Once, waiting and wanting for a light read doing so, I got into a second-hand store and took the then-popular tv series books. Paid, if I remember right, a little over three pounds (four euros) for two books with two books in each. Read like a page of it back then. And now, after picking it back up at the very end of the last year, I finally finished the first book of Vampire Diaries series “The Awakening” by L.J. Smith (ISBN 0061020001, 311p., Goodreads). And it was a fairly light read alright.
The story seems somehow split. There’s one, of the shallow miss high-school-senior queen Elena, who wants what she doesn’t have, always the center of attention, always loved, always wanted. Reading of her I sometimes wondered what was the bigger tragedy – her parents dying in a car crash, or Stefan, the mysterious new guy from Italy, not even looking at her when he walked by. Don’t get me wrong, she didn’t seem a bad person. Merely with ridiculous idea of life values. And then, of course, there’s Stefan himself. And I must again use the word “ridiculous”. Half a millenia and still a nobleman who must dress his finest, otherwise he “shows disdain to those below him”. His memories made up the other side of the story. Something just didn’t click for me with the characters. But. Yes, there’s a but, please read on.
The horror parts of this book were actually really good. And seeing how the book was originally written in 1999, I am very pleased with the whole atmosphere in it. Ominous prophecies, spoken by a girl who is of course a descendant of druids, running across the bridges in sheer terror, and somehow realizing safety’s on the other end of it (running water, river below). All that really got me through the shabby love story. And hey, it might eventually get better.
So, while I can’t say I liked the book, I can still give it a firm 3 out of 5, and I will read the other ones. Author really has it for writing, the text is smooth, the story is fleshed out. And yes, it is better than the tv series.