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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 37 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 December 7, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    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.<BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book/series!

    This was a great beginning to a great series. It got me hooked on instantly! If you are a Twilight fan or love books aboout vampires then you will love this! It is absolutely amazing and I recommend this series to everyone! Trust me you won't regret reading this book.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    excellent!

    wow i read this book in just a few days! i couldnt put the book down i love the charachters and the edgyness! i reccomend it to anyone

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    i LOVE this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i have read the first two book witch is really the first four storys, but anyway, i LOVE this book and this series!!! it is great and i read both in less then four days!!! i think anyone would like it, expecially if you like vampire books!!! i am really excited to read the next books/storys in this amazing series!!!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Vampire Diaries Rocks!

    Don't expect the TV show to be exactly like the books. The characters and events are somewhat different. In the TV show, the timeline is different and the character of Elena is more intriguing. Elena comes across as less selfish in the TV show. The show is set in Mystic Falls instead of Fells Church in the book. The differences are what make me want to keep watching!

    The Awakening introduces the characters Elena, Stefan and Damon. Elena is dealing with life after the death of her parents. Stefan and Elena connect at school. Elena is the mirror image of Stefan's former love, Katherine - from another century. Then we meet the "bad" brother Damon and things get exciting.

    I won't gain any fans by saying this, but I prefer the character of Stefan over Edward in the Twilight series. Stefan is more realistic and you get to see his point of view presented in the book.

    I'm hooked.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    The Start for Vampire Books like they should be.

    The Vampire Diaries is by far one of the Best Vampire Books I have read. Its Thrilling, Romantic, and leaves you wanting more. Yes, Twilight is okay (not really just being nice here) but this is waaaaaaay better than that. If you havn't readt it so far, pick it up cause once you read it you just cannot stop.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A really good read, and shouldn't be compared to twilight.

    I like vampires, and have found them interesting before this vampire boom. Often, I find many people compare twilight to every vampire book...which is just plain silly. I watch the Vampire Diaries TV show and LOVE it! Only later, did I find out that it was a book series. After that, I knew I had to read it. The TV show differs from the book A LOT, which is ok with me...any person who reads knows the book is always better. So with that in mind I read this book knowing it would be different. The book is if truth be told is good, I liked the story and the characters in it. I found myself liking how Elena wasn't written as a selfless perfect girl-next-door. In this book she is full of herself and vein, which makes her very realistic. Other characters in the book are also written along those lines of realism. It is very refreshing, and brings a different tone to the book. With that said, I was greatly impressed of the betrayal of the vampires in this book, without giving anything away, they certainly did not sparkle. The ending was shocking to say the least, and I can't wait to read the next one. The writing was excellent, and the words flowed very well. This book is exciting, captivating, and is a truly good read. I will most likely read it again, and will recommend it often. Anyone who enjoys this genre I think should read it, you will enjoy it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    Wonderful!

    The Awakening
    The Vampire Diaries' first installment introduces the main characters and the main plot. Elena is the queen bee of the school - she can have any boy and do pretty much anything she wants. However, she is not the same Elena she used to be since her parents have died. While Elena struggles with this her best friends are there to support her. Then Stefan arrives in Mystic Falls... While Elena is with Matt she cannot help but be "attracted" to Stefan and puts her energy into getting him.

    Elena's character is at first very annoying. She is stuck up, a snob, and overall self-concerned. However, this is done on purpose... or so I believe. Within the first installment you start to see Elena as caring and understanding - there is more to her than her "social" appearance.

    Elena finds out that Stefan is a Vampire while people are attacked in her town. Then comes the love triangle with Damon's arrival. The brothers are completely opposite of eachother.... Stefan is mysterious in a brooding way. He clearly harbors guilt and sadness about his past but just wants to start a new life. Damon is evil. Simple as that. He has no thought for others and is only out for himself. What does Damon want....? He wants Elena all for himself, he want her to be his Dark Queen.


