Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review: The Awakening and The Struggle (Vampire Diaries #1 and #2) by L.J. Smith

Pages: 492
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: June 26, 2007
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 the beautiful girl torn between them."

Elena is the blonde Queen Bee of her school and town of Fells Church.  Elena doesn't have it easy though; she is dealing with the reality of her parents death. She meets Stefan at school and connects with him; however, she looks exactly like Stefan's former flame, Katherine.  Enter Damon, Stefan's brother and the resident bad boy; he really stirs things up and makes things interesting.  L.J. Smith's Vampire Diaries #1 and #2, The Awakening and The Struggle, are simply just average when compared to other paranormal reads and the much loved television show.

This is going to be tough for me to admit, but this is the ONE instance where I recommend a television show over a book series.  I had such high hopes for the series based on how much I love the television show; however, the series is completely different.  Elena is BLONDE for starters and has a sister- not a brother! The other characters are mostly the same, but Katherine isn't prominent in the first two books.  Damon is my favorite character in the television show, but in the series, he is straight up evil.  He actually drove me nuts in the book!

There are so many plot twists and differences from the television show that it actually ruined the book for me.  Hardcore fans would be angered by some of the differences.  If I had read the series first, perhaps I wouldn't have a problem with it, but die hard fans of the television show will no doubt be disappointed.

Is The Awakening and The Struggle interesting and entertaining? At time, yes, it is, but overall it left me feeling rather lackluster and indifferent.  I read the next two books in the series, but still felt the same way. I think I will stick to the television show and I RARELY, if ever, recommend a movie or show over a book, but in this case, I do!  You have to give The Vampire Diaries television show creators credit.  They took a mediocre series and really turned it into something special.

*Watch the book trailer


  1. I totally agree with you! I read these first two books just after TVD season one aired and I was SO disappointed in them. You're so right - they took a mediocre series and turned it into something special! I haven't continued with the books!

  2. I agree Christina! I read these before I watched the show and was really pleasantly surprised by all the ways they changed the books and made things a bit more interesting I thought:)

  3. I haven't seen the show, but I've had the books for a while now. I finally read them, and I wasn't that impressed either. Great review!


  4. I've been trying to decide whether or not to read these books, but I think I might steer clear of them now. Thanks for the review!

  5. I read book one years ago when it was first published. Back then I was 13 years old and I loved it. When I reread it as an adult because of the show my immediate thought was-"What was my 13 year old self thinking?". I can't stand book Elena and if they hadn't changed her so much for the show, I doubt it would have been a success. Spot on review!

    1. Thanks, Christina! I think my 7th graders may enjoy them, so I brought them to my classroom. We shall see!

  6. "Straight up evil" hahaha.

    I've heard this a lot actually (that the show is better than the books).

    Have you heard of the more recent books (Stefan's Diaries) based on the show? Those are fun reads because it's the history of what happened to the Salvatores before meeting Elena and aligns w/ the show perfectly :)

    1. Jennifer- I haven't heard of Stefan's Diaries, but I will have to check it out! Thanks for sharing!


I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs