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.
Amber (amber1111) reviewed The Vampire Diaries, Vol 1: The Awakening / The Struggle on
Helpful Score: 2
This was a pretty good book. It is actually the first 2 books in the series combined into one book. It was similar to the Twilight series but nowhere near as good. The characters are less developed and less likeable than the Twilight series, but it's still a good read if you like vampire stories.
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.
This book was excellent and very fun to read. I enjoyed how this book is actually the first 2 so I didn't have to go out and get another book. written in the 90's it seems very innocent. they've changed it a bit for the tv show though.
I got this book because of the tv series, but the book is vastly different. I wasn't too crazy about the first book, The Awakening. Elena was extremely self-centered and annoying, but I'm glad I stuck with it because it picked up steam once Stefan and Damon came into the picture and the focus switched to their story and the relationship between Elena and Stefan. Once I got to the second book, The Struggle, I could not put it down. The ending was great, it left you anxious to find out what happens next. I gave it a 3 overall, 2 stars for the first book, 4 stars for the second.
An enjoyable, easy read. There could definitely be more character development, but it's a good story if you want some light paranormal romance. I liked this much better than Night Shift by the same author.
Felicia R. (fellcia) - , reviewed The Vampire Diaries, Vol 1: The Awakening / The Struggle on
Helpful Score: 1
I first read these books when I was 12 and since then have read them again every few years. I just love this story. It's one of my all time favorites. It is definitely written on a level for younger readers but is still a great romantic vampire story.
I bought this book when I heard about the CW series because I was planning to watch it and books are usually better than movies, tv series, etc....so far, for me, this is one of the exceptions of the rule because I'm liking the TV series better.
The story is dark, but that is not what I don't like about it...the main characters are the ones I have problem with. This is the story about a love triangle between a very popular high school girl and two very old vampire brothers. Elena is extremely beautiful, an Ice Princess, she is selfish, vain and think the world revolves around her...ok, she gets more mature as the story progresses but even after that I don't like her. Stefan and Damon are brothers, both very old vampires who lived as humans during the Italian Renaissance...both made vampires by Katherine a beautiful young lady that falls in love with both of them and provokes a war between the brothers...she ends up committing suicide in an attempt to bring peace between the brothers and that only make things worse. They have hated each other since then and are mortal enemies.
Stefan refuses his nature and hunts animals what makes him weak...Damon on the other hand is ok with his life and kills and use humans without mercy. Stefan comes to this little town of Fells Church in an attempt to have a normal life and finds out that Elena looks a lot like Katherine and tries to avoid her, and Elena wants to have the new guy for her at any cost. Damon finds out about Elena and installs himself in town trying to have her too and reviving his rivalry with his brother.
My problem with Stefan is that even though he knows what his brother is capable of and being himself and old an experience vampire, acts like the high school boy he's representing. He doesn't do what is necessary to protect Elena, he says that he would leave if he knew that Damon would leave her in peace, but since that is not going to happen he stays to protects her, only that he fails big doing that and in a way is Elena the one who is protecting him. Damon is the one that is consistent with his personality and apparently the only one who knows what he's doing even though he's the bad guy is the one I like the most.
In general I think that there are many flaws in the story. For example, they wear rings that Katherine gave them so they can walk during the day. The stones of the rings work the magic but it is never explained why those stones are special, who made those rings...and if every vampire uses that kind of jewel to be protected from the sunlight. They also have Powers that are stronger when they drink human blood...some of them are mentioned but it is kind of a vague thing because you never know the real extent of those powers and sometime they work and sometime they don't. The story is told from a third person point of view in a way that you always feel like an spectator and not really connected to it...at a point I felt like I didn't really care about what happened to the characters.
So in conclusion, I can tell the story is good...that overall I enjoyed it but it is not that great book that makes you forget the world and you can't get enough of it.
Not as good as the TV show. If you love the TV show like I do, you will be disappointed in this book. Also as I read this book I felt the relationship between Stefan and Elena was more like Bella and Edward and not like the show.
I saw an episode of the television show before searching for the books so by reading this one it gives me some of the background on who, what and how but also kept me wanting to read until the end, and beyond into the next set of books. I am a firm believer that the books usually explain things and situations better than any screen movie or tv show can ever accomplish so I plan to continue with the series to see where it goes.
I haven't watched the TV series but I'm in a paranormal reading mood so I picked it up. It was what I expected but I was pleasantly surprised. I kept waiting on it to be more romantic and with many cliche's but that wasn't the case. If your into a vampire reading mood then this is a book to pick up.
I am big fan of the TV series on CW and I thought that I would try the books out. I was pleasantly surprised!
Elena is the queen bee of her school and she falls for the mysterious Stephan, who is a vampire. It turns out that she looks just like a woman, Katherine, from his past whom he and his brother, Damon, were in love with. Elena is attracted to both brothers but chooses Stephan because he is the more "wholesome" brother. But she is strangely drawn by Damon's darkness.
The books are a bit different from the show, most of the characters are the same but there are a lot of differences in hair and eye color, roles in the story, etc. There are some additional characters and some are missing. This really isn't that bothersome though, I visualize the characters as they are on the show with no problems.
The writing is fairly good, the story is interesting and I was able to read the books fairly quickly. I am definitely looking forward to the next couple books: The Fury and Dark Reunion.
