Thursday, August 6, 2009

Take Me Back to My Youth! Or the L.J. Smith Reading Challenge

When I was but a mere young one, a friend gave me this book:

The Awakening Book Cover

And it changed my life. I'm not kidding. This book Changed.My.Life.

I credit this book (and series) for my life-long love affair with vampires and fascination with the paranormal. I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I read everything I could by L.J. Smith, and I loved it all. And then I became an older high schooler and thought I was too old for YA fiction and started reading classics and literature and stuff. (I'm not kidding, I was the biggest book snob!! Well, except for a little bit of Elizabeth George and Anne Rice)

And I traded in my L.J. Smith books. And then HORROR! They went out of print!!! They were selling for like 50 dollars a piece on eBay! And she disappeared off the face of the earth! So in some ways, I think I owe Stephenie Meyer and the success of the Twilight series for getting my L.J. Smith books back in print, so I could buy them all again (except still waiting on a few series!)

Why am I telling you all of this? Because on September 10th the CW is premiering...get this....The Vampire Diaries TV show!!! I am beside myself with mad excitement and anticipation!!! I have seen the pilot and the cast at Comic-Con and it is VERY promising! I loved it! (even though I seemed to be sitting amongst a bunch of guys who were just there for the Myth Busters panel)

Let's get something out of the way first, though. The Vampire Diaries is NOT Twilight. It's better. It's not a Twilight rip-off. It came first. Okay.

So to get everyone else all excited about the show and watching faithfully and keeping it on the air for many years, I present you with this:

Picture of Ian Somerhalder as Damon


Oops! I mean, I present to you the L.J. Smith Reading Challenge: Phase 1. The first phase will be reading the Vampire Diaries. This phase will last for a year, and then we will move onto another series. I like to keep things simple and manageable for those of us who have already signed up for fourteen thousand challenges comprised of 87,000 books, or for those of you who might join in that don't read that many books in a year, and the very thought makes you want to run and hide! I really really hope that many people will join in the challenge. Have you already read the Vampire Diaries? No problem! Reread them!

Here's how it will work:
I'm going to put a Mister Linky at the end of this post. All you have to do is put your blog's url in the Mister Linky indicating that you are signing up. If you don't have a blog, just put your name!

The challenge will begin September 1st. I will post another Mister Linky that day where you can put links to your reviews. The challenge will last one year. I think there will be some prizes along the road, we'll see.

Every Friday, after the Vampire Diaries has aired, I will post a recap. If enough people express interest in doing the same, I will add a Mister Linky to those posts as well so we can all read each other's opinions and theories. It will be fantastic.

Button Contest
As you can see, I don't have a button for the challenge. So if anyone has mad crazy design skills and wants to design one this weekend, I'll post any submissions on Tuesday with a poll for voting. I will buy the winning designer the first omnibus in the Vampire Diaries series! Just send our submissions to mypalamyATgmailDOTcom

Here are the books in the series:
The Awakening
The Struggle
The Fury
Dark Reunion
And the ongoing story in
The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall

So here are all the details again since this is the world's longest Introduction to a Challenge Post:
What are we reading? L.J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries!
What are we watching? The Vampire Diaries on the CW!
When do we start? September 1st!
When do we have to finish? August 31st, 2010
Who's that guy in the photo? Lenore's celebrity love match Ian Somerhalder who plays Damon in the Vampire Diaries!

Sign Mister Linky! Tell your friends! Let's get excited! Vamps! Ian! Books! The CW! Woo!

45 comments:

Book Chick City said...

I'm up - so looking forward to this one. I have never heard of this author before so should be good. Thanks Amy!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I just read the first 4 books last week, so I won't be singing up (I liked them, but re-reading him already would probably be too much!) But I'll certainly read the 5th one soon and watch the show! I'll be looking forward to reading your recaps and discussing it with other people here! :)

Rhiannon Hart said...

I'm in! It's been a while since I read these (ok ten years...) and I loved them back in the day. I won't be able to watch the series being in Australia and all, but I look forward to everyone's thoughts.

Sandy Nawrot said...

How did I miss out on these as a youth? I was all about Anne Rice, you would have thought these would've come up on my radar! I totally cannot join another challenge, I just joined two last week. But I will loyally wait to read the reviews! Interestingly, EW had a feature article last week about the vampire mania going around, with a list of the best vampires! I'm wondering if this one was mentioned...

Beth F said...

Okay. Let me just get this over with, I'm sorry to be blunt: I hate you. Yes, it's true. I officially hate you now.

(1) I've been meaning to read Smith and now I'm forced into it.

(2) I really don't have time for another challenge and now I'm forced into it.

(3) I have 6 unread Smith books here and they are NOT the ones for this challenge. Now I am forced to buy even more books.

Sorry, I don't think I can be your friend anymore.

I'll have my challenge post up by September 1. Sigh.

Jennsbookshelf said...

I'm sooo participating! I planned on reading the books again anyway, so this gives me a great excuse!

Helga Marie said...

super excited to read these, its beeen years... though when I picked them up the format has changed, now they are two books bound together!!! Yay CW for making this happen!

