BOOK REVIEW: The Vampire Diaries (4 books), by L. J. Smith

RELEASE DATE: June 26, 2007
SERIES: Vampire Diaries, #1 & #2
AUTHOR LINKS: WEB / GOODREADS / FACEBOOK
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
BUY NOW FROM: Amazon

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.

RELEASE DATE: December 26, 2007
SERIES: Vampire Diaries, #3 & #4
AUTHOR LINKS: WEB / GOODREADS / FACEBOOK
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
BUY NOW FROM: Amazon

Elena: transformed, the golden girl has become what she once feared and desired.

Stefan: tormented by losing Elena, he’s determined to end his feud with Damon once and for all–whatever the cost. But slowly he begins to realize that his brother is not his only enemy.

Damon: at last, he possesses Elena. But will his thirst for revenge against Stefan poison his triumph? Or can they come together to face one final battle?

Collected here in one edition are the third and fourth volumes of The Vampire Diaries, a riveting conclusion to the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

MY REVIEW (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS) 

I’m going to be honest with you, dear reader: the only reason I started to read The Vampire Dairies – actually, the only reason I bought the books in the first place – was because of the TV show. I had been waiting to watch the show until I read the books because I heard that they were so much better than a lot of the vampire fiction available right now, seeing as they were the some of the first teen vampire literature to hit the shelves back in the early 90’s.

I’ll admit it – hearing that the books were written nearly 20 years ago made me shudder slightly, until I realized that these were books, not movies, so the timeless quality could still prevail. I mean, if I could read The Cat From Outer Space, I’m sure I could read books written more than 10 years PAST the release of that book!

The first 3 books in this series – The Awakening, The Struggle, and The Fury – were very good. Sometimes very predictable – okay, almost too predictable – but still a good read. After I read the first few books, I started to watch the TV series. Big mistake. I was on a fence – I didn’t know which to hate – the books or the TV show. The TV show had its merits – it was dark and brooding, and Stephen’s character was utterly gorgeous – but the book was so much different. It was like the creators of the TV show took a few names, and a few scenes from the book, but then changed everything. EVERYTHING.

Not that I’m totally disappointed. I mean, I read the first book in the True Blood series (Sookie Stackhouse) and hated it. Really hated it. The TV show was a shining star in my life after reading the book that made me feel violated.

Anyway, back to the Vampire Dairies. I think I was most turned off by the diary entries. And by Bonny. And by the whole 90’s-era cheesiness of the events. It almost reminded me of reading Sweet Valley High books when I was younger, only I liked the Sweet Valley High books a lot more. Maybe these books were just too young for me, but they were a quick read and I’m glad that I finished reading the series.

While the first 3 books were very good, the last book was horrible. The main character isn’t even in the book, which is just bad to begin with, and it just didn’t have the same pull that the previous books in the series had.

I’ve heard that L.J. Smith has written a spin-off series on Damen’s character, but I think I’ll stick with the TV show – it seems to be holding mine, and my husband’s, attention a lot more.

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My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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