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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 38 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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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Different approach to vampires

    I really enjoyed this book and am in the process of reading the series. I have passed it along to my mother. I loved the Twilight Series and love everything vampires. I liked this approach to the vampire. I find vampires intriguing and this book really brought the mysterious back to the vampire. Try it!

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Better Than Twilight

    I read this because people had commented that Twilight had a very similar feel and this came out first. I wanted to know for myself how closely this matched with the Twilight series. Honestly I'm surprised this author didn't knock the pants off of Myers. Seriously .... Stephanie must have been reading this right before she wrote Twilight and took WAY too much of it from this story (including whole scenes).
    This novel has a "diary" feel to parts of it, but mostly it is the story from the perspective of a high school girl who is struggling with her own identity. She is a popular girl who has great friends and a nice boyfriend - but when a stranger moves to town all of that changes. She becomes obsessed with getting Stephan to love her. Of course he is the vampire and she looks very much like the vampire that changed him. This is a long story with enough unwrapping to keep you interested and not as childish as Twilight. I preferred the characters and story of Vampire Diaries, to Twilight's prudish approach.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Not like the show!

    Well, i read this book and it was awesome.I was reading this book so i can know what happens in the show.But, was i wrong the show and the book are totally different.I didn't just read this book but the whole first trilogy.It was okay. I don't know if I would read the new trilogy they have out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    it was alright

    Truly, after reading the Twilight series where it is so well written, and captivating this book just wasn't up to par so to speak. The story line it self is pretty good, whereas someone can relate to the high school experience as being full of drama, with that one girl who has everything and can get anything she wants and the jealous girl who will do anything to try and ruin the others rep. Yep, we've all been there, seen that. But, throw a couple of vampire brothers into the mix who are fighting once again for the same girl and we've got a whole new story. The fact of the two brothers history and sheer hatred for each other was probably the most interesting aspect. Because it seems as if they cannot get away from each other after all the centuries of living in "darkness" no matter where they wind up. I have to say though I am going to read the next book in the series to see what happens. The ending itself was too abrupt and I am curious about Elena who seems to have "woken" up and thinks she is in love with the wrong brother.....I guess I'll have to find out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Vampires galore!

    As a fan of the Twilight Saga, I got sucked into the Vampire Diaries television show and then naturally felt compelled to pick up the books. I've read the first four, and although they aren't intellectually challenging by any means they definitely make for good entertainment. Surprisingly, there were even moments where I was slightly reluctant to put them down. I'd recommend the vampire diaries to anyone who appreciates a love story and is crushing on a vampire or two.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2010

    Great Series

    I have to admit, I watched the tv series before I read these books. While I do still like the tv show, the characters in the books are so much better! I would highly recommend these books to anyone who is a fan of the current vampire craze, but wants some substance in their story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2010

    the diary like no other..

    well i have to admit that i thought this book was a knock off of the twilight series but when i got into it i saw it wasn't..the love between Elena and Stefan is so exciting to see what happens to them next.. if you like vampire romance then this book is for you..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    vampire diaries

    much better than the TV show!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

    Good Books

    I read these books in the 1990's when I was in High School hearing about them and the new show made me want to read them again. I find it funny that people think these were coppied from the idea of twilight when in fact the vampire diaries were written many years before all this twilight nonsense.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A fast read with enough excitement to quickly move you forward.

    The story line moves along at a pace that keeps you interested and wanting to know what happens next. It isn't the greatest writing but is easy to follow. It is a clever plot but not unique. It was something a little out of the ordinary with a slightly different twist on vampires.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    AMAZING!!!

    I thought the first 2 books of the series were amazing! i instantly fell in love with Stefan. hes so mysterious. i could totally see the similarities between twilight and vampire diaries..... i think stephenie kinda took some of her ideas from this book b/c a lot of it was the same concept.... elena likes stefan... stefan is a vampire. i would def. reccomend vampire diaries. its a great read if u wanna kinda breakaway from the twilight series but stay in the genera of vampires <3.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting

    This series is definately directed towards a younger crowd but saying that.. I would have to say this is the best book of the series. I would love to see her maybe even give Damon a chance and see that darker side of things but we all know she is head over heels for Stefan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Very Dark and Intriguing

    It took a while for the book to pick up but once Elena figures out Stephan is a vampire everything quickly takes off. I was worried that this series was going to be cheesy but I quickly found them realistic and dark. Elana's parents are already dead when the book begins and the characters talk about death a lot. Between the Salvatore brothers(Stephan and Damon) blood feud and Elena's unhealthy possessive tendencies towards Stephan(and maybe Damon), the book takes an even deeper and darker turn at the end, carrying us into book 2 (really Book 3). The books are quite mysterious and intriguing. Once you get started you wont want to stop.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Love it

    when i first started reading this book i didnt like it. but i made myself read it and somewhere in there i couldnt get enough of it. i read it in three days and i read the second book in two days. No its not as good as Twilight but i did really enjoy it. she throws a lot of twists in it. like when you think something good will happen it doesnt and vv. but no doubt it is one of my favorites.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2009

    Great book series

    This book series was very enjoyable... :-) Reminded me of the Twilight series, BUT was way before Twilight was even thought of... I almost wonder if S. Myers got some of her ideas from these books?

    Go buy them now if you are into the Vampire/Supernatural...

    Can't wait for the TV Series...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good book ~ But I wanted to smack Elena at several different times! (:

    I enjoyed the story ~ But like I said, I wanted to smack her! Read it for yourself to understand (:

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    Confusing at times

    The book was good and left you wanting to find a resolution. At times the story was had to follow. It was worth working through the confusion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty Good Read

    So just like most other teenage girls I was hooked on Twilight and I was looking for another vampire book to bide my time. Although I didn't feel Vampire Diaries was as good as Twilight, it can still hold it's own. The story was pretty good and not too predictable although I liked the fury and dark reunion story line a little better. I didn't feel as though the characters were developed as well as I would have liked them to be either. Stefan and Elena were just suddenly in love and there wasn't really any basis for it. I also didn't sense the love between Elena and Damon, there was definitely attraction between them but I didn't believe that she loved him and that there was a true love triangle. We were told the entire story from Elena's perspective but I didn't feel like I really knew her like I've known characters in other books. I also didn't feel like I really knew her friends until I read the 4th installment: Dark Renunion which is told from Bonnie's perspective. Also this book seems to go slowly then all the action happens at once.

    With that being said, this book is still worth the read. It reads fast and the plot twists keep the pages turning. The characters are likeable and once you get past the whole "wow they fell in love ridiculously fast" their feelings seem believable and you're rooting for them in the end. Again I think you should read this book and the next installment. A lot of questions are answered and the characters are more developed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2009

    Good Series

    I read these books because a friend suggested them and they are great. I suggest that anybody who is obsessed with Twilight read this series. I actually like the main character Elena better than Bella because Bella was often potrayed as weak, but Elena is strong even though she's head over heels in love. Great series with great characters.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Definitely aimed at teens, I still enjoyed this book - actually

    Definitely aimed at teens, I still enjoyed this book - actually 2 books. I've never seen the show before, but I think I might try to get my hands on it before too long. I am thinking that as the series progresses, we may get to see some real good development of the 2 brothers, who both are intriguing, and beguiling. It is no wonder that Elena falls for them both.

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