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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I really wish everyone would stop comparing all vampire books to Twilight, as a major fan of the series I can see why but this book is different than the Twilight Saga. It is amazing in it's own right. I try to read a new book with fresh eyes instead of comparing it, think if you had not read Twilight, would you like it, and I say yes definetly!

I love the character of Elena who could so easily fit into any time or place, she is universal. At first I was annoyed by her bratty attitude and she came accross as 'pampered princess' but as the story progresses and with the arrival of our vampire; Stefan, we see that there is more than meets the eye to Elena. I deeply enjoyed the love that Elena and Stefan share and felt like I was witnessing its strength grow.

The story keeps you guessing with a number of unexpected twists and turns and I love the style that Smith imploys with the extracts of diary entries which put you in Elena's mindset and see everything through her eyes.

I loved the errieness that Smith manages to maintain with the Graveyard and the church.

The ending is shocking and I was left reeling and wondering if it could be so, so much so that I had to buy the next one in order to find out!

Take my advice, stop comparing to Twilight, every book you read will probably not live up if you keep doing that, so just look at it as it's own and I promise you will enjoy it and will not be able to stop! :)

Cassandra220689
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103 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2009
I actually started watching this series on the TV before i started to read the books as i couldnt wait week after week to find out what happened....

Anyway, after reading some terrible reviews on here, i decided to give it a chance anyway, and im so glad that i did. I am not a teenager and i really enjoyed this book! I have read on some review about poor english etc etc, i think i must have got so wrapped up in the story that I didnt notice any poor english...

At first i couldnt identify with Elena...she is very self important...however, as the book progresses you begin to forget about this...

I am curently half way through the 3rd book and i am really really enjoying it!

Give it a chance! Dont believe everything you read...take it for what it is...a teenagers book...not some deep mind altering novel....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2013
I originally bought this because my friend recommended it and I enjoyed the series on TV. I'd heard that the plot was completely different, and that the series had even changed some of the main characters (there is no Meredith, and Elena's sister is now a brother). Still, I thought I'd give it a go, especially because I like L. J. Smith's other books, 'Dark Visions' and 'The Forbidden Game'.
I'm sad to say that I was a little disappointed. Maybe this is because I enjoyed the TV series and the plot so much that I had completely different expectations for the book series, but I found I just didn't really enjoy it. Had I read the books first, I think I would probably have loved it (or liked it, at the very least) but I don't think this is for me.
Apart from that, one of the main problems I had was that it's called 'The Vampire Diaries' but I can only remember there being a handful throughout. I found that slightly odd, and the entries that were in the book was pretty useless to the plot.
Also, I think the plot escalates a bit too quickly. *SPOILER ALERT: I think that Elena becomes a vampire very quickly, and I think that if Smith had extended the time period I would've appreciated the tension and feuding a hell of a lot more.*
As it stands, I won't be purchasing the next volume. Personally, the TV series has a far better plot and this book, although an easy read, just isn't for me. If you like vampires, romance, and haven't seen the series on telly, then buy this. It's good value for money and an easy read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2012
I am now on the fourth book in this series and I'm struggling , I would not have read past the 1st book but when I've paid money for them all I will read them but it's slow going unlike the Twilight books which are excellent and I couldn't put them down .

I expected these to be a lot similar to the tv series but there is hardly any similarity at all . The characters have different names and those with the same names have different lives and personalities and looks to those portrayed on the tv ( can I just say that the tv series is amazing and fantastic , sooo much better than the books ) So , don't buy these books if you are expecting the same story as the tv series , you will be disappointed . The books I have , have pictures from the tv characters on the front covers , which is misleading as the story inside is very different . I do expect some differences but not this much .

Anyway , the story so far for me is pretty poor and boring to some extent . I found some of the monsters too ridiculous sounding , especially the thing that fly's through the air then try's to eat Matt's arm , whichever book that's in . Elena floating like a balloon tied to the back of a car ? the visualisation for me is not a good one . I do however , so far at least , like the Damon character and have got quite engrossed where he's involved sometimes . I have found throughout all the books though there can be a lack of continuity and have even got lost off with the story sometimes . One sentence I read over and over and it just doesn't make sense to me . I will be glad when I'm finally finished these books so I can get on to the next book I've bought ready and waiting for me to read.

Also , there are numerous spelling mistakes which is annoying when you've paid money for a publication because you expect a level of professionlism when buying a book . One example in "The Return-Nightfall" there's a Dr Alpert or is it Dr Albert ? read page 249 and you'll see what I mean , that's a total name change and the p and b are some distance apart on the keyboard ! and there's about a whole paragraph where it refers to Dr Albert before reverting back to Dr Alpert but there are also a lot of sloppy spelling mistakes in these books . It makes me wonder whether the author or the publisher is to blame .

I have reviewed here about the books as a whole instead of just the title I clicked on and also I have reviewed the books as a whole before actually finishing all of them but when it doesn't get any better and you're on to book four then unless there's a spectacular ending somehow I don't think the reading of the books that are left are going to make any difference to what I have to say about them .
Finally , I do wonder if I hadn't loved the tv series so much would I have been more favourable towards the books ? I might have given them another star , maybe ? but I still think I would have been disappointed as I've just read the Twilight books and they were fantastic and I think the comparison is there to be made and the Vampire Diaries (books) falls a long way short for me .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 22 February 2010
If I could give this 3.5 stars I would. I know it is an earler book and I am probably biased as a huge Twilight fan, but these books somehow lack that magic that Twilight has. There was plenty of action and cliffhangers, and the main characters were very likeable, even "evil" Damon. I really enjoyed the whole series and will admit that I have preordered the next installment! I just felt at times that the romance between Elena and Stefan was a little forced and rushed.
While it is probably unfair to compare this to Twilight it is hard not to and whilst it is an enjoyable read and a good choice for Twilight fans, it does just miss a certain something that can be found in the Twilight Saga.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Anyone reading this book would be forgiven for thinking that it was rather derivative of a certain other one, (Twilight that is). It even has an apple on a black cover ... Amazingly, it was published over ten years before Stephanie Meyer had even started hers. Understandingly, the publishers have jumped on the bandwagon with a new edition. I didn't discover it until I had already read Twilight though, so my thoughts about Smith's book can't help but but be influenced by the other.

