Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Review: The Vampire Diaries Volume 1 & 2: The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J.Smith

Summary:The Awakening
The first volume of the series introduces the reader to Elena Gilbert a popular and beautiful high school student in Fell's Church, Virginia and her best friends Bonnie, Meredith and Matt. A former childhood friend, Caroline, is also introduced and revealed to be Elena's antagonist. As their senior year at Robert E. Lee High School begins, Elena meets and becomes involved with a mysterious new student, Stefan Salvatore. As Elena and Stefan fall in love, strange attacks begin to happen in the town and Elena discovers that Stefan has a dark secret—he is a centuries-old vampire. Soon after Elena and Stefan meet, another charismatic stranger later revealed to be Stefan's estranged elder brother, Damon Salvatore, begins to make appearances. The reader learns that the brothers both fell in love with a young vampire named Katherine in Renaissance Italy. Fueled with rage at Katherine's refusal to choose one brother over the other and her subsequent suicide, Stefan and Damon kill each other in a sword fight. They are interred in the family crypt but soon awaken as vampires, at which point they part ways until they encounter each other once more at the beginning of the novel. The Awakening ends with Elena seeking out Damon, whom she believes to be the prime suspect in Stefan's disappearance after the townspeople begin to suspect him for being behind numerous violent animal attacks and the recent murder of the high school's subst history teacher.
The Struggle
The second book picks up where The Awakening left off and delves further into Damon's attempts to win Elena's affections and Stefan's struggle to survive. Elena summons Damon and confronts him in the graveyard to discover Stefan's whereabouts. Damon claims he killed Stefan the previous night, but Bonnie, a witch, has a psychic vision. Matt seems to think her vision sounds like the bottom of a well. They find him at the bottom of the empty well. Stefan is close to death but Elena saves him by forcing him to drink her blood. Elena also strikes a secret deal by exchanging blood with Damon, and by doing so ties herself to both brothers as Katherine did centuries ago. While waiting for Stefan one night, Elena feels as if another Power inside a storm is coming for her, and she frantically tries to escape by crossing the bridge over a river. (Because someone told her evil things cannot cross running water.) The car she is in veers off the road and into the river, and she drowns. She fights to get up from the water but the Other Power keeps her in the water long enough to die. While this was all happening Stefen, Meredith and Bonnie are all looking for Elena. They find her minutes after the car veers off the road and Stefan dives in to save her. He drags her body out of the water but it is too late, Elena is dead. He then tells Meredith and Bonnie to go to the police while he, angryand grieving, tries to find and kill his brother. The Struggle ends with the revelation that, because she took enough of the brothers’ blood, Elena becomes a vampire upon her death.

Review: I'd heard a lot of great things about L.J. Smith and her books. The Vampire Diaries was one of them. Soon the TV show came out and everyone was more in love with them. So I decided to read the first two volumes, the only one's available at my school.

I thought it was going to be the typical thing: the book is better than the movie/TV show. But boy was I wrong. I didn't really like these two books. I had to literally make my self read it. It was like I was forcing myself to eat something I hated. I almost felt like putting the book away completely and reading something else. But I don't like to do that. So I decided the book might get better in the next few pages and when it didn't, I kept saying it. I didn't stop until I was done with it and fed up with it.

Elena was the "golden" girl. She had the looks, the brains, and the personality that everyone liked and loved. Why is it that in some many books these days there's either the "perfect" girl or the "not so perfect, ordinary" girl. Why can't it be a girl who looks really pretty and is really smart but isn't too popular. Or something like that. Elena got on my nerves. She looked and sounded so fake. I'm sure there are girl's out there who want a guy and will do just about anything to get them, but Elena just didn't seem believable. And once again, the vampire had to be absolutely gorgeous and all the girls had to love him and all the guys would hate him.

A few things I did like was the fact that the antagonist (some what) was the brother of the good vampire. And both of them were in love with Elena. And Elena just happened to look like Katherine, the same girl Stefan (good brother; good vampire) and Damon (bad brother; bad vampire;some what) were (are) in love with. At least there wasn't a bad vampire who wanted to kill Elena or something.

I also liked the fact that the vampires had special powers. Unlike Twilight, all the vampires have the same types of powers and how strong the powers are depends on the type of blood they drink (human blood= strong; animal blood= not too strong).

I actually like the show much better. The show is different from the books, but in a very good way: I like the aspects of romance and danger in them. I also think the characters have more personality than they do in the book and they're really awesome. The TV show is much faster than the books but it's fast in a good way. The way the story is put together, I just love it. I watched the recent episode and now I can't wait for the next episode. In the books, though, I doubt I'm going to read the other books.

Grade: Go to fullsize image It was okay. I can't say I hated it since I did like some parts of the book...

Cover: A- I love the color with the guy and his eyes and the blood and I like the font too...But I think there could have been more details added into it to make it look better!

Overall: It was an okay book(s) but I think I can only recommend it to the vampire lovers....it is written at a teenage level but I had a hard time connecting with the characters. They just didn't seem like normal teens to me!