June 2, 2011

A Tale of Two Brothers • The Awakening and The Struggle

The Awakening and the Struggle book cover
The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J. Smith
Series: The Vampire Diaries #1 & #2
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 26, 2007
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

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. 

I had absolutely no idea that The Vampire Diaries one of my favorite television shows, was based on a book until late into the first season. I recently finished reading the first two books of the series, The Awakening and The Struggle, and I have to say - I thought the books were pretty great!

I have had a difficult time becoming interested in vampire books after reading the Twilight series. I like the first book, didn't so much like the second one, liked the third and was torn between like and annoyance on the fourth. But all in all, reading the Twilight series put me off vampires for a good, long while.

Picking up The Vampire Diaries, however, I found myself quickly reading through these The Awakening and The Struggle - and finding myself completely interested in vampires and their world again. L.J. Smith does a great job bringing vampires into the real world (so to speak) and I commend her for reigniting my interest in these supernatural beings.

The Awakening (Book 1) is a prettily written story that introduces us to Mystic Falls, a small, seemingly unremarkable town that is filled with suburbs, traditions and familiarity. We meet our characters for the first time - Elena, Stefan, Damon, Bonnie, Meredith, Caroline, Matt, Tyler, and glean some insight into who they are.

The Struggle (Book 2) picks up after the cliffhanger ending from Book 1 and proceeds to show us how life has changed after a few short weeks of the Salvatore brothers being in Mystic Falls. There's a lot of stuff that does go down in this one, and it was even more of a cliffhanger for me than the first!

I thought that the way the story was told was pretty good. There was a bit of tension between characters that I thought added some great depth, especially upon the revelation about vampires. The action sequences, the surprising twist of events, the suspicious and borderline creepy circumstances - all of them had me hanging on to the edge of my seat. One other aspect I like is the concept of the diary/journal. Writers, or girls who like to write, always appeal to me so this was an additional bonus.

It was easy to fall in love with each of the characters or hate them (because of their characteristics or because of things that happen, which I shall not mention so as not to spoil the story), as they were quite well-written. It's funny though - because of the books, I find that I am drawn towards pairing Stefan and Elena together more now. All in all, it was a nice solid beginning to a series that I'm definitely going to continue reading.


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