Saturday, February 6, 2010

Supernatural Saturday: Review of The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

Elena Gilbert is a pretty, popular teen who was orphaned when her parents were killed in an accident. Despite the tragedy, her life has always been normal and wholesome. Until the beginning of the school year, when two new vampire brothers show up to shake the peaceful universe at Robert E. Lee High. [from Goodreads]

Rating:  4 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Teens who love good vampire drama
High point:  The depth of the characters, especially of Stefan and Elena
Low point: Almost everyone acts older than they really are
Reader maturity:  13+

In The Awakening, we are introduced to Elena Gilbert, a teenager who lives with her aunt and younger sister. Due to the recent death of her parents, she is fairly mature for someone of her age. When a stranger comes to Falls Church, Elena, as the popular golden girl, is determined to catch him. The mysterious stranger, foretold by a friend's vision, brings a brother and arrives at an unstable time in Falls Church.

Elena seems like she could be a real person; she has her flaws, such as pride and vanity, but she tries to be a nice person, believing that popularity should be gained through friends, not enemies, though she is not averse to using her followers if the need arises. The "love at first sight" she experiences with Stefan seems plausible somehow, even though Elena is only 17 and they hardly know each other. When Damon arrives on the scene, the resulting triangle is obvious but well-constructed.

Elena's best friends, Bonnie and Meredith, are somewhat more two-dimensional. although interesting in their own ways. Unlike Elena, they both act older than their years with no explanation. They also tend to follow Elena's directions without question like amiable sheep.

L. J. Smith modifies the vampire myth somewhat by allowing Stefan and Damon to endure sunlight as long as they wear special rings, but other than that, the rules apply. They must be invited in and require regular feedings. While Stefan is a likable love interest, he is still truly a vampire, in all the ferocity that entails.

I first read these books in middle school and sought them out after they were republished. Anyone who is interested in a good vampire tale with all the trappings of the original myths, should try these out.

Title:  The Vampire Diaries:  The Awakening
Author:  L. J. Smith
Genre: Young Adult Horror and Suspense
Year: 1991
Book Source:  Purchased


  1. Hey there, I came over from the Saturday Network and I see you've got a lot of good reads on here, so I'm a new follower. I definitely want to read the Vampire Diaries. I recently bought it and it looks really good. Great review. I definitely like good vampire drama, as you say. :)

  2. Good morning! I'm here from the Saturday Network too. Since I was the first to post, I decided to comment on the blog of the second to post. I'm a real rule breaker ;-)

    I recently read this book too. I liked it enough to buy a copy of Volume 2 but I have a few books ahead of it to read first. I have to finish The Lightning Thief before I go see the movie and the next 39 Clues came out this week too. So many books, so little time!

  3. I enjoyed the Vampire Diaries too...but only up to a certain point. Things get messy by about book 4.

  4. I saw your post on The Saturday Network so I decided to check out your blog. It is very nicely done. I remember reading the first of the Vampire Diaries books when it was published in the 90s. I loved it back then. I wonder if I'd feel the same way if I read it now. I never read the other books in the series and after seeing where the storyline goes I don't think I'd like the later books.

  5. I saw your post on The Saturday Network as well, you have a really nice blog! I read the Vampire Diaries recently, and wondered why I hadn't read them when I was younger. You're right some of the characters do act older than their ages without any real explanation.

  6. Great review! I should really get to this one if it's 4 star-worthy!

  7. Thanks for participating in The Saturday Network yet again! :D

    And greaet review. You made some valid points there, and I agree that Elena REALLY takes things in stride, lol (too mature?). This is the only one I've read though out of the series, and I hope you enjoy the others just as much if you choose to read them. :)