Wednesday, August 19

Buddy Review - Vampire Diaries - The Awakening & The Struggle by L.J. Smith

Vampire Diaries - The Awakening & The Struggle by L.J. Smith

The Awakening, Elena is a high school golden girl, the one boys want and girls want to be. And Elena is used to getting what she wants. When she meets handsome, haunted Stefan, he struggles to resist her because of his dark secret. Stefan is torn by guilt over his past, and mindful of the threat that his vengeful brother, Damon, poses to anyone Stefan gets close to. Soon Elena finds herself torn between two brothers—and in terrible danger.
The Struggle
Elena quickly realizes that the only thing more dangerous that being in love with a vampire is being desired by two. As Stefan struggles to suppress his instinctive thirst, Damon persists in his quest for Elena's heart. A dark turn of events forces Elena to risk her mortality to save one of her immortal suitors.

Monroe: So I thought we could start off with why we chose to read the Vampire Diaries series. For me, ever since Twilight I've REALLY been digging into the vamp books. I had a friend tell me about these books and I knew it was something I would be interested in. NOW I didn't expect them to be AS good as Twilight so I’m going to try really hard not to compare! :o)

How's bout you? Why did you want to read them (besides me making you of course ;op)

Ames: Well that's the only reason! Also, knowing that there's a show based on these books and planning to watch the show, I wanted to see what the big deal is about. And I wasn't thinking to compare the book to Twilight. LOL

Monroe: Oh ya I TOTALLY forgot about the show! Duh!! Ya we will be watching that together and I can’t wait!

So what's your take on the first two books? Did they live up to your standards?

Ames: Ok - for those who don't know, the book is actually divided up into two books.

So the first book, I hated Elena, our main character. She's the "queen" of the school and she's kind of self-centered. On the very first day of senior year, she's frustrated with the gaggle of girls who follow her around. There's a new mysterious boy in school and Elena decides she wants him, although she's kind of going out with Matt, a real sweetheart. And then the mysterious boy - Stefan - snubs her publicly when she tries to talk to him and she's infuriated and decides she's going to have him, no matter what it takes. She drove me bonkers. And then...and then she kind of grew on me! LOL So by the time the second book rolls around, I'm involved in her little drama and I want to see what happens to her next.

Monroe: LOL I didn't HATE Elena but I will say that I was getting a bit tired of her being so conceited. I held off of hating her b/c I just knew something was inside her...a better person. And I love for once it's a good guy bringing out the better in a bad girl! Don't you agree? We normally see the good girls change the bad boys! :o)

So one thing I just had to bring up is when she dumped poor Matt. First off he totally proves to be a great guy that seriously loves her. And it shows even more when she mentioned that didn't he agree they had become just friends and he was like "no comment". He was such a sweetie he wasn't going to make him feel bad. OH AND EVEN MORE when he finds out she’s interested in Stefan he still doesn't snub her! What a great guy!

Ames: Matt was a great character. Everyone needs someone like Matt in their lives. LOL and yes, it was good to see a bad girl turned semi-good.

Ok, so what did you think of Stefan? I don't really feel like we got to know him. I mean, he loves Elena because why? She's strong and a fighter? I feel like all the relationship development between Elena and Stefan got skipped over. Were Elena only attracted to him because he was new and different and then a jerk for snubbing her and she had to prove she could bag him? I'm feeling like we're missing a piece of the puzzle. And then moving on Damon - he only wants Elena because Stefan wants her? Tell me!

Monroe: Good point! Ya you really don't get a good enough feel for the relationship between the two. At first I thought that the only reason Stefan wanted Elena was b/c she looked like Katherine. But later he talked about loving her differently and more for who she is...BUT you really didn't feel that. It didn't come off strong enough for me. And Damon, as far as I see wants her just because Stefan does. He doesn't even know Elena. that I think about it...technically doesn't Damon see Elena first? B/c he was the crow remember. He saw her when she came outside to walk to school on the first day back so maybe there is more about that...what do you think of that aspect? He did technically see her before Stefan...

Ames: Hey! That's so true! Like why was Damon stalking her already when Stefan didn't even know who she was?

Monroe: Well maybe we will find out in the last book...or maybe he was following Stefan and noticed Elena first?!?! Hmmm...that's something to think about right there! Ok so what did you Katherine/Stefan/Damon story? Seriously that girl was SO STUPID! She really didn't think about her actions putting herself between the two brothers then offs herself b/c she can’t choose?!?! WHAT?!? I did however like how L.J. wove it into the story line.

Ames: Katherine was weak. And I'm afraid Elena is going to make the same mistake...

But yes it was good to see how the brothers had a falling out over a woman and Smith wove it into the story very well. The books are well written but I would like more depth. What do you think of the new teacher?

