by another equally powerful and attractive male love interest, forming a love triangle that will drive the rest of the series. Who will she choose who will she chose? Oh yeah, and the writing about all of this conflict, it's mediocre. I wonder if Stephenie Meyer has read The Vampire Diaries. (It's possible the answer is no. other (adult) vampire books tend to have the same love triangle themes as well (See Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, Sookie Stackhouse of The Southern Vampire series, etc.)

Published over ten years before the Twilight series, Vampire Diaries has a lot of similarities. But where Bella was angsty and co-dependent, Elena is obsessive, manipulative and the self-described "queen of the school" somehow causing me to dislike her even more than Bella. I didn't find Elena relatable or redeemable until the end when she was actually contributing to fighting-the-good-fight (unlike other mortal female protagonists in other vampire series).
Still, Elena's repeated thoughts about possessing Stefan (vampire love interest #1) or dying annoyed me. Her tendency to develop plans to get him and spread false rumors didn't exactly impress me either. I could see some twelve or thirteen-year-old girls managing to see past all of this in their desire to become a popular high school student. Eventually, I was able to get over my dislike for her when the plot picked up and the dramazz started and Elena decided to make the effort to be less self-involved. But that was around page 150. Now I know part of the point of a novel is that a character changes. Learns. Becomes a better person. Whatever. But I gotta still be able to engage with the character pre-change. And I personally had trouble doing that with Elena. Of course, this could all just be me. Anyone read it? Got something to say? Did Elena float your boat?

The series starts with Elena, arriving home after spending the summer in France. She lives wither her aunt and young sister, since her parents are mysteriously dead. (Yet somehow the way this fact is presented somehow managed to prevent me from sympathizing with the character. Hard to believe, I know). When she returns to school she reclaims her title as "Queen," and becomes fascinated with the new boy, Stefan, who is also secretly attracted to her, in part because she looks almost exactly like a girl he and his older brother, Damon, had loved when they became vampires during The Renaissance in Italy. Throughout the book, the reader is positioned with Elena, reading from her diary. From time to time, though the reader also gets to see into Stefan's mind and see his past, including how he became a vampire. Readers will find that the end of the book does not resolve any of the conflict, but that they must continue on to The Struggle and then to The Fury and Dark Reunion.

The reason I chose to start reading this series is because the CW has chosen to turn it into a TV series.

For more of my reviews, visit sjkessel.blogspot.com.

posted by SJKessel on March 29, 2009

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