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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review #6: “The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and the Struggle” by L.J. Smith

Title: The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and the Struggle
Author: L.J. Smith
Publisher: HarperTeen
Edition: Paperback including volume 1 and volume 2: June 26, 2007
Back Cover Summary: Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants.
Stefan: brooding and mysterious, he seems to be the only one who can resist Elena, even as he struggles to protect her from the horrors that haunt his past.
Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Determined to have Elena, he'd kill to possess her.


Once again, I watched the show before reading the books and absolutely fell in love with what I was watching. In the show, the background story is interesting, the characters are gorgeous, the plot line is very active and intriguing, and I was left with only wanting more. So, I picked up the books which I had saved on my shelf since finishing Twilight. And did it live up to the show…Not so much. :(

High Notes: While waiting until I had the time to watch season 2 of The Vampire Diaries online, I turned to the books to get just a little bit more of Elena, Stefan, and the oh-so-irresistible Damon. I figured that the books would just fill me in on more of the deliciousness that the show wasn’t able to fit in. Let me just say that I was in for a surprise. From the first page, I thought, “This is…wrong!” I know this is supposed to be the high note section, but I can’t think of ANYTHING that I really LOVED!!!

I did like that the plot in the book moved fast like the show, but at least the show slowed down the romance. In the show, Elena and Stefan had time to get to know each other, their obvious attraction towards each other, and eventual love and modesty. In the book, it goes from Elena “having to have” Stefan when Stefan ignores her to instantaneous soul mates when Stefan saves her one night.

I did, however, enjoy Damon (my absolute favorite on the show), but it took him forever to show up and without Ian Somerholder’s beautiful eyes staring at you when Damon speaks, it’s just NOT the same.

Low Notes: I have got A LOT to say here!!! But, I will try and keep it short and not let it turn into a rant. (That’s going to be hard, though.)

First off, the book’s plot relies HEAVILY on coincidences. (I feel that one coincidence in a book is acceptable. Anymore is CHEAP!) For example, in the show, Stefan seeks out Elena when he discovers that she looks very much like his 150 year-old, ex-girlfriend, Katherine, that he thinks died sometime around the Civil War. However, in the book, Stefan just happens to move from Italy to this itty-bitty town of Fell’s Church, and just happens to decide to go to this high school so he can integrate himself with the humans, and just happens to see a girl that looks a lot like his dead-undead ex-girlfriend that he knew around the Renaissance period. That’s THREE coincidences in ONE chapter!!! And they just keep coming. It really destroys the believability of the book.

Secondly, the instantaneous romance that I mentioned before.

Thirdly, Elena is a shallow, snobbish b*tch in the book! And Katherine looks like a pretty, frail, naïve child. Because of this, I didn't even like the main character! This is opposed to the show which makes Elena strong, empathetic, self-sacrificing, and lovable while Katherine is her doppelganger, a sexy, manipulative brat. This clearly defines Elena as the protagonist and Katherine as her personal antagonist. The other characters get more background story and bit more of the limelight in the show as well.

Finally, there is a whole lot of sucking of each other’s blood in the book. Yes, that’s what vampires do, but the book glorifies it as one of the only ways Elena and Stephan can connect and feel close to each other. I found it just plain gross. ("Ouch! You bit me! Why are you cutting yourself? Your blood tastes ucky!" Way to ruin the romance, Mrs. Smith!) I didn't like it.

Character Development: 2/5
Dialogue: 3/5
Prose: 2/5
Believability: 1/5
Style and Grammar: 1.5/5
Overall Rating: 37% Suckage!

This is my personal recommendation…Please read carefully!



  1. So this is one rare instance where the visual medium adaptation succeeded over the source material.

  2. I love the Vampire Dairies! I watch it all the time with my mum - we love the show, but we're mainly there to watch the irresistible Damon.
    Thank you for telling me about the book - I now know what I shouldn't get, thanks to you.

  3. Love this book. Totally love it. Thanks for the review was very helpful. I've read only very little of it and its lot better than twilight! Can't wait to read more.

  4. Seeing as the show proves to be a bit too mature for my 11-year old daughter, would you recommend this book for her to read, being that she is a VERY advanced (think "Twighlight" Saga, which she is now DONE with as of this past week) reader?

    This would be right up her alley. And I'll get her anything (appropriate for her reading/maturity level) that keeps her nose in to books, which she loves doing.

  5. Thanks for linking up to the no Ordinary Blog hop:) I am now following. I love to read but havn't tried this series yet. I prefer historical fiction:)

  6. Matt...In my opinion, yes. I also thought the Pretty Little Liars television show was better than the books, but the tv show is so far off from the books now that I don't know if it is even right to compare them anymore.

    dtwilight...The show is amazing, isn't it. I guess there are people out there who really do love the books too, but maybe it is because they read the books first. I just suggest that of you are interested in the book, read a few chapters int he book store before actually buying it.

    Dawn...You'll have to let me know of you continue to like it. Also, have you seen the show?

    proudmom...I know my 14 year old cousin read them and there isn't any sex (it's barely even implied) and they don't really swear. However, my cousin thought it was a little scary and while I was reading, I could see a few parts that would be scary too. I know of a lot of other vampire books, but I haven't read them yet so I don't know how age appropriate. However, the other books I have read and really enjoyed and think are age appropriate are the "Maximum Ride" books by James Patterson, the "Uglies" books by Scott Westerfeld, and many MANY people read "The Hunger Games" right after reading Twilight. There is quite a bit of killing in The Hunger Games, but nothing graphic and there is a reason why. Check those out if you get a chance. Since she is reading now, you'll want to try and keep her going!!!

    The Adventurer...No problem. I read quite a bit of historical fiction like prisoner in the palace and the Hood series by Stephen Lawhead. If you like the Robin Hood Myths you would probably love that. Do you also read period pieces or do they have to be historical fiction?

  7. Lovely Aubrie! I truly enjoy your honesty on your blog. Most people say read the book and do not watch the movie (or show in this case). I've never had a problem with watching the movies first then reading the books because I enjoy having a picture in my head of what the characters look like instead of creating them in my mind. I have not read or seen this series but it sounds so interesting and I'm a huge Twilight fan (who isn't?) :)

    Thank you so much for sharing!!


  8. I've read all the books, and now I'm on to the Stephan diaries. Thing is with me that I loved the characters and the fantasy elements. True, as the books go on, the story gets less believable and Elena becomes someone you'd like to punch, while all her friends and 'lovers' think the sun shines out of her butt and bow to her ultimate power (wt...?)but I wanted to see what happens - mostly I wanted Damon to get with Elena! Sad - I realise. I love the show, and I acknowledge that the writing is pooh! ;) Shah. XX

  9. Great review! Love the Vamp TV series, haven't touched the books - no need to with those Damon-eyes on set ;) I tell my daughter (dtwilight) that Damon's bloodline must be linked to Rob Lowe and Zack Efron - Is it just me, or can you see a resemblance? Uncanny, I think.
    T x

  10. I'm straggling in from Mailbox Monday. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I'm e-mail subscribed, follow via GFC.

    Melissa AKA Froggy
    A little of this A little of that...

  11. Kate...That's how I feel too. I like actually being able to "see" the characters when I read. However, I don't mind making them up as I go as well. It just depends on what I am more into. Plus, I find that a book ruins a movie more often than a movie ruins a book, if that makes sense.

    Shah...I like the line about everyone thinking the sun shones out of her butt because that is so true. No, that's not sad. The sad thing is that even though I don't find the book to be that good, I still enjoyed it in a way and will most likely read the others, but mostly because I can not get enough of DAMON!

    Moana...Definately! I think it's the whole chisled cheek thing! Also, I didn't know dtwilight is your daughter. I LOVE you BOTH!

    Froggy...Cool. Thanks for visiting and feel free to join in the discussions when you get a chance.

  12. Hi!
    I'm your newest follower! Hope you'll stop by and follow back, and also to link up to my Welcome Wednesday hop this week!

    Have a great week!

    Frugal Invitation

  13. great review. haven't watched the show... but i am now intrigued! your newest blog hop follower. happy MONDAY! would *love* a follow back. you can find me at:


    lots of FUN giveaways... come by and enter!

  14. Frugal Invitation and Ace and Friends co...Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I will stop by your blogs later for a look tomorrow :) I would now, but I wouldn't be able to do you any justice with my eyes feeling like there are bricks hanging from them! Sleeping now. ttyl.

  15. Hi AubrieAnne,
    I have given out awards to all my followers. Check out my Blog because an award has been given to you

  16. New GFC follower from Give it to me Monday:)You have great writing skills (I am an English teacher).


  17. dtwilight...Thank you, my dear. I really LOVE it!

    Laura...Welcome! and thank you! Are you an English teacher for elementry, middle school, high school, college? I like to ask because i have considered teaching, but go back and forth about what age group to teach.

  18. Huh - that sounds like I wouldn't like the book as much as I like the show. Very sad :(

  19. Rose...That's what I thought when reading it! I was like "Why is this all so wrong? Nothing makes sense." The show just WORKED!

  20. Hi I was updating my blog and wanted to add your WYE button but I couldn't find the code:( Where is it on your blog or can you send it to me. Thanks so much:)

  21. The Adventurer...Oh, yeah! Thanks. Here's the link where you can get the code to the official button (the code is right below the picture)...


    Let me know if you have any problems. When I redo the layout of my blog, I will make sure to have to code more available.

    PS> Sorry, I can't just place the code here. The comment box won't accept teh html for some reason.

  22. I think i left off on page 26 of the book and went right for the show! TEAM DAMON! lol
    Thanks for joining BIFT! I am following you back. :)

  23. Jennifer...lol. Yes, Team Damon! I'm all for that. :)

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