The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J Smith @drujienna @harperteen #TheVampireDiaries #BookReview #LJSmith #Book1 #Book2

Posted September 20, 2020 by Zoé in Book Reviews / 6 Comments

When I couldn’t decide what to read during the lockdown, I thought I would start the Vampire diaries again. They are only 4 hours long and it is easy to pass the working day with them. I do, however, get a bit angry at times listening because the characters in the book do not match the TV show LOL. Dramatics I know!! LOL

So here are my reviews of Book 1 and 2 from the original 4 books in the series.

The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J Smith @drujienna @harperteen #TheVampireDiaries #BookReview #LJSmith #Book1 #Book2The Awakening by L.J. Smith
Series: The Vampire Diaries #1
Published by HarperTeen on March 1 1999
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Pages: 253

A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror...

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

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

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

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

I thought I would give these audiobooks a go again because I remember when I first tried to listen to them and I spent 10 minutes just shouting at the audiobook because we just did not get on. I have read all the books before I watched the show that re-introduced us to Elena, Stefan and Damon, all completely different from the books. Meredith was cut and she was A HUGE part of the story, Caroline was bumped up and they changed the way everyone looked and sounded, even Elena’s brother was introduced and in the book, he is a she, and she is called Margaret. There are probably a lot more changes but I can’t remember now and I will try not to go on too much about them.

If you ignore the changes and forget the show (hard though) and listen to the book, it is quite short and easy to blitz through. I still imagine the characters as they are in the tv show, it’s hard not to now even if Elena is blonde in the book! I will have to say, not a huge fan of Elena (book) she doesn’t treat Matt very well and becomes obsessed with Stefan, refusing to let anyone get their mitts on him and is insanely jealous when Caroline rocks up with him at the dance.

The attraction is instant between Stefan and Elena but he needs to keep his distance from her because at the moment she does not know he is a vampire – dun dun dun. But if that was not enough, he has to stay away from her, not just for her safety but his, because she bears an uncanny resemblance to someone in his past, as in his human past.

If this was not enough drama, then we have to introduce Damon onto centre stage. Although not in the book that much at the moment, you feel his presence the dark cloud in the background, he too wants Elena for the same reasons but he is not afraid to go after what he wants.

I remember reading these the first time around some 21 years ago, god it was that long ago! I really enjoyed them the first time around, I don’t remember there being anything like them at that time and I had nothing to compare them to. This time around, they do at times feel bit stilted, Elena, not a fan and I feel like the love story was a bit rushed. I think I also switched off once or twice during the audiobook because I wasn’t aware it was finished. Oops! The ending is a cliff hanger and it does want to make you read on.

There has been a murder at the dance, and guess what, yeah you guessed it, blood has been spilt, Elena is nearly attacked by Tylor Smallwood (aka Lockwood in the show) and rescued by Stefan, not before Vicky is left wondering the woods. But by the end, well poof he has disappeared and we are left with Elena screaming in the woods.

A lot of teen angst, a lot of drama, backstabbing, everything you might enjoy in Young Adult books. I will carry on the series and FORGET the show and the annoyances, but I think it might be the first time where I might prefer the show to the books. – Did I just say that?!!

The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J Smith @drujienna @harperteen #TheVampireDiaries #BookReview #LJSmith #Book1 #Book2The Struggle by L.J. Smith
Series: The Vampire Diaries #2
Published by HarperTeen on October 27, 2009
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

Torn between two vampire brothers

Damon: determined to make Elena his, he'd kill his own brother to possess her.

Stefan: desperate for the power to destroy Damon, and protect Elena, he gives in to his thirst for human blood.

Elena: the girl who can have anyone finds herself in the middle of a love triangle . . . one that might turn deadly.

This book worked better for me, and I am getting used to the American narrator, as it does sound quite dated. The book follows on straight away from The Awakening. This book is perfectly titled as the The Struggle. We see Elena struggle between Stefan and Damon, which we all knew would happen, but it is quick.

Elena and Stefan are already in complete and absorbing love, however, Damon with his bad-boy persona, has a hold over Elena. Things are going to get dark.

It would be a romance story of teenage angst if secrets weren’t kept and Elena is keeping a lot from Stefan. A lot of times I was groaning at her questionable behaviour, especially as Elena kept professing she didn’t want to keep secrets! Woman!

The main story with this book is about Elena’s diary that was stolen from the first book and the discovery of who has stolen and why. This did have vibes of Carrie when you find out what these people have in store for Elena, but wait….there is a knight in shining armour on their way and he might just be dressed in black, be Italian, and might not be Stefan.

Alaric has shown up, and he is a lot younger in the books than in the show, his past is in the dark, not even we know at this stage who he is and how he will play out. I think I prefer adult Alaric from the show, but it is nice to see some of the characters from the show.

Bonnie has had a foreboding message to keep Elena away from a bridge when they are trying to find Stefan who was missing at the beginning. They have to keep her away from this bridge, but the story is getting near to the end and unfortunately, the bridge is in sight.

Events happened, shocking events, all involving Stefan, Damon and Elena. Elena has a decision to make, she can hear Stefan and Damon arguing but who is she going to?

It is a waste of time comparing the show against the book now, they are two separate entities. I loved the show, so when I listen to the book in my head that is who I see, not how the characters are described. I can’t think of Bonnie as a redhead or Elena as a blonde. Doesn’t work for me now!

Off I trot to book 3!

Until next time with the next 2 books xxx

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6 responses to “The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J Smith @drujienna @harperteen #TheVampireDiaries #BookReview #LJSmith #Book1 #Book2

  1. This was my issue with Pretty Little Liars. I loved that show, I thought I’d give the books a whirl but everyone was so different, I just couldn’t get my head around it. I kept picturing the girls from the show and I’d grind to a halt every time I came across a description that clashed with my mental image. I DNFd it halfway through, it was just too hard 🙈

    • Zoé

      Oh no!! I haven’t started that series and I worry about it too- i can’t remember where i stopped on the show because I got a bit bored near the end. It is annoying when you picture the show, because sometimes the show is better LOL

      • I think the PLL books are pretty good too (and I loved some of the author’s other novels), it’s just that I came to the show first. At one point I was a bit bored with the show as well but I stuck with it and overall I did like the final season.

        • Zoé

          I might go back to it then, I think it was the series when it ended in an abandoned house and someone fell. It just went mad with all the different “A”

  2. I tried to read these a few years ago but I just couldn’t get into them – I also think I would pick the TV series. Maybe they get better?
    Great review thou, as always 😀

    • Zoé

      The TV show is sometihng else to the books. I remember loving the books growing up, it is hard not to think of the actors when listening though lol