Overall, the TV series is much more complex and compelling, but these books are pleasant and entertaining to read!
A light teen read. Not a bad little story. Popular snob girl falls for dark, mysterious handsome vampire. Feelings are also tempted and torchered by handome vampire brother Damen. Different from the TV series, a delight to read. Star crossed and eternally doomed (or damned) are these players which makes the tale interesting.
I decided to read this after I watched the series on tv. The books are great for teens/young adults. They are slower moving but very explanatory and not explicit. The only romance scenes are romantic not explicit. These were out when I was a teenager but I never heard of them though I was a big R.L. Stine fan however now at 31 it doesn't have the same appeal (to be expected) though I love the TV show. I will finish the series because the characters do have appeal and hook you in. Only negative I can see is the TV series does a better job with Damon, the book it makes him all super powerful to the point of you wonder why there was any books after the first or second-he should have just axed everyone and got it over with. But the descriptions are better in the book, the author has a true talented at making you visualize the entire scene BETTER than they can show it on TV.
(Note for others reading after watching- the plot line is not the same, characters are not the same -well names are but others are not. It is definitely still worth the read but if you are not open minded to changes to the tv versions might want to pass, that irritated a friend horribly. For those that are Alaric fans- he comes in very late of book 1 or early book 2 and is so far just as cool as the show.)
The TV series is so much better. Elena starts off a complete B then suddenly changes to a good person when she falls in love. And why does she fall in love? She and Stefan have a moment and suddenly they're in love. No explanation at all.
Allison W. reviewed The Vampire Diaries, Vol 1: The Awakening / The Struggle on
I thought this book would be better. I am 35 and while it is definately written for a teen crowd, I really did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The text was not very well written and the story just did not seem to flow well.
I really enjoyed The Awakening and The Struggle -- the first two books of LJ Smith's Vampire Diaries series. I started watching the CW TV series when it debuted this fall, and decided the books needed to be added to my to-read list. There are some major departures from the original plot outlined in the book and the TV series (much like True Blood and Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels), so I'm glad I the read the story as Smith intended it.
However, I have to say, I like some of the changes made for TV. LJ Smith's Elena -- the main character -- is hard to like at times. She is a very shallow, popular girl that revels in her role of "queen of the school." She has a huge sense of entitlement, uses people and lies to her friends and family to get what she wants. So, in that way, I guess she's a fairly authentic beautiful teenage girl.
Elena becomes obsessed with attractive, mysterious new boy at school, Stefan. From the title of the book, it's not difficult to figure out what secret he's keeping. Thankfully, she's amazingly understanding when she learns her 17-year-old boyfriend is actually a 500-year-old Florentine vampire. Of course, the happy couple-to-be is plagued by an equally mysterious and good-looking vampire who's causing lots of trouble in Fall's Church -- mainly attacking it's citizens and making Stefan think he's to blame. Turn's out, the Big Bad is Damon, Stefan's long-lost brother who's not quite as sweet or opposed to taking human life as the weak and gentle-spirited Stefan. And, oh yeah, he wants Elena, too.
The book comprises two titles condensed into one longer novel, and I think that was a good decision by the publisher. The original stories are very short and end with major cliffhangers. Even combined under one cover, the book is a very quick read that will keep readers turning the pages.
However, I do have to end this review with a caveat: the similarities between Twilight and Vampire Diaries are, at times, blatant. LJ Smith wrote this book in the early 90s -- it's something of a pioneer for the genre. As I read, I wondered if Stephenie Meyer had ever picked up a copy in high school. There are a few scenes that are almost exactly alike -- the scene in which Stefan (Edward) is illustrating to Elena (Bella) how strong he is and how vulnerable she is comes immediately to mind, but there are others. I love Meyer's books, but I hope LJ Smith thinks that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. The characters were not well-developed or even really likeable. The "heroine" can't choose between two vampire brothers, for one of which she feels purely physical attraction. Stefan is supposed to be sensitive and heartbroken after the death of his first true love, but he just comes across as kind of whiney. It's a quick read, and only semi-enjoyable.
I started reading this book because I loved the tv show. My one big complaint is the character Elena. She's shallow and annoying and not a great heroine. The book does get better, but not until the end. Almost ended up liking it. The characters are very immature if you ask me. The character Elena on the show is waaay better!
Dennise R. (mzvtec) reviewed The Vampire Diaries, Vol 1: The Awakening / The Struggle on
I loved this Series from the moment i laid eyes on it. I knew this was a hit. EVEN BETTER! they made it into a tv show that IS AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGG! i deff suggest this to anyone who love vampires, romance, love , and mystery.
These books would have probably been better for me if I hadn't watched the TV show first. I don't like Elana much in the books and can't understand why Stephan likes her. The characters weren't as well written in VD as they are in other L.J.Smith books. It was a very slow read for me. I couldn't get into it. It's not bad, but not one that I would read again.
I started watching The Vampire Diaries on TV as soon as it started this whole thing is right up my alley! I wasnt in love with it at first, but after a few episodes it really brought me in and has become one of my favorite shows.
Which means that I had high expectations for this book, perhaps too high. The first book, The Awakening, is a mere 255 pages andtheres a lot to fit in with a small amount of book space to do it. We have to be introduced to our main cast of characters, Elena and Stefan have to meet each other, scary things have to happen, etc. Its a fast read, but the action went waaaaaaaaaaaay too fast for my taste.
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