Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Review | "The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening" by L. J. Smith

So I postponed my review of this book by a week in favor of posting my short rant about my run in with Awesomebooks last week. So I won't ramble too much before getting into this review. As most of you are probably aware, the popular television show "The Vampire Diaries" was based on a book series by the same name that began in 1991 and continues today (along with five spin-off series). I went into this book having watched just the first episode of the show a few years ago and after hearing a lot of less than amazing things about the book.
Since I read the book in italian, here is the description (and the cover) from the original edition, courtesy of Goodreads:
The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries, #1)A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror...

Elena
Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Stefan
Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Damon
Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.


Okay, so by now everyone is polarized as far as the vampire genre goes. After the huge boom in books due to the "Twilight" sage, interest has begun to dwindle in favor of the next "big" thing- and if you're someone who is over vampires, then I don't have to tell you to stay away from this book. I would say that it isn't incredibly original as a plotline, but I have never read any other YA vampire stories from the 90s and earlier, so this very well could have been a first of its kind. I just couldn't fall in love with anyone. Elena was self-centered and spoiled and isn't the strong female heroine a lot of readers look for in a book. She never seemed independent, even before she got the guy, she wouldn't be complete without him. Stefan was a little more likable..In a way. I enjoyed the flashbacks on his part- and a lot of other people agree, which is why the "Stefan's Diaries" books are a little more popular. 
In the present however, his tortured soul does little to balance her egotistical character making them seem like a truly dysfunctional pair. 
Aside from that, there were a few specific moments that jumped out as not making sense or being written in a very simple manner.
In the end, if you are a fan of the show, I can see you perhaps enjoying this, but otherwise you won't be missing much by skipping it. I would suggest checking out the author's "Forbidden Game" and "Dark Visions" trilogies. They have the same quick, easy to read writing, but with more complex plots and likeable characters. 

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