Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smiths
About the author
L.J. Smith recently changed her name because she got tired of being one of a googolplex of Lisa J. Smiths. Her attempts to get people to call her by her new name have not, so far, been successful. Despite initial disappointments, she will not give up the fight! She also wonders if many people out there realize that “smiths” were revered in ancient times for their ability to take bits of rock and magically turn them into useful items like swords, maces, flails, daggers, dirks, spears, halberds, arrowheads, katanas, and, eventually, lead shot and brass knuckles. And spatulas. Spatulas used to be made of metal. For this reason, smiths were thought to be a wee bit uncanny, and it was a brave man or woman who crossed them. There are few who can face up to a really well-honed spatula—or, for that matter, to cutting irony, which in Ye Good Olde Days was made of real iron.

L.J lives in the Bay Area of California, where it is always sunny except when it rains. She has a cat and lots of books. She gets most of her ideas when she is asleep. She isn’t sure whether there is genuine magic or not, but she finds it fun to write about. She believes in the maxim, “An you harm none, do as you will.” (An means “as long as.”)

In February 2011, L. J. Smith was fired from Harper/Alloy; a ghostwriter will be writing the rest of the Vampire Diaries books.
Book blurb via Goodreads
A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror... Elena - Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.  Stefan - Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.
Damon - Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.
The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.
My review
The Awakening book one
I was very negative about reading this series.  My negativity seemed to be reinforced the moment Elena came on the scene.  Her single minded male seeking, ego centric frame of mind is but one of my myriad pet peeves.  I simply cannot get used to a character who is so totally engrossed by men or partners if you would. Who is written as shallow and evil and then set as a heroin.  Why if you are writing a fictional character as the lead, do you write her as a petulant little brat?  She is fictional; you are allowed to make her likeable.  I promise. Elena, with her planning and scheming, at first sounded like one of the worst characters I have thus far come across. Through the entirety of book one, The Awakening did Elena not once redeem this image I have of her.  Her friends, Dumb and dumber is not much better but since they are not formed totally they do not seem that evil.  The men - well, what a sad state of affairs if the one person you like best in a book is the evil brother.  At least he is true to form.  I wish the book was badly written at least.  It is not.  It is Elena and her teenage angst which served to put me off the book.  What is worse?  I will now read all the books I have in the series.  It is such short books that I decided to keep on reading until either Elena redeems herself or to at least read a book where I have no affinity for any of the lead characters.  This said, up until last night, I never watched the TV series.  Since I have the first three seasons, I decided that I might as well torture myself to the extreme and watch the first episode in the first season.  Woe and behold, Elena is a sympathetic character and a stronger one in the TV series.  What was frightening is that most of book one was partly retold in the first 16 minutes of the show.  What I did like about the series though was the sound track.  Would I put off a dentist appointment to watch the rest?  Most assuredly, I hate the dentists.  Would I rather watch Chuck than the Vampire Diaries?  Naturally. What is remarkable is that this is the first time ever I prefer a series / movie to the original book.  I find this terrifying. 
My star rating…  If it were not for the fact that it is well written even if I think Elena is a twerp, I would have to give it a 4 * review.  Though I really, really wanted to give it a lower rating. 
L J Smith

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