This book caught my eye at the bookstore and I finally decided to get it and give it a try. It was a pretty good book. Nothing really outstanding but an enjoyable read. These books were originally written something like 15 years ago and were re-released as this omnibus which contains the first two of the four original books in the series.
Elena, the most popular girl in school, is intrigued by the new boy in town named Stefan. He is mysterious and will never answer any questions about his past. Elena is determined to make him notice her. Stefan finds Elena disturbing in that she reminds him of someone in his past. Things get tense when killings and attacks start happening in the area and people begin to suspect that Stefan is more than he appears to be.
A lot of people are comparing this to Twilight, and while the theme is kind of similar, the writing style is much different and the topic of vampirism is handled in a more traditional way than it is in Twilight. Personally, I shy away from comparing this series to Twilight because it is just a very different type of story.
This was a well-written and engaging story. It is again a story of star-crossed lovers in a way, as Stefan and Elena struggle to make a relationship work between a human and a vampire. It is also a story of revenge as Stefan's brother, Damon, tries to tear Stefan and Elena apart. This is a book for teens or young adults; it takes place during high school and there is a lot of angsting over who loves who, and who should go to what parties, etc. There is some mystery as they try to solve who is causing the attacks. There are a couple good action scenes but I wouldn't call this an action novel at all. The story itself is more of your classic Romeo and Juliet beginning with a paranormal bent to it.
The ideas behind vampirism are pretty typical and traditional in this book; there wasn't a ton of creativity from that aspect. That book also didn't take place is a very creative world; so not much world-building just the world you and I live in.
If you liked Twlight, the House of Night series, or the Vampire Academy series than you will probably like this book. As far as writing quality I think the Vampire Academy series is more well written than this series and the House of Night series is less well written than this series. It was good enough that I will read the next omnibus that contains the final two books of this series. I am not sure if I will read any additional series by L. J. Smith or not.
Like many people, I chose to read this book because I saw that there is a TV show coming out based on the series and I was intrigued. Now to start with, I am not the target audience of this book--it's most definately meant for preteens and high school students. I'm an adult who's read a lot of paranormal romance, fantasy, and horror, so my tastes are a bit more particular.
Basically the story is about a very popular girl named Elena who experiences a strong attraction toward the new guy at school, who's name is Stefan. What Elena does not know is that Stefan is a vampire, and that he's hundreds of years old. Stefan in turn finds himself drawn to Elena--mostly because she reminds him of a girl he knew when he was young. The plot and themes are very simplistic. I believe anyone over the age of twelve would be perfectly comfortable reading this, so mission accomplished there.
The main problem I had with this book was Elena--I found myself both loving and hating her. She's self-obsessed, determined, immature, and utterly stupid. I guess you could say that since she's so flawed and develops so much , she's actually fairly well-written. But she is annoying. As for Stefan, he was less well-written in that I really couldn't get a grip on his personality or motivations at all. Additionally, some of the high school social drama had me rolling my eyes at the silliness of it all.
Upside to this book--there are some nice romantic moments, decent imagery, and a few good action sequences. As an adult I'd say skip it, there are better vampire stories to be had in the paranormal romance world. But for the 12-15 crowd, it might be somewhat enjoyable.
I was watching TV the other day and saw a commercial for "The Vampire Diaries" a new series coming to the CW this Fall. I vaguely recalled the name and realized that it was a book I had on my To Be Read pile. So I read it.
Well, I was not into the book at all. However my complaints with the book will not bother me in a Television show.
The female character was a popular snob and the main male character seemed a bit week to me (I don't think this will be the case in the TV show). The romance also did not seem very believable, I think mainly because of Elena's personality. She goes after him as if he is a possession that she must have, not out of love and then all of a sudden she is head over heals in love with him.
As I already said the problems I found with the book will not bother me in a television show. When I sit down to watch TV (seldom) I like to be totally brain fried. I think in my reading I like my characters to have more substance and for the plot to be more believable.