Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith
Harper, 1999
Fantasy (YA); 320 pgs

I bet you were beginning to wonder if my recent love for all books, faults included, was related to postpartum hormones. Maybe. Or it could be a result of sleep deficiency, joy at finding any time to read at all, and the inability to be too critical right about now. Regardless, I met a book even my postpartum brain couldn't grow to love--or even like.

I actually tried reading the first book of The Vampire Diaries a couple of years ago, right before the start of the television series. I got about ten pages in and couldn't bear anymore. My liking a main character isn't mandatory, but I do have to find something redeemable in them--something relatable at the very least. Elena just made me mad. I didn't like her one iota. And I wasn't all that taken with the story either.

Fast forward to November. I have only just started really watching The Vampire Diaries television show and am somewhere in the middle of the second season. The show is a guilty pleasure of mine, I confess. And so, given my state of mind and my enjoyment of the show, I figured it was time to give the book series another try.

Let's just say I finished the first book in the series this time. I still don't care for Elena. I know she's a teenager but I couldn't get past how egocentric she is--and how superficial. I really didn't care for any of the characters. Maybe it is because I wasn't the popular kid in school and boys and being the prettiest weren't on my priority list. As a result, I never completely lost myself in the book. I found it easier to poke fun at it, I'm ashamed to admit.

I did like Damon's character, Stefan's estranged brother. He was different from the others. And mysterious in a bone chilling sort of way. Another positive is that the book was short. It made for a quick read.

The story is your typical vampire romance story: teen girl meets centuries old vampire and has to have him. He tries to keep his distance for her own safety (he's a monster after all) but can't resist her charms. Meanwhile, people are being attacked, even murdered in town by something more vicious than an animal. Sound familiar?

The book is not the television show. The television show is loosely based on the books--and I mean very loosely. Except for the names and the feud between the brothers, I never would have guessed they were related in any way.

The Awakening ended with a cliffhanger, but I won't be reading more in the series. I think I'll stick to the TV show.

Source: I purchased an e-copy of this book.

© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. Aw, yay, I'm glad you're watching the show!

    I LOVED these books as a kid, but on reread as an adult they lost a lot of their shine sadly.

  2. I don't think that I would like this book AT ALL. I am not a fan of this type of book, and haven't really gotten into the whole vampire thing. I bet it's something that my daughter would enjoy because she is just in love with vampires and all that these stories entail. Sorry this one didn't work for you. :(

  3. Amy - I was sad when I finally got all caught up with the show. Now I have to wait like everyone else for the season to start up again.

    Sometimes I think it's best not to revisit old favorites because of that very reason--they aren't quite as good as we once remember them.

    Heather - I do like paranormal fiction, but this one just didn't do it for me. I know it's loved by many though, so perhaps your daughter will enjoy it!

  4. It is the same with The Secret Circle. I read the first book and it is insanely different from the television show...

  5. Kelly - I haven't read or seen The Secret Circle. I've noticed that the writers and producers take a lot more liberties with television shows that are based on books than they do with movies. But maybe that's just in my limited experience.

  6. Lots of girls at my school have devoured these books!

  7. I have all the books, but haven't got around to reading them yet, but I've to say I love the TV show! Now I need to find the time (and the mood?) to read those books...

  8. Sounds like one to skip in book form and I'll have to give the TV series a try instead.

  9. I bet I would have the same reaction, so I won't be giving them a try. I hadn't realized they were so different from the show though, so I guess that does kind of interest me. I loved the first several seasons of this show but then decided it was just too silly and I gave up on it. I hope you continue to like it though.

  10. Staci - The books do seem to be popular.

    Melody - I'll be curious to know what you think when you do get to them, Melody!

    Kathleen - At least that would be my recommendation, Kathleen. :-)

    Kris - Very different from the show. You could do what I did and just read the first book to see what you think--if it's worth continuing to read the books. The book is short, so it wouldn't take up too much time to read. Hopefully. :-)

    As for the show, I am not sure about this current season. I'll keep watching but we'll see.


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