    The Struggle
    The Struggle picks up right where The Awakening leaves off. The love triangle only thickens in the second installment of the Vampire Diaries. Elena loves Stefan. However, there are clearly "moments" between her and Damon... Meanwhile the search for the person responsible for the attacks in town is still underway. At first everyone believes that it is Damon's doing - why not? He's evil and dangerous... However, they soon learn it is someone from Stefan's and Damon's past - someone that is more evil and dangerous than Damon. Someone who threatens Elena herself.... (I know we all know who it is but just in case I won't say).

    The first volume of the Vampire Diaries series is a very fast read. The writing style is simple and engaging, following a very tight and concise plot and timeline. While Elena's and Stefan's relationship started a little bit too quickly for me, their relationship becomes more rounded throughout the books. Overall, I really enjoyed the first volume!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Book

    I enjoyed the tv series, and purchased all the books in order to read the original story. I wasn't disappointed! I highly reccommend this series whether or not you are a fan of the tv series!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    AMAZING!!!!!

    This book was just fantastic! Couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting. Completely riveting I give it 2 thumbs up! And I recommened it to all my friends and they loved it too!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    AMAZING!!

    Ever since twilight I have been looking for a good vampire book. I tried "Blue Bloods" but it as boring and had a complex hard-to-follow plot. Then i tried "Marked: A house of Night Novel" and it was Good but not great and i didnt read it in one sitting. Then I stumbled upon "The Vampire Diaries" which I didn't think would be very good because of the title (i though it was going to be a bunch of vampires writing in their diaries) But boy was I wrong! This is an amazing book and everyone should read it. The author really allows you to connect with the characters.<BR/><BR/>There is however something that I maybe should mention- Its almost like a twilight-wannabe. Let me explain why: vampire falls in love with girl but realizes that he shouldnt be so he starts ignoring her, girl is really intrigued with the handsome pale <BR/>"guy" who is ignoring her and giving her dirty looks, girl and vampire fall in love, girl is going to die but vampire saves her, girl is turned into a vampire to save her from death. That is pretty much the only teeny tiny small thing that annoys me with this book- the fact that the plot is somewhat similar.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Love this book,

    Love this book,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Really good!!!!

    This book was really good!!!! Loved da graphic details, about throats being torn out, blood being drained, and murder of course, da rape seen was a lil 2 much, but watev....O.o

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2010

    Please make the E-Book!

    Amazing! Make the e-book version though, I love to have my favorite books with me at all times and most of this series isn't an e-book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    absolutely phenomenal

    After reading Twilight, I wasn't sure if any other vampire series could keep up with it. This series has by miles. I totally recommend this series to anyone who loves thrilling, romantic, and just a great book to read. Stephen and Damon are so mysterious and interesting to read about. Where they came from and how they became vampires. They is such a different and better twist to become a vampire, how to control the urges for blood, walking out in the sun and blending in with the human population than twilight has in its books. If you are looking for an amazing read, pick this book up today!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    good read

    these books are a little bit of a strech for those of us who enjoy the more traditional type of vampire stories, but its got just enough action and suspense to keep you turing the pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing book! Worth Reading!

    I am not a big fan of vampire novels (I loved the Twilight series but got bored of the repetition of vampies in every book) but this book had me hooked in the first few chapters! I found the main character incredibly irritating, but the story made up for her character.
    If you read the 1st book, you'll just want to read the other, and will be dissapointed when you read them both, because you'd want more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    one of the best books ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i totally love this book. i love all the characters though at times i hated elena. i recommend this book to everyone, even those who hate vampires!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great series to read for teens.

    When I read all of the old The Vampire Diaries series I was hock line and sinker. Love the hold drama of the mane character of the series as you will find out when you read all the way through too the knew book comes out in March.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    ok you really have to read this book!!!!

    OMG this book is so good..i mean the way the author (L.S Smith) describes the caracters so well ...she makes stefan salvetore sound so dreamy and romantic!!! but the way she talks about stefans brother damon salvetor is so hot!!! she makes him sound all bad boyish,I MEAN WHO DOESNT LIKE A BAD BOY??????ok so seriously ppl if you havent read this book yet you have to go read it!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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