Melanie said...

This is quite an interesting challenge! I've never read te Vampire Diaries, but they seem very promising. I seriously need to read vampire books other than Twilight. I didn't know that they were published some time ago. That's awesome!

The show looks really cool as well. When I was on another site the yesterday, CW was being critized for their rather suggestive poster for the series. I don't really get it. Have you seen the poster?

HeathMochaFrost said...

"I like to keep things simple and manageable for those of us who have already signed up for fourteen thousand challenges comprised of 87,000 books."

That is hysterical!!! Thanks for the laugh, and good luck with this challenge - and the other 14 thousand! ;-)

Berkeley said...

I don't know if I'll be able to do the tv show part, cause I live outside the USA, but I'll try! I'm reading the first book now, and it'll be fun to share thoughts with you all! :)

heidenkind said...

Oh, I am so totally in. Yay! I was hoping there would be some kind of organized tweeting or blogging for when the TV series started.

I went through a short phase when I thought I was wayyyyy too old and sophisticated for YA, too (snort), and I didn't buy any LJ Smith books for a long time. I thank my packrat ways that I kept her books on bookshelf anyway. :)

Alexa said...

What a fabulous idea! I never read the books but I saw the trailer for the series and it looks just my kind of thing. Also I love recapping telly but I know no one I know will watch it. Just like they didn't watch Buffy :( So chatting about it here will be great!

Renee said...

OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series too! I just finished the first 4 books and reviewed them on my blog LOL! But I want to read them again plus I didn't get to read book 5 yet so this is even more of an excuse for me to go out and get it! Yay!!!I am SUPER excited about the series and have been ever since I saw the previews for it in the spring before I even read the books! I love vamp shows and about cried when they canceled Moonlight...thank goodness that was released on dvd! Looking forward to this challenge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Debbie's World of Books said...

Can't wait to check out the tv series. I was like you and traded in my original books. I was lucky enough though to find them all at half priced books. I think someone traded in their entire LJ Smith collection so I picked up these, The Secret Circle ones, The Forbidden Game ones and I think one more series. I also bought the first omnibus of Nightworld thinking it was a new book. I'd sign up for the challenge except I just reread the entire series in March to prepare for the 5th book. I also reread the Secret Circle ones. Now I have the Forbidden Games ones left. Great challenge though!

drey said...

I've heard about this series, but have never checked them out. I just got all 5 books on my library list, so I'm in! Now, to figure out where CW is on my channel listing... =P

vvb32 reads said...

I'm in. It will be a first time event for me. Look forward to the tv show as well. Love Ian! My challenge post includes button contest entries (two different sizes of the same image).

Jena said...

I would sooo love to do this--but our library doesn't have them and all mine are still in boxes in Ohio! (If I can find a copy of my senior pictures from high school, I'll post the one of me and my books--I took all my LJ Smith books, which was every one she had out.)

And the reason, I think, the Dark Visions and The Forbidden Game aren't in reprint stage right now is because they were published by a different publisher. The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle were... HarperCollins? and the other two were... Simon & Schuster? Like I said, they're in boxes back in Ohio.

Hey, did you see they're reprinting The Night of the Solstice and Heart of Valor, too? Reprinted in late 2008, looks like.

J. Kaye said...

I am a little too late to this challenge. I've been reading them and am hooked. Love the V/Diaries, but not The Secret Circle so much. I don't think I will continue with that one.

Happy to Be in Oregon said...

I'm excited for this one. My sister has read the Vampire Diaries and has been pestering me to pick them up. I did read the first Nightworld, so I'm a little familiar with L.J. Smith. This is going to be so much fun! Can't wait to see the show and how it adds up.

Jen said...

I flaked on your Hitchcock thing (sorry about that) but I'm going to really try hard to participate in this challenge. I just watched the preview on the CW site and it looks good! I'll check out the books too! Thanks for hosting.

Ella Press said...

I just read the first two books in the series, and loved them! But due to lack of funds, couldn't buy the next installment.
I was surprised to learn that these came before Twilight, cause I found many similarities.

Can't wait for the TV show premiere!

xo,
Ella

Lenore said...

Hands off Ian. You know he's mine!

jehara said...

i also discovered l.j. smith as an adolescent and read every book she ever wrote. and was horribly disappointed to discover they went out of print. and then became super excited when they started re-printing the books. and i was happy to discover that l.j. smith is working on the final book in the night world series.
thank you for starting this challenge. so awesome!

Jenny Girl said...

Well...ok! You twisted my arm. I'm in!
You have never steered me wrong, and we have the same taste, so it must be good.
And it came before Twilight? I can appreciate that.

Marg said...

I've just borrowed the first book from my library, so this seems lke very good timing to join in with this challenge!

Julie P. said...

I'm in, but I need for you to fix my Mr. Linky link! DUH!

Andi said...

