August 16, 2012

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and the Struggle

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle* by L.J. Smith
Release Date ~ 6/26/07**
Format ~ Paperback
Publisher ~ HarperTeen
Source ~ Bought
Purchase It!
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.

Collected here in one volume for the first time, volumes one and two of The Vampire Diaries, the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.
 * This book contains the first two books in The Vampire Diaries series. 
** These books were published individually in 1991, but were bundled together for the first time in 2007. 

   I think if I were to describe The Awakening in two words compared to The Struggle is "Smith's warm-up'.  The Awakening didn't really seem to have a climax, even though when the book was first published it was alone without the second book bundled on, so I must think that this one may of turned off many fans to the series, which is a true pity, because The Struggle was truly a good read. I can't say too much about it so not to spoil it, but the climax basically consisted of a argument over a girl between two brothers. No blood-sucking (boo!) and no vampire slaying (boo!). I may just be a bloodthirsty demon, but I need more then that.

   Another thing that really bothered me was Elena. Though in The Struggle she did get better, in The Awakening, she was nothing but selfish and stuck-up, and for lack of a better word, a real bitch. She repeatedly called guys "puppies who follow you around" and "accomplishments to show off to your friends". I know this is a girls book, but I have never met a girl that talked about guys that way. Though like I said, this  is a girls book, if I was Ms. Smith why would I want to turn off guys from reading my book by making comments like that? To me it just sounds unnecessary. In the TV series CW totally changes Elena's character into a friendly, humble, nice person. Though I hate to see movies/TV changing major things in adaptations, I am very glad they did it in this one because I and I'm sure many others wouldn't watch a series that revolved around one of the meanest protagonists I've ever met.

  One of the characters I did really like was Stefan. He was really gentlemen like, and very protective of Elena (though if I was him I would of fed her to Damon the first chance I got, that's how much I disliked her at first). He also, unlike his brother Damon, didn't lose his humanity by killing innocent people (does he sound a little like Edward? See, L.J. Smith came up with it first!).

  Elena's two best friends, Bonnie and Merdith were also great characters. Both were willing to do whatever it took to help Elena (including breaking in to someone's house) and they were the kind of friends anyone would be lucky to have.

  The Struggle is when the series really starts to pick up. It's also when Elena realizes she's a loser and decides to be nice(ish) though I still wouldn't describe her as a warm and fuzzy person. It's also when Damon becomes bigger, and he's the kind of guy I love to hate. I've heard he gets nicer in the upcoming books so please don't spoil it for me in the comments *covers ears and sings a song loudly*. I don't like the bad boys and am strongly Team Stefan, and if Stefan doesn't end up with Elena in the end BLOOD WILL SHED.

  L.J. Smith had a writing style that let you get inside her character's heads. It made you understand why they were doing it and let you appreciate them in a new light. It's probably one of the things that made me warm up to Elena in the end.

  In a nutshell, the first two books of The Vampire Diaries are fun vampire reads. Though The Awakening wasn't too enjoyable, read through it because you won't want to miss The Struggle.
Cover Comments: Not the most original cover, but a cool font and the half of Stefan's face adds a bit of mystery!


  1. I really like Stefan too!

    Vampire Diaries is a great series:)

  2. Do you know how many people I've had to convince that this series started BEFORE Twilight!!!! Although I still need to start it..... :)

  3. I read this series when it first came out and adored it. Stefan was fabulous. You make me want to re-read it!

  4. I have read this book also. I agree with you on the review. I just told everyone that they should read it but not to compare it to the TV show.

  5. I have watched the show and recently they offered book one as a kindle freebie so I picked it up. Will have to give it a try. I know even on the show I am not crazy with Elena LOL and I was hoping the books would be better.

  6. This has definitely made me want to finally check out the books and your review has been extremely helpful in finally giving me the push I needed to check it out.

  7. If the first book was kind of just blah I'm not sure that I would have continued with the series. I guess it helps to have both boos together. Since the second was better than the first. I also didn't realize (book)Elena was not a very nice lead.
    I'll probably read these books once the series is over so I won't compare as much.


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