The Vampire Diaries Volume 1: The Awakening and The Struggle

by L.J. Smith

Plot Synopsis: Elena is the social queen at school, and gets whiny and offended when the new hot boy (Stefan) at school doesn’t pay attention to her. They eventually start dating, and she finds out he’s a vampire, with an evil brother (Damon) who wants to kill him. Fights and deaths ensue!







Vampire Lore: 2
Smith took some major liberties here, which I suppose you can get away with when you publish a book about vampires before they sparkled. For starters, a vampire drinking someone’s blood doesn’t turn them into a vampire; the victim then has to drink the vampire’s blood. Okay, I can buy that. What I CAN’T buy is that after a while the effects of vampirism can wear off, and that someone is only transformed fully into a vampire if they die. Damon can transform into a crow, and Stefan can transfer into a falcon…I’ll just leave you with the thought of vampires turning into what could be feathered pets.

Love/Sex/Romance: 2
Same stuff you see everywhere…vampire dude, human girl, want to get together but he feels obligated to not go near her to save her. Blah blah blah.

Fights: 4
I have to say, this was pretty cool. There was lots of human-human fights, vampire-vampire fights, human-vampire fights, and people dying. This should always be part of vampire novels.

Entertainment Value: 3
I have to admit, once I got past the first 20-30 pages, this wasn’t as much as a struggle as I had predicted it to be. And I give Smith credit for the way she ended each book, because the lack of resolution and the promise that it would come not-so-far into the following book kept me fairly interested.

Characters: 1
I hated Elena from page four; she was shallow and just…lame. Stefan was marginally better, but still pretty whiny. Elena’s friend Bonnie’s psychic powers made her MORE ridiculous and annoying. Elena’s friend/ex-boyfriend Matt is a sucker with no backbone. Damon was the only character that didn’t make me want to jump into the book and become homicidal.

Writing: 3
I wasn’t a fan of how, in The Awakening, the story was told in third person from Elena’s point-of-view, then Stefan’s, then Elena’s, then Stefan’s, etc. ESPECIALLY since we knew NOTHING about Stefan most of The Awakening.

Overall, this is worth a read if you plan on checking out the upcoming series on CW that’s based off of it. Because from what I’ve been reading about it, and series of books that is already questionable is being torn apart for this show. It promises to be pretty awful.


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