*REVIEW* The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle


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.

Collected here in one volume for the first time, volumes one and two of The Vampire Diaries, the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

The Vampire Diaries centers around Elena Gilbert, a beautiful and popular high school girl who is accustomed to getting whatever her heart desires... and her heart desires Stefan Salvatore. From the moment she meets the dark, handsome, and aloof stranger, she is determined to win his affections, no matter the cost.

We watch as Elena schemes to win Stefan's heart, with the help of her friends. These friends include calm and collected Meredith, sweet and psychically-gifted Bonnie, and honest and reliable Matt. We're also introduced to Caroline, the classic "mean girl" that every high school seems to have. As Elena breaks down the walls Stefan has carefully constructed to protect him, we see young love unfold before us. But things are not completely perfect. Enter Damon Salvatore: dark, gorgeous, and alluring, he seems committed to making Elena his own.

As the story unfolds, mysterious attacks continue to plague the town of Fell's Church and suspicions are on the rise. The animosity between the Salvatore brothers increases as Damon's desire to possess Elena intensifies. Will Elena be able to resist Damon's advances, ignoring the electrifying chemistry between them? Will an evil plot to reveal secrets threaten them all? And has Elena bitten off more than she can chew, resulting in consequences too horrifying to imagine?

So... my thoughts. The first thing that I should mention is that the writing isn't stellar. Not terrible, but not fabulous. It's a quick and easy read and fans of vampires will not be disappointed. One of the biggest drawbacks of this book is the character of Elena. At the beginning of the book, she comes off as spoiled, selfish, self-centered, and shallow. Not exactly the type of character you bond with. She becomes more tolerable as the book continues, so my advice is to persevere through the beginning.

Stefan is loveable, but also slightly bland. The tortured vampire story is a little old, though these books were written long before the recent Twilight phenomenon so it can hardly be called a copycat. Damon is intriguing and though he commits some heinous acts, you can't help but enjoy the scenes he's in. He is definitely a more interesting character than Stefan, something about him is truly compelling.

The book ends with a terrible cliff-hanger, so be sure to have the next volume on hand because I guarantee you'll want to see where the story goes next. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who can't get enough of vamps, or who has become addicted to The Vampire Diaries TV show. While it will never be considered one of the literary greats, it's an entertaining read with enough bite to keep you hooked.

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