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Review: The Vampire Diaries, The Awakening & The Struggle, L J Smith

6602822The Awakening: Elena Gilbert is used to getting what she wants and she wants mysterious new boy, Stefan. But Stefan is hiding a deadly secret – a secret that will change Elena’s life for ever …
The Struggle: Elena is torn between her boyfriend, Stefan, and his brother, Damon. But these brothers hide dark secrets and a tragic past that threatens them all. Damon wants to lead Elena astray – and he’d rather kill Stefan than let him possess her …

Honestly? I was expecting to loathe every single minute of this, and rip it to shreds on here merrily by way of compensation for lost time. But it really wasn’t that bad. In fact, would you believe, I actually enjoyed bits of it! Smith’s writing is engaging and enjoyable, and although both books suffer from some seriously daft teenage ‘loveydoveyness’, and a few trite plot elements, on the whole it’s a reasonably fast-paced and entertaining read.

The characters worked really well for me, and I’ve got my eye on Damon….

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(Sorry…I don’t know what’s wrong with me this week. Yesterday, squee’ing, today torsos….I’m scared for tomorrow. )

I’ve never watched any of the TV series, it always looked too cheesy and just that bit too ‘All American’ for me, but having read the first two books I’d swallow my words and give it a go if they ever show the first series again. As ever the ‘Bad Guy’ is by far the most entertaining and interesting character, and I’m curious to read more about the powerful, mysterious and really quite naughty Damon. Stefan, meh, he’s pretty standard, take him or leave him really. I thought Elena was interesting though, initially I was prepared to completely loathe her, but she showed some qualities I wasn’t expecting and I enjoyed that.

By far the most ridiculous and irritating thing about the books was Elena’s instant, all consuming love for Stefan. But I have a suspicion that’s standard YA fare and I’m just not used to it. See hot boy, get snubbed by hot boy, immediately realise that hot boy is only possible boy for you, and plan engagement accordingly. There was also the fact of Elena being so heartbroken over her lost diary that endangered Stefan, and venting all her fears by….buying a new diary and writing about it. Heh. It’s bonkers, but if you can ignore it and just have fun with the Good Vamp Vs Bad Vamp angle it’s OK, really, it’s not so bad. And in fairness, given that this was written a good ten years or so before Twilight, I think it deserves some respect. And an extra star in my rating. I also think that Ms Meyer may possibly deserve a little slap for some serious element robbing……imho, of course.

Would I read more of them? I would indeed…and no one is more surprised than me, trust me!

 

3A PhoenixFantasy Three Star Read

 

[The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening & The Struggle is published by Hodder Children’s Books and is available in Paperback and Electronic Format]

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2013 in Reviews

 

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Library Haul: ‘Wilt’ research + brainfluff

I take LittleMan to the library once a week. We live in a very small town and our library is, essentially, a bit pants. But I don’t want us to ever lose it, pants or not, so we go religiously. He’s three years old now, and isn’t far off having read just about everything they have in the picture book department. I always check out the SF/F section but, like him, I’m about through it all. They have a ‘teenzone’ rather than a YA section, so I had a sneaky rummage in there this morning, and came out with these;

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I’m reliably informed that teens dig Vampire Diaries, so I’m going to have a looksee what it’s like, although I have a suspicion it’s really going to annoy me. Plus, I can’t read it at work or I’ll never hear the end of it.

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I’ve just bought myself the first book in the Monster Blood Tattoo series, so I snapped up the second one while I saw it on the shelf, and I grabbed a Stiefvater while I saw it too. I loved The Raven Boys, but was disappointed in Shiver, so I’m curious to see what this one is like, and will do a ‘best of three’.

I lump all of these under the heading of ‘research’ for Project Wilt, but if I’m honest, it’s all quite a welcome brain holiday at the moment. The day job is driving me up the wall, and I’m finding it hard to concentrate on anything even remotely challenging, reading-wise, just now.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Books Received, Writing

 

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