Friday, October 16, 2009

Review: The Awakening by L.J. Smith The Vampire Diaries Book One

The Awakening Book Cover
I've shared before how much of an impact these books had on my life--they are responsible for my love of vampires. I was always annoyed when people acted like Twilight was the first teen vampire romance even though I hadn't read these books in years. I just remember the feeling they gave me...I fell in love with them.

So I was excited when Harper Teen reissued them and excited when news of the TV show first came out. (and yes I'm watching it and loving it!)

But I realized I needed to reread the books...I was forgetting them!

When I first started my reread, I realized immediately that I wasn't 14 anymore. And I have to admit I was perplexed as to why I had been drawn to these books to begin with. I was nothing like Elena Gilbert as a teen...she's a Blair Waldorf queen of the school character! But it didn't take long for me to get sucked back in...I think I just imagined myself as 14 again and loved it!

Elena Gilbert has lost her parents and is living with her aunt and young sister. When she goes back to school she is interested in the new guy...but he's not really interested in her at all. This of course ticks her off and makes him the one guy she HAS to have. The truth is Stefan is into her but he's harboring a secret...wait for it..he's a vampire! He likes Elena especially as she reminds him of someone special from long ago. But bad things are happening in town and Stefan fears he's losing control over his blood lust.

I really enjoyed reading this all over again and analyzing why I loved this book so much as a teen. I think it's a mixture of the Halloween/fall feel and the forbidden love. And the ultimate truth in vampire stories of being a total outcast! The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger that I'm sure KILLED me when I was 14, but this time around..not so much. I do anticipate reading the rest of the books soon, though.

And I do have to say...the TV show has changed quite a lot of the story line, creating a whole new mythology that should be very interesting to watch!

Also, a big huge thanks to Julie of Booking Mama who let me know that The Roaring 20s was having a giveaway of the first book in the Vampire Diares series that included the TV tie-in cover I was coveting! I was happy to read this book. ;)

Rating: 4/5
Source of Book: No strings attached giveaway win.
Publisher: Harper Teen



christina said...

I didn't even realize this series existed until Vampire Diaries came out.
How funny that in the books, Elena is very much like Blair! The TV character (IMO) seems down-to-earth and not-so-much-a-princess. I've been wanting to check out these books, but must get some of my TBR books done first. :)

Beth F said...

I have the first 4 here waiting to be read for your challenge. I got off-track on the show, so I'll just wait until late summer when I can get the DVDs.

Jena said...

I've read this series a gazillion times--like I did all LJ Smith's trilogies--and the last time I read it I was 23. And I sat there thinking, "I wouldn't love this now if I hadn't loved it then." I suspect this is how a lot of teens are going to feel about the Twilight books.

I think what drew me to Elena was the power she seemed to wield. I couldn't figure out how she got it, but she had it--and as the girl who was always turning the other cheek, that really appealed to me. In fact, that idea of power is what drew me to my whole vampire fascination (I've realized in ertrospect).

Jenn M. said...

I actually like snotty, stuck-up book Elena better than nice tv Elena. When was the most popular girl is school also the nice, humble one too?

The book Elena isn't likable by a long shot...but she is a good character!

I'm loving both the TV show and books, which I may not have read if you hadn't of created the challenge!

Heidenkind said...

I re-read TVD a few years ago. I was going through my bookshelves trying to make room, and they were on my potential throw-away pile. I decided to skim through them a bit just to make sure I really wanted to get rid of them. Five hours later, I was still reading. :) I think these are great books! Yeah, Elena is the Queen of the School (which I definitely wasn't as a teen), but she's not an unsympathetic character. One of the parts of the book that I always remembered from when I first read it is where Elena talks about how boys are useful in knowing how popular and you are. I was like, "Really?!" (of course ~_^)

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I didn't realize that these books were that old! I have been watching and enjoying the series.

Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

I was a little surprised at the personality change in Elena from book to tv. But I think since they substitute the little sister with a teen brother it was necessary, because in the books you could see a sensitive side to Elena during the interactions with the little sister.

Tasha said...

I was quite absorbed in this first book as well, although I'm not sure whether or not I'll continue with the series. I don't mind Elena in the book, but I also like the changes they've made to her character for the show.

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