Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Vampire Diaries, by L. J. Smith (books 1 & 2)

Title: The Awakening; The Struggle;
Author: L. J. Smith
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
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So, I love the Vampire Diaries TV series. It rocks my socks.  At university, good friendships have become great friendships over a mutual love of this TV show. Not kidding, only today I sent a few friends a clip. Finally, and probably most importantly, I want to do unspeakable things to Damon Salvatore. Well, a girl can dream.

So, when I saw the first two books of the Vampire Diaries that the show is based upon at the library, I couldn't help to see if they matched up to my rather high expectations. Erm... aaannnnd they didn't. Sorry to disappoint, but I thought they were often poorly written, not long enough, and Elena was annoying and shallow, and oh so stereotypically self involved. And Elena and Stefan had a massive case of insta-love, from afar. Yuk. The love triangle wasn't so love triangley as much as a wiggly line of Elena being shallow and easily influenced by vampy powers of seduction- if you are going to have a love triangle, do it properly please.

I do need to break this down a little bit more... although they should be read as if they are one book I think.
First is up is The Awakening, where Elena meets Stefan, he ignores her, she decides to pursue him, and have him for herself in a very melodramatic fashion. And then there is the insta-love, where in one temper tantrum fight  they go from never having had a nice or proper conversation together to love shining in their eyes. *Barfs everywhere*. Then Damon, Stefan's older brother turns up, being all creepy and mesmerising, but still vaguely sexual. And there's a dance to organise, and dead bodies showing up. Oh, and Damon and Stefan are vampires.... Did I forget to mention that part?


Then there is The Struggle, where Stefan is trapped down a well. Bonnie uses the magics to find Stefan. And then, to tie it into the series title, there is an actual diary, of Elena's, that contains information that looks super incriminating for Stefan, as it ties him to all of the murders that happen in The Awakening. And there is a struggle (get it!!) to find it, because Elena has lost it, the dumb tart. And Elena perfects her tart act, sharing blood with both Stefan and Damon, in secrets. The whole Damon love triangle thing heats up a bit here, as Elena tries to justify her blood sharing with Damon as necessary and her being under (very nice) duress and whatnot, as well as keeping it hidden from Stefan.

And there is this whole backstory stuff, that I am treating separately because I cant remember what bit is in what book. Basically, Elena just happens to look EXACTLY like the lovely Katherine, who Stefan used to wuv, about 500 years ago. And Damon used to wuv her too, so the whole thing is actually a love SQUARE, that is full of haunted memories and questionable motives behind various relationships. So Katherine wanted to have both of the brothers, in a very interesting sandwich type combo, and when they weren't onboard with that idea, she tops herself, and there is a lovely Shakespearean "They Fight. They Die." moment.

So, Elena is annoying, and the writing is shocking, but the story is fairly good. It does drag in places, but then it gets better in others. L. J. Smith is really good at ending a book at the bit where it gets good, so I did go straight from one book to the next with no pauses. L. J. Smith, you tease! Not a patch on the Tv series though.

The Awakening is a 4, and the Struggle is a 5, but I'm still glad I read them, and the next two, which I will be reviewing soon!

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