09 July, 2016

REVIEW: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (the Awakening and the Struggle) by L.J.Smith

Title: The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and the Struggle
Author: L.J.Smith
Series: The Vampire Diaries
Genres: YA, Vampires, Fiction, Paranormal
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Paperback
Pages: 492

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Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants.

Stefan: brooding and myterious, 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.

 I knew of the books since high school I think, but I never got around to reading them. Then the show came out and I started watching it, loved it of course, was obsessed with it. Eventually, I kind of got tired of the show (think it turned into a horrible mash of everything but that's another story), and I finally found the books in my local library so after a number of years I finally got to read them. I have to say I thought I knew what I was getting myself into but....I was not prepared for this at all!

THE WORLD: Before we start let me point out that today we are only reviewing the two first books of The Vampire Diaries series, and in later post we will review the next too. With that said, lets dive in!

The world is as we mortals know it, school, boys, friends, girl issues and death. But little do we know that there are creatures lurking in the night, children of the dark. So basically, the world in this book is a mixture of our simple life and an image of what would happen if vampires and other supernatural being lived among us in secret. The plot takes place in a town called Fell's Church, a small but homie town, where strange things start to happen when a new boy comes to town!

CHARACTERS: The main protagonist of the book is Elena Gilbert - a beautiful girl that was full of life and dreams, until her parents dead in a car crash. When we meet Elena she is torn between the want to just be sad and the old her, that loved life. To be honest, she was so different from the TV show Elena that to me she was a just a new character and I loved her! Althought I must warn you in the beginning she does come down as arrogant, selfish and thinking that the entire world circles around her. At first I thought she was annoying, but what helps you to understand her better is her diary, where she puts all her thoughts down and you get to see her inner struggles and the need to feel something again. I enjoyed her a lot, I enjoyed  her sassiness, her wit, her brain, I loved the way she totally lost her cool after realizing that not every one falls down under Elena charm, but mostly I loved her character development. From a little girl who had 'spoiled' issues, she grew into a young woman that did anything to protect the ones she love and actually paid the ultimate price! We see how she goes from 'me me' to 'all for them'. And to be honest with you I LOVED that she was blonde. Superficial of me? Perhaps, but to me it was a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed reading how her golden hair looked or her blue eyes sparkled and I didn't feel bad about it, sure sometimes it felt like the author tried to push this 'angel' parallel way too much but it didn't brother me. Elena Gilbert is a blonde! You got that TV show? Big mistake on your part!

Now let's move the boy who started the entire chaos - Stefan Salvatore. Guys, I have to say that I fell in love with Stefan from the very first moment. I mean he was just so mysterious but so kind at the same time, he almost had this 'Touch me and you dead, but let me help you cross the street safely' vibe to him and I loved it! Stefan was really a perfect male lead: brave, mysterious and hella handsome! :D I enjoyed how all through the first book he said like a sentence to Elena, and that drove her insane! And I enjoyed the way how in the beginning he thought he was protecting her when in all truth it turned put that she had to protect and save him.

Damon Salvatore - as we come across the name in the book is the third character, and the main villain who stirs more waves than an ocean for out characters. He is also Stefan's older brother. I thought he was written really well. No over the top humor, no unnecessary touchy feelings or talking in riddles. He was straight up dangerous and everyone knew that, it wasn't like he was bad but secretly good. No! He was a bad guy, who hurt anyone regardless if it was a mere mortal or his own brother.

There also few other characters I loved deeply - Bonnie and Meredith! I mean the best friend trio was amazing. I will never understand why they didn't include Meredith in the TV show because she has the best lines in the entire book. She is just so witty and snappy, and I just found myself wanting more and more of her. Bonnie was also very well written to me. With snappy Meredith and a little arrogant Elena, Boonie's calmness and shyness was just adorable! But don't think that she is a push over, oh no no no. Bonnie plays huge role in the books and she surely shows what she is capable off.

Of course there are characters that I loathed or didn't like. For example - Caroline, I thought she was annoying, Tyler as well. Truly they were two most boring things in the entire book!

LOVE: I am an absolute Stelena fan! Stefan and Elena forever!

They are so perfect for each other. He is looking for someone who would help him to forget who he is and she is looking for someone  who would  not care about who she was. Perfect!

But of course we have the love triangle in this book. Elena gets in the middle of two brother's Stefan and Damon and I did enjoy her relationship with both of them. With Stefan it was true love, affection and caring. With Damon on the other hand, I believe what drown her in was the danger. You would never know what could happen with him and that made him very irresistible not only for Elena but to me as a reader as well.

As you might have already noticed in my reviews I tend to talk about different kind of love as well. In this book that has to be the love between friends - Elena, Bonnie and Meredith! They were one person. I mean the girls shared such a deep bond, they were in all sense and understanding - best friends! Even if they fought or argued they still never failed to care, protect and love each other. I think their relationship is a good role model for young girls to know what true friendship should look like.

PLUS: I enjoyed a number of things in this book actually. Firstly, it would be the fast pace. There were no unnecessary scenes, descriptions, characters, dialogues anything! Everything happened for a reason and I loved it. The plot itself, because today we have everything we want, any over the top supernatural genre books, movies, TV shows you name it, so reading something with a simple plot as this was just so great, and refreshing and truth be told, the simplicity of the story made it really scary and intriguing.  

MINUS: To be honest I can't think of anything right now. I guess my minus points go towards the TV show for making it so much different than the book.

OVERALL: Loved it. Truly, I didn't think I would love it so much. So stay tuned for the next review and let me know what are your thoughts about The Vampire Diaries, both show and books :)


What did you think of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES?