Friday, August 7, 2009

The Vampire Diaries Series: The Awakening by L.J. Smith

I had taken a break from vampire genre after finishing the Sookie Stackhouse series, and didn't plan on revisiting that realm of fiction for quite sometime. The premise for vampire books seem to try and follow the Twilight code: Girl falls in love with vampire, their love is forbidden, danger befalls girl. The formula is a bit old and stale, especially after Stephenie Meyer executed it so brilliantly within her series. I feel the same about The Vampire Diaries : The Awakening that I finished this afternoon. The first book, The Awakening, was intriguing, but just not up to snuff after reading Twilight and Sookie books. It felt like the same song, different verse, but this verse wasn't as catchy as the first!
The novel begins with Elena, the beautiful and confident "queen" of her high school, contemplating how wonderful the start of her senior year at Robert E. Lee high school will be for her. Stefan is the dark and mysterious new boy who snubs Elena's flirtatious advances within the first hours of the new school year. Ego bruised and seeing a new challenge before her, Elena is determined to make Stefan her new man. You can probably guess the rest of the plot, but let's just say....been there, done that!
The author, L.J. Smith, writes the tale in 3rd person point of view, so we are able to see what both Stefan and Elena are thinking and feeling throughout the novel. There are also several flashbacks to Stefan's beginning as a vampire, and within those flashbacks, we are introduced to his evil brother Damon, who is also a vampire. Although the flashbacks offer a bit more depth to Stefan's character, I never fell for him in the way that one might fall for another 17 year old vampire. Like I said, it is hard not to compare every teen vampire novel to Twilight, but I say if you're going to take that angle, it better be stinking good before you print it! Although the novel keeps the readers interest, I didn't find it to be particularly great. Apparently the execs at the CW disagree with me and have turned The Vampire Diaries books into a television show that will premiere this fall. I'm interested to see how the series compares to the book, and I will even read the second book in the series before I totally decide that I'm off of the TVD bandwagon. Check out a clip from The Vampire Diaries series below:

I can tell you that the preview looks promising and a few things are different in the preview than in the book. I'll be tuning in to see if the changes take this book series from "Ehhh..." status, to "Wow" in my mind!


  1. I've read the books and you're right, they don't compare with the Twilight Saga. Nevertheless, I am still a fan and I can't wait to see how the books are made in to a television series. Then again I have always been a fan of the vampire genre. The Lost Boys, Interview With A Vampire, Twilight...all of them!

  2. We can watch the series and blog about it together! I've since been informed that LJ Smith published TVD BEFORE Twilight, so the series was established before Stephenie Meyer hit the shelves. I guess the influx of vampire fiction after her series is what has worn-out the premise for me! I'm not saying TVD is horrible or even bad...I just think that the quality of Twilight raised the bar for me! Either way, TVD will be a great book for me to recommend to my students!