The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle
Well, I must admit I am slightly behind in the times when it comes to these books. I’m a recent convert to the Paranormal Romance categories, so I find myself reviewing books that most of you have already read months or even years ago!
Lucky for me, reading these books well after they’ve first been published allows me to fully immerse myself in a week or two of an entire series (books are like chips to me, I can’t read just one!).
I was introduced to this author last week when I halfheartedly picked up her Volume One of “Night World” (to be reviewed shortly in a separate post). Although I loved the Twilight series, I mostly stayed away from the whole “Young Adult” novels as I wasn’t sure I could relate much to that style. I did enjoy Night World, so I decided to look her up, and was thrilled to discover a slew of other works.
I want to thank L.J. Smith and her publishing crew for allowing me the opportunity to read the entire book “Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle” online for free! (Limited time, but luckily, I was JUST in time!).
This story is set in a high school, with the typical “clique” atmosphere. The “Heroine” (Elena) is the beauty of the school, but unlike most other novels I have read (where the main character is the most beautiful girl in the world but doesn’t know it yet), Elena seems quite full of herself. She knows how she looks, and she uses it fully to her advantage. Also introduced, are her two best friends (Bonnie the “psychic” & Meredith), and her ex-best friend, now turned enemy (Caroline – also a beauty but cruel down to the bone).
A new guy (Stefan) shows up in school (fully equipped with brooding good looks), and Elena is determined to snare him in her web. Much to her dismay, she discovers he never bothers to speak to her, doesn’t even glance at her in the hallways, in fact, he brushes her off coldly when she tries to approach him. This has never happened to Elena in the past, and she becomes fairly desperate to repair her “now challenged” ego. Her scheming ways even go so far as to ask her recent ex-boyfriend, (who also seems like the perfect high school hero), to help her, in her plans to attract Stefan.
During all of the “fun to read” high school drama storyline, a second storyline is forming. There appears to be a dark power hovering in the normally safe little town. People are being attacked, their throats being torn out, and apparently Stefan has been spotted at each of the scenes. Stefan, himself questions whether he could possibly be at the center of each of these attacks (perhaps he is blanking out during the “paranormal power surges” that everyone is feeling). You see, he is a vampire (albeit, a sweet and gentle one who tries to deny his primal violent urges by feeding only on animals). He comes from Italy, and has his own sad story to tell, involving the love of his life, and his biggest rival (his brother Damon). We find out how Stefan became a vampire, why he is so sullen, and, through the introduction of his brother (who becomes an integral part of the story), why he limits his vampiric abilities.
I thoroughly enjoyed the development of each character, and found that most of the storyline kept me captivated. While we get a nice blend of modern day life and “paranormal darkness”, I preferred the storyline involving Damon (the evil brother). Yeah yeah…I’m a sucker for bad boys! Why do I always find myself rooting for the villain?
“I’m going to have you in the end, you know,” he said softly. It was the voice he used at the party, when he’d said “Easy, easy”. There was no mockery or malice now; he was simply stating a fact. “By hook or by crook, as you people say-you’ll be mine before the next snow flies.”
This was good clean fun, and I am off to buy the rest of the series (good strategy HarperTeen) – ya got me!!