Thursday 10 June 2010

The Vampire Diaries ( The Awakening and The Struggle) by L.J. Smith

Pages - 389

Challenges - Young Adult Challenge

First published in USA in 1991 by Harper Collins. First published in Great Britain in 2001. This edition published in 2010 by Hodder Children's books.

4 September

Dear Diary,

Something awful is going to happen today. I don't know why I wrote that. It's crazy. There's no reason for me to be upset and every reason for me to be happy, but.....

I had absolutely no plans to read this book and I have not been caught up with the hype surrounding the series, and yet here I am reviewing it. Sigh!

I find it really difficult to bypass books when everyone is raving about them. In this case, majority of the people I know are raving about the series rather than the books and thank god for that because I really didn't rate the books very much.

I had presumed the books would be completely in diary format. Wrong! I think there are about six or seven diary entries in the first two books. I was a little disappointed as I do get excited about reading either diaries or letters. The voyeur in me, escapes every so often.

The first two books follows the most annoying teenager ever, Elena Gilbert, who is the girl everyone wants to be. As you can probably tell, I never fitted into the role of most popular girl, so I can't stand reading about them either.

Anyway, Elena decides she wants the new boy in school, who just happens to be Stefan a hundred year old vampire. Everything seems to be running along nicely until up pops Damon, Stefan's rather evil vampire brother and that is where the books appear to get a little more interesting. Damon comes across as a much more interesting character than either Stefan or Elena, though I am not sure if that is just my imagination playing tricks as I have seen the actor who plays the part of Damon and he is rather dishy.

Apparently the storyline for the TV series is completely different from the books, so you can watch and read both and still be prepared not to know what happens in the end.

These books are OK reads; they didn't thrill me, they didn't have me rushing to secure my pre-order DVD copy of the series and they didn't leave me desperate to read the next book. They were just OK.

I think the most fascinating thing about these books to me, is that it has taken nearly twenty years for them to reach worldwide sales. These books were first published in America in 1991 and didn't get published over here until the turn of the century, yet now ten years later, everyone wants to either read them or watch the series. L.J. Smith must be rubbing her hands together with glee as the pennies roll in at a considerable speed.


  1. I actually had absolutely no idea these were NOT recent books! Fascinating indeed.

  2. I've had a case of vampire overload what with reading the Twilight series and then the True Blood books - I dare say, some day, I may well get around to reading these but not at the moment. I did watch some of the tv series but didn't like this.

  3. I find that cover sooooooooo weird. I swear I've just been staring at it for a whole minute...the airbrushing, the awkward poses, the bird...

  4. See this one has bypassed me completely. I have a very 'meh!' feeling to the series and haven't watched a one, don't particularly want to either and am not inclined to pick up the books. Even less so after reading this. I don't know why as usually anything vampy at all and I'm there. I did wonder if maybe I was growing out of the vampy stuff *gasp* but after standing ogling all the books I want in Tescos today I know that's not the case. So don't know why this one just doesn't grab me.

    Vivienne I wonder if you can help me. I spotted a book in Tesco today - I KNEW I should have picked it up at the time but I didn't and now I can't for the life of me remember the name ofr the author and I REALLY want to read it after reading the blurb today. It was something to do with someone finding out about their ancestor and it was all to do with Witch trials and hauntings. I'm sure it was called The Psycick Book of... (magick? something, something...) Psychic was spelt in the old fashioned way, I may have spelt it wrongly... aaaargh! WHY don't I pick these things up when I see them. I hoped you might know being that you like all those sort of books too. Long shot I know.

    Might have to shoot back down there after school!

  5. Thanks for your review - I think I'll skip the series.

  6. Yeeeeahhh, I think I'll be skipping these...

  7. We have the Twilight series to thank for this resurrection of vampire fiction (vamplit?)! Terrific review, Vivienne. You had me chuckling again! :D

  8. I actually really enjoy the tv series which I didn't think I would, but after a few episodes it really came into it's own and has me hooked.

    Thanks for the review of the books - I've been debating whether to read them or not and for now I think I'll pass - I have plenty of other well recommended books to choose from! :)

  9. I haven't read the books or watched the series. I'm kind of 'vampired out' for
    Great review :)

  10. I reckon if something takes twenty years to take off, it's telling you something!

  11. Not a fan either of reading of those oh so pretty girls that everyone wants to be like.
    Watched 1 ep of the show, teendrama nuff said

  12. I'm totally in agreement with Eva - that is one odd book cover!

    And, I had no idea these weren't new either. Must be that now that Vampires are all the rage the books are getting a lot more exposure.

    Well, I don't know if I'll try these. I think I'd be so disappointed that there aren't very many actual diary entries. I am like you, I love that literary form. Oh well, it's not like there aren't a hundred more vampire books to check out :)

  13. This is one of the vampire series I haven't read. Thanks for the review, Viv!

  14. Haha, yeah she probably is.She's probably going, "Take that, Anne Rice!"

    I started reading the first book of this series and couldn't really get through it. The diary entry at the start annoyed me to begin with - I didn't connect to Elena in any way (I wasn't the 'popular' girl either) and found her whining and immaturity too much to bear.

    Maybe I'll give it another go one day but I can't say this series is my top priority.



  15. I didn't know that this wasn't a recent series. I have no intention of reading the books but I do enjoy the tv series. I think this new cover is great though.

  16. I have to admit, I'm not really rushing out to start reading these books. I watched the series for a little while but quickly lost interest. I have to say, I agree with your assessment about Damon being an interesting character: I loved him in the show. But still, I think that there are probably a lot more interesting choices on my TBR list.

    Jennifer @


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