Monday, 11 July 2011

Review: The Vampire Diaries 1 & 2

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle

Title: Vampire Diaries: The Awakening & The Struggle
Author: L.J. Smith
Series: #1 & #2 of The Vampire Diaries
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Age restriction? Teens, 12+
Published: 26 June 2007

Overcoming an incredibly unlikable main character to become a mediocre yet satisfying girl meets vampires story.

DESCRIPTION (via Goodreads:): 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.

REVIEW:  I almost threw the damn book right across the room. I think if I hadn't already been invested via the TV show, I would have, so word to the wise: Don't expect book Elena to be anything like show Elena. At all.

Elena was really that annoying in the beginning, so fair warning. She's the blonde beauty, the ice princess, the Queen Bee and knows it, and when she meets Stephan, who is trying to outrun his past and find his humanity, her resolution to get him has nothing to do with love initially: she's just pissed that a guy is not showing interest in her.
Yuck, right?

Luckily, it improves dramatically. Through the course of the first book, Elena changes her attitude drastically, which meant I finally got to relax and enjoy the story. So, the plot is nothing new, except for the bizarre bit with Katherine looking exactly like Elena, and I quite enjoyed the deviation from the TV series in that Stephan spends most of the first book wondering if it was him killing those people after all. Good times.

I've always been a sucker for ye olde siblinge rivalry, so I enjoyed the story arc with Damian and Stephan's relationship immensely. I also appreciated the way they were total polar opposites - though sometimes the author intrudes grossly to point out just how different they really are. 

I think one of the real saving graces of the series, for me, was Meredith and to a lesser degree, Bonny. They are so much fun and very well-rounded and real. They made me giggle at inappropriate times and often provide Elena with opportunities to redeem herself.

All in all, fun to read and enjoyable, though not exactly what you'd call breakthrough or original.

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