I'm SO EXCITED about this challenge! I can't even tell you. Like you, I fell in love with these books as a young'un and I absolutely read the COVERS OFF of them through pre-teen and teen years, and even into adulthood. I also loved her others series (Dark Visions, the one about the funhouse/goblin king, whatever-his-name-was). I still have all of the books, but I was THRILLED when I saw they were being reissued. Thanks for helping keep the love alive with this challenge, Amy!

Nada said...

I'm really excited about this challenge, these books already in my list! i need to read a good vampire book after Twilight (I really enjoyed this series, well I'm adult but i like YA books :D!)
I saw the trailer of the show and it was good, so I'll be reading & watching the show too :) I just signed Mister Linky now.

Nada said...

I have an idea for the Contest Button! i didn't design it or anything, i just got it online, check out these two:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/97/Vampire_Diaries_Logo.jpg

http://vampirediariesonline.com/wp-content/themes/cleaker-21/images/vd-logo1.png

Kate T said...

This is too funny! I read the Vampire Diaries back when I was in high school(back when the books were in their first release), and along with the revival of the Dark Shadows mini-series, it went a long way into my life long obsession with vampires in all forms of media. I also love, love, love LJ Smith's Secret Circle series, which I was equally glad to see in circulation again. I want to return to the days when Christopher Pike owned the YA section... lol I'm so excited about this challenge!

Ms Ulat Buku said...

Hi Amy thanks for hosting this challenge. I've had the book on my TBR for a while and with your challenge and the current buzz on the series I think its time to give it a read. Though the show will not show in Malaysia until much later I'm sure.

trishalynn0708 said...

I signed up. Sorry it took me a couple of weeks since I said I would. But I got it. :)

Book Escape said...

I've already read all these books and I love them, too. And, I'm definitely into the show. Very good! (Of course, my husband laughs at me and asks if anyone else is watching the show. Now I can tell him, YES!)

Stephanie said...

I'm in (and excited)!

Tena said...

reading the first one now... I am no craft blog button maker but I did make one. Let me know if you want to see it

~Jennifer~ said...

I'm a little late, just found this challenge. I read the Awakening years ago and barely remember it so I'll reread that before I start on the others. I have been watching the series and it's great so I'm pretty sure I'll love the books.

Jennifer @ Reading with Tequila

Irene said...

I am so excited for this challenge! I don't know how I missed these growing up! By the way, how many books are there total? 6?
Irene (LoveGoodLit.blogspot.com)

Anonymous said...

I starterd reading LJ Smiths books when they were first published nearly 20 years ago. I have read all her books and have watch The Vampire Diaries and even though TVD was my LEAST favourite series of Smith's (sorry!) i have enjoyed the TV Show. My favourite series of Smiths are The Forbidden Game (No other book compared to this until i picked up Twilight) and The Night World Series (i'm STILL waiting for the last book to be published and have been waiting 10 years!)I suggest that anyone who is a fan of the Supernatural shoudl pick up Smith's books as she is certainly my favoruite author along with Stephenie Meyer.

Sarah said...

I read the first 4 books last year & loved them, can't wait for the next one to come out! I haven't been able to watch the TV series yet as it hasn't hit the UK yet but it is supposed to be coming soon & I'm really looking forward to it :o)

I want to re-read the books before I watch the series & the next book comes out so I'm going to sign up for the challenge

Anonymous said...

I READ ALL THE L.J. SMITH BOOKS I COULD FIND IN ABOUT TWO MONTHS. NO LIE. I BOUGHT MY FIRST IN NOV.AND HAD FINISHED NIGHTFALL BY JAN. I HAVE LIKED HER BOOKS FOR MANY MANY YEARS. I AM A BIG FAN.

Anonymous said...

OH AND P.S. THAT WAS 21 (TWENTY-ONE) BOOKS IN THAT SHORT OF A PERIOD

Anonymous said...

I love the vampire diaries, i read the books a couple months back all within about a month(yes im book worm) and i got hooked into l.j.smith's stories. i have seen the show, with a few missed episodes, but it has taken a seriously unpredicting and crazy turn from the book, but still addicting. i have also read nearly all of l.j.smith's other books and loved them all too, all within about 2 months id say...so definetly reccomend all of you to read them 2!

Anonymous said...

I've aready read the entire series... so I won't sign up. I've watched the shows- and YES they're amazing! And I came this close to meeting Ian Somerhalder (THIS CLOSE!) apparently he's friend with my friends family? Who lives right down the road from me... and I missed it Live AND Learn!
-Sorry for any Spelling Mistakes

Jolenesiah said...

L.J.Smith is the most amazing author is the planet .... or more so in the universe. same case because of her book, i finally found something that i enjoyed doing the most in my life..

although i dont start with Vampire Diaries but her Night World Series Book 8 Black Dawn, had capture my interest from hunting down all her books (by the time is total out of print and is a pain to get her books in Asia too)it took me more than 5 years to collect all her books (except two of the earliest)

i love all her books, and i love the way she portrait the female character, no weaklings, all have their own strength...

best books and author of the century! i am still loyal to her despite the Twilight fever lol...

~Jennifer~ said...

I completed the challenge!

http://www.readingwithtequila.com/2010/03/completed-lj-smith-reading-challenge.html

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