Author: L.J. Smith
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
The Vampire Diaries is a young adult vampire horror series of novels written by L. J. Smith. The story centers around Elena Gilbert, a high school girl torn between two vampire brothers. The series was originally a trilogy published in 1991, but pressure from readers led Smith to write a fourth volume, Dark Reunion, which was released the following year. The first four novels in the original series: The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury and Dark Reunion all feature Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert as the main protagonists. The first three novels in the original series are from both Stefan and Elena’s point of view, but the last book in the original series, Dark Reunion, is from Bonnie McCullough’s point of view. – Summary from wikipedia
I initially started reading The Vampire Diaries because I got hooked on the show. I have a rant about television shows, movies, and book reading regarding the whole ordeal here: https://anakalianwhims.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/books-to-movies-to-tv-shows/, basically saying I was shocked to find that I love the series and hate the books.
Well, why bother reading the rest of the series after loathing the first book so much? I’m a start a series finish a series kind of girl, no matter how awful. It’s just polite to give the author a chance to 1) redeem themselves after a bad experience 2) let the characters and story warm on you, sometimes you meet someone and think they are horrible people only later find out they were just having a bad first impression day 3) be sure you weren’t just in a judgmentally bad mood that day.
And I tried, I really did. I read the first volume of books one and two and got all the way through book three of this second volume. One chapter into the fourth part and I gave up. How can the show be so intriguing and the books be so awful? Amazing liberties taken with the story by those fab people in Atlanta, that’s how. These books are truly terrible; I don’t know why I bothered.
Smith has the uncanny ability to make dialogue something I dread. Instead of the simplicity of a he said she said, we get every –ly word found in my third grade Webster’s dictionary thrown at us, even when they don’t make the best of sense. Admittedly, I always hated the overuse of this in writing, but didn’t really understand how much until Stephen King put my own thoughts into words in On Writing. Now that I have read detailed explanations of my own gut instinct, I find it even more nauseating.
L.J. Smith’s original books are merely a reoccurring fad due to people’s fascination with vampires. But if you’re looking for Stefan, Damon, and Elena time – watch the CW television show, it’s available on Netflix. If you’re looking for some Vampire literature, stick to Anne Rice and Bram Stoker. Then, there’s always one of my cotton candy favorites: Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. My copies of The Vampire Diaries series got thrown along with Twilight – the library donation bin.
*Edit/Postscript in the form of a confession: I am not and never have been the target market for this book. It’s unfair for me to judge so harshly when the book was clearly not meant for me and I knew that from page 2 of the first installment.