The Vampire Diaries was originally written as a trilogy in 1991, and extended to 4 parts a year later. This edition contains parts 1 & 2. Smith is now adding another new trilogy to the series, and inbetween also created the 'Night World' series of novels featuring many different supernatural races.

Smith's heroine is beautiful and popular, and when a new boy Stefan comes to school, she just has to have him. Sure enough he's a vampire with an evil older brother Damon. Back in the Renaissance they both loved the same woman, who became a vampire and then when they forced her to choose between them, she took both. Stefan still thinks she really loved him before she died; and Elena reminds him of her - so they're made for each other. Nasty things start to happen in this little town - there's a big black crow always around, then people get scared in the old ruined church, and an old guy is killed under bridge over the river. Then at the school's Halloween Haunted House party, someone dies - all fingers point to Stefan, but we know that Damon lives and he wants what his brother wants ...

Arguably, although more happens than in Twilight, I found the Vampire Diaries rather ordinary and humourless, somewhat full of stereotypes and also lacking the former's subtlety. Also, for a book with the word 'Diaries' in the title, the few diary pages included were strangely uninvolving to me. I would describe the book(s) as competent, and fans of her Night World series will surely enjoy these vampires.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2008
Now, I've read L.J.Smith's Nightworld series and I found those books absolutely amazing, some of the best teen vampire books ever written and so typically, I was expecting the same type of goodness from this book which is a new edition of the seperate books 'Awakening' and 'Struggle' so it's a two-in-one combo... anyway back to the point, the book wasn't what I was expecting, in other words it didn't really do anything for me.

From the beginning the storyline was hard to get into and some parts of the book seemed patchy as if Smith forgot what she was writing about. There were some interesting parts in the book and Elena the main character is very interesting and not your usual protagonist as she's got a personality that you can identify with. Well, anyway Elena begins to fall for the new student at her high school the italian Stefano, who is the most good-looking guy at school but there is something strange about him... he's a vampire but not just any vampire, a vampire with a dark and tragic past and the deeper Elena falls for him the more danger she's in.

The reason I gave the book 3 stars and not one was because I felt the book had some good ideas although they weren't very well developed there was still a hint of something exciting in the background and well I gave another star out of loyalty to dear Ms. Smith who is quite wonderful.

Oh, and there are quite a few grammatical and spelling errors throughout the book which is at times very irratating because it is quite hard to understand what is actually written. But an ok-ish book nonetheless, worth reading if your a Smith fan and got nothing else to do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2011
I have to be honest I do quite like these books even though they are more of a teenage book (I am way past being one of those)

If your expecting them to be anything like the TV series you will be disappointed apart from the names and the fact that there are vampires in the books they are nothing like the TV series. Even down to things like basic appearances and personalities they are the complete opposite (i.e. Elena in the books is Blonde and blue eyed and a spoiled brat, in the TV Series she has dark hair & eyes and is very nicey nicey)

So my advice read these books with an open mind and try not to compare them to the TV Series or Twilight (these books did come before both) and they are not that bad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 1 April 2010
Isn't it amazing when you go into a bookshop these days, how many books under the (new) heading of "Dark Romance" have black covers with a single red image on them a la, well I'm sure you can guess. Even an apple in this case. I understand these books were written earlier than Twilight though, so it's just a case of cashing in I suppose.

I do like the characters of Elena, Stefan and Damon although there isn't that sense of pent up frustration, longing and danger that makes Twilight so good. They seem to give and receive blood so freely, in the place of anything more physical, that you wonder what the point of them actually being vampires is when they seem to live their lives pretty much as humans.

I felt it got a little bogged down in its own mythology, and I had to re-read the odd paragraph to get the gist of the story back. I also didn't really see the point of calling them Diaries, as the diary pages probably amount to about six pages per book! However, I didn't find them as compulsive as Twilight but I did find myself reading on and on, so they do have something. There is a bit of a shock ending to The Fury, and I did immediately reach for the next in the series to find out how that worked out!

Not bad. Not a substitute for Twilight in my opinion, but better than some I've tried.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2013
Ok I admit it, I may have read this book a few times. When I first read it, after watching The Vampire Diaries - Season 1 [DVD] (which I love!) I thought it was really terrible, badly written, trashy. I don't know what compelled me to go back and give it another go, probably how much I love the tv series, but I did and I read every book in the series. I'm just about to start on the latest one The Salvation: Unseen (The Vampire Diaries) which is released today(!!), even though I think it's not actually by L.J. Smith now. My favorite books of the series are 6 and 7, and I loved these so much I had to go back and read the series again. I saw this first book in a different light, an interesting introduction to the characters. Elena is supposed to be annoying at the beginning - that changes. I originally thought the story line was just so crazy, and was disappointed it was different from the tv show, but now I just see them as two completely different entities - and I love them both. I love Damon in the books as much as I love him in the show too - and there's plenty of 'Delena' action as the series progresses too!!
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