Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L. J. Smith (contains spoilers)

Book Description from
A deadly love triangle Elena: beautiful and popular, the girl who can have any guy she wants. Stefan: brooding and mysterious, desperately trying to resist his desire for Elena . . . for her own good. Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Elena finds herself drawn to both brothers . . . who will she choose?
I am a huge fan of the TV series The Vampire Diaries. It's embarrassing to admit considering I'm 38 yrs old but I completely fangirl over Ian Somerhalder. My computer background is fanart of Elena and Damon. Yesterday I was wearing a Damon t-shirt. If you ask me about the most recent season finale I may choke up a bit. I'm still traumatized.

Because of the heartbreaking season finale, I decided to keep myself busy reading The Vampire Diaries novel series. Unfortunately most of the first book left me feeling anything but anxious to read the rest of the series.

Elena Gilbert is the queen bee of her school who can have whatever boy she wants. So when the mysterious Stefan Salvatore starts school and completely ignores her, she makes it her mission to make him her boyfriend. The reason Stefan ignores her is because, as a vampire, every time he's near her he can't think straight because all he wants to do is taste her blood. She also happens to look like the woman who broke his heart in a love triangle with his vampire brother about 500 years ago. 

Elena is pretty much unlikable. She's vain, cares too much about her status in the popular clique she's in, and spends an unbelievable amount of money on a custom made Halloween costume then admiring how beautiful she looks in said costume. Most people who read the book complain about Elena's character but I think they forget this is a book series. If the character did a 180 and became a different person in the first book what's left for her to do in the rest of the series? I am going to read on only because I hope Elena grows as a character into someone well...not so shallow.

As a fan of the TV show one thing that I love is the supporting characters. In the book, all the same names are there but very little is written about them. The other characters don't factor into the story much and are never developed.

Stefan finally starts paying attention to Elena when she is a damsel in distress and he needs to rescue her when a drunken Tyler tries to rape her. Yes, you read that right. The main character is almost raped! After Stefan rescues her he beats Tyler almost to a bloody pulp. Yet neither of them get in trouble with the police. Elena refuses to press charges against Matt and the police are too busy dealing with a dead homeless man that got his throat ripped out.

The love story left me rolling my eyes most of the time. Elena instantly fell in love with Stefan declaring how much she loved him only days after they have had their first kiss. There is absolutely no development of their relationship even though months go by.

Nor is there any buildup of Elena suspecting that Stefan is a vampire. Almost the whole story is just utterly boring. Even Catherine is boring. She's a sweet and innocent vampire who just couldn't decide between brothers. Anyone who watches the tv show can't possibly imagine Catherine as sweet and innocent much less boring. I'm hoping the bad ass version of Catherine is in the later books.

The novel's saving grace is Damon. Damon is just as sexy, dark and tempting as he is in the tv series. What's even better is that I didn't have to wait several seasons before Damon and Elena are attracted to each other. The attraction is there from the first time they meet. In fact, Damon makes it his mission to make Elena his. Whether it's because he's truly in love with her or doing it as revenge on his brother isn't clear. At one point the vampire brothers are literally fighting for Elena. That scene alone made up for the rest of the book being dreadfully boring and pretty predictable. (It wasn't hard to figure out who really was the murderer.)

Not to mention that Damon has magical powers in the book. He can shapeshift into animals and control the weather. Why wasn't that in the tv show?

I will continue reading the book series mostly for the character of Damon but do hope Elena becomes a better person. Stefan's character is mildly interesting. As for the rest of the book and characters, it just, forgive the pun...sucked.
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