Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J. Smith

Book Jacket

A deadly love triangle. 

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 teh beautiful girl torn between them.


I've not seen any of The Vampire Diaries TV show, but an author whose blog I follow loved the original books growing up, so when I found them on our library's shelves, I figured I'd give them a try.  The first two books are bound together, not sure why, but it works just fine for me since book one flows right into book two without a pause.

My first thought when reading this was that I sure hoped Stephanie Meyer never had.  The similarities between Twilight and Vampire Diaries are pretty numerous, though I have to say Vampire Diaries does it better.  Why does every single boy in the entire school want to date Bella Elena?  Not because she's plain and clumsy (because that is just wishful thinking).  Because she's super crazy popular and gorgeous.  At least that makes sense. 

I have said before that I'm sick of love triangles, but I can't seem to get away with them.  At least this one was interesting in that I honestly don't know who the author wants me to root for.  And that is awesome!  There is that silly Epic Love set up between Elena and Stefan from the start (with declarations of love made before they've had a real conversation...guh!), but then Damon points out that she's really too spirited and prideful for Stefan, and much better suited for Damon himself.  Which....is true.  So we'll see where Smith takes that.

(I hope she takes it in the Damon direction.  Give me a snarky, confident guy who is slightly evil over a brooding, self-hating slightly good guy any day.)

All in all, it was an entertaining read that was never boring.  I'll definitely keep reading the series, but it didn't change my life.  Though it's not like all books have to!

Three out of five stars.

Release Date:  1991
Reading Level:  Grade 8+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  SMI

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