Monroe: Well I think there is something up with him. He's just so nosey and weird. And what about the part where he invites everyone to his HOUSE to talk about the recent deaths...WTH?!? And then tells them participation is half their grade, basically forcing them to go. OMG! Something is up with this guy!

Oh and one thing I thought was weird is that they mentioned how Damon kissed Bonnie after Elena left, but didn't make a big deal out of it. Why even mention it then? OH And I thought it was weird how Elena found it so easy to leave even after she heard Bonnie and Damon laughing together. I would've been scared to leave a friend with a killer! Hello?!?!

Speaking of Bonnie…WOW I like her character. Her creepy ability to see into the future and get in touch with the dead! I loved it!!!

Ames: And Bonnie also has a crush on the new teacher. He's probably going to kill her. But she is an interesting character. I liked how loyal her friends were. Like even when they got into little fights they were still always there in a jam. And I like how Elena mostly keeps them informed on what's going on. But did not like how Elena kept telling little lies to everyone. Especially with Stefan.

Monroe: I know I loved the friendship between the girls! And I’m happy to see it was all the way through to the end. I hate in books when friends get in fights and the character is left alone :o( Ya...the one point I was like "girl just go tell him everything that's happening so he can fix it!" lol OH and what about the dream where Damon bit Elena and the crow was scratching her when she woke up and then she realized that Damon REALLY bit her! The book really started getting good then! That's the thing about this book. I don't think I REALLY got into it until over a 100pgs. But now I mean I think it’s pretty entertaining!

I don't read a lot of YA books but this is one I was happy to continue.

Ames: I enjoy a good YA from time to time (the last being the Forest of Hands and Teeth - zombies!). I agree - the second book definitely got interesting when Damon became the aggressor. It was kind of funny how Elena outsmarted him after he got the invitation to come in. But he's such a despicable character for threatening Elena with her baby sister! Ok - I'm definitely curious about the rest of this series. But I did not really care for the first book. LOL It is however, necessary that you need to read the first book to get the rest of the series. So first book (The Awakening) gets a C from me and the second book (The Struggle) is going to get a B-.

Monroe: Yes he is despicable however I am SO drawn to the bad boys! ;o) I think there’s more to him than what we are seeing. Idk...maybe wishful thinking on my part. Lol But don't get me wrong I still want her to stay with Stefan.

I have to totally agree with you on the grading.
The Awakening: C
The Struggle B-

Ames: Oh yeah for sure she has to stay with Stefan!

Also, the Vampire Diaries tv show starts September 10, so don't forget to set your DVR!


Cecile said...

You girls crack me up!!!! Great job on the review!! I love the honesty, I will keep telling you that. It lets me know that you guys will not disappoint me when looking for a book. I know that you have given this book much thought and consideration!!!
I hope you all have a great night and a wonderful tomorrow!

Monroe Dawson said...

Hey babe! You know we crack each other up all the time! ;op lol These books are something to look into...try them out and let us know what you think!

Cecile said...

Well, that is one of the most important things with reviews... having fun. Especially when you do it as a team!! And you guys have that for sure!!!

I will put these books down on my list!!!
Have a great night hon! And a wonderful tomorrow!

Isabel said...

hmm, i was thinking about reading these but now.. I don't know. If elena is kind of a brat...Hmmm.

Monroe Dawson said...

She comes into her own. Like I said she she starts to realize she was a little TOO into herself. It wasnt so bad that you didn't want to read the books. Both Ames and I are reading the second book now and shes even realizing it more so in this book!

Lea said...


You ladies are great fun.. What a wonderful review. I don't know that this series / book is my cuppa but I sure enjoyed reading your co-assessment!

Thanks for sharing..

Monroe Dawson said...

Thx girl we'll be here all night *tipping hat ;op~ But no really we pretty much enjoyed this book maybe you should give it a shot!

Chantal said...

If they are as good as Twilight, then these books must really suck.
I'll avoid them, thanks for the warning.

nath said...

Great review ladies!! I might watch the series, but I think I'm going to skip the books... Hmmm, is it me or the two guys aren't that cute?

Monroe Dawson said...

No I wouldnt compare them to Twilight really. I thought I would at first I guess b/c vamps and young love but naww...

ITs you Nath lol ;op I think they are both AT LEAST cute...btu I like my men with red hair! LOL!

Mollie said...

I really need to re-read these. I read the first couple of books when they first came out (when I was actually a teenager...ha!). I know I still have my original copies stashed away in my parents attic :).

I can't remember if I ever finished the series. And NONE of your review is jogging my memory.

Monroe Dawson said...

lol well if NONE of it sounds familiar then I think you DO need to go pick these back up! ;op

Cecile said...

Hey Ladies! I have an award for you place at my place!
I hope you enjoy it!!!
You all do an awesome job!
Have a great weekend!