Monday, June 6, 2011

Vampire Diaries Love!

Okay, so I'm really excited to do a Vampire Diaries post because, well, it's a super obsessive series that I'm in love with ^.^. If you haven't read any of L.J. Smith's books, start now! She's an awesome writer and one of my favorites.

 A few months ago I found out that somewhere along the way L.J.'s rights to The Vampire Diaries were no longer hers. This is the statement on her website for the new trilogy, The Hunters: Phantom, Moonsong, and the third book is not yet titled:  Lisa wrote Phantom, but at that time Alloy Entertainment Inc used the fact that she'd done the original trilogy as "work for hire" to remove her from doing any further Vampire Diaries Books. An anonymous ghostwriter will finish the series, possibly making it more like the TV series, according to the only statement Alloy Entertainment Inc. (who owns half the copyright) has made to the public, in the Hollywood Reporter. Lisa retained the name Eternity and is writing a book called Eternity: A Vampire Love Story.

When I found out about this, I bawled, for about an hour. I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it. And I'd just like to say I will not be buying the new trilogy. L.J. didn't tell any one of her fans not to buy the series, and I admire her for that. But to be honest, I don't want to read it. No more depressing stuff! I'll start off by sharing my reviews for her first two books in The Vampire Diaries series; The Awakening and The Struggle.

Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants.

Stefan: brooding and mysterious, he seems to be the only one who can resist Elena, even as he struggles to protect her from the horrors that haunt his past.

Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Determined to have Elena, he'd kill to possess her.

Collected here in one volume for the first time, volumes one and two of The Vampire Diaries, the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them. -via Goodreads

The Awakening

The story starts out with a passage from Elena's diary. These show up about five times throughout the book, normally when Elena is under some stress and needs an outlet. I always liked them because you really got to see what was going through that scheming mind of hers. In the beginning, I really didn't like her, I mean it's great to be confident, but I always found her bordering on egotistical jerk... (Throughout the series, though, I began to like her and she changed a lot from my first meeting with her to my last. All of the characters had gone through a lot of growth.) Then we meet Stefan. He's come out of hiding to try and lead a normal life. As normal as it can get for him, seeing he's a vampire. He doesn't have the normal diet of human blood, either. Only animals. (And, hey, before you make assumptions that L.J. copied Stephanie Meyer, think again. The Awakening was published in 1991 and Twilight was published in 2005) When Elena arrives at school, she's greeted by her group of friends. We have Caroline, Bonnie, and Meredith. We soon find out that Caroline has jealousy issues and treats Elena rudely, telling her she's not the queen of the school anymore, blah blah. Pretty stupid stuff, and I actually stopped reading there, but I went on hoping to find that these books weren't going to be about high school drama. At this point, Elena had also spotted Stefan and was determined to make him notice her. It was really Stefan's perspective that kept me going. But I must admit, the crazy schemes that Elena, Bonnie, and Meredith came up were pretty amusing. 

There were flashbacks of Stefan's time in Italy, when he was human. With the flashbacks, we meet Katherine, Stefan's past love that looks just like Elena. Weird? Yes. I wanted to know why she looked just like her. Is there another supernatural element playing in this? Something about this just pulled me in. Then frightful things, like a man being drained of blood, start happening all over Fell's Church, and Elena meets Damon. It was one of the weirdest introductions I've ever read and Damon became my favorite character. Elena's roller coaster ride begins here.

The Struggle

At the end of The Awakening, Elena has a nasty suspicion that it was Damon that caused Stefan to suddenly disappear after the night Elena finds out that Stefan is a vampire. She throws herself into danger immediately by going out and searching for Damon. Not a very smart idea, if you ask me. But Elena soon finds out that Damon's weird obsession with her won't let him kill her just yet. He's giving her the option of going with him and becoming a vampire herself. All she wants to do is find Stefan, safe and sound. That's when Damon drops a bombshell on her. 

"Oh and one more thing," Damon's voice came back. "You asked earlier about my brother. Don't bother looking for him, Elena. I killed him last night."

Obviously, Stefan can't die! So, it's not much of a spoiler if I tell you that he doesn't. After hearing the news that she didn't quite believe herself, she stubbornly set out looking for Stefan once more. When she found him he was in pretty bad shape, but it wasn't anything a little blood couldn't fix, right? The next day, Elena goes to school. After getting groped against your will by a brute, almost losing your boyfriend due to his insane vampire brother, and also having your boyfriend accused of murder all in the same night, I have no idea how she found the strength to even wake up. But Elena went on as she always does and we got to meet her new history teacher, Alaric Saltzman. He was overly cheery and wanted his students to address him by his first name, not to mention the get-to-know-you party he was throwing at his house. Just a little suspicious there, Alaric. Tension begins to build between Stefan and Elena as Damon begins to make his interest in Elena public. Stefan also has no idea that Elena has had any encounters with Damon. Shes afraid of telling him with what he might do. Will lying or the truth keep things peaceful? Elena thinks that she can deal with Damon all on her own. She couldn't be more wrong. Before she knows it his web is spun and she's caught. Meanwhile, Caroline is on a mission to destroy Stefan and Elena. With Elena's diary, she has all she needs to take care of them both, it contains his secret. It would explain all of the "animal attacks" in town and who knows what kind of secrets the people in this town are hiding? Fell's Church just got a hell of a lot more interesting. 

4/5 stars

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