Vampire Diaries #1: The Awakening

The Awakening - L.J. Smith

While I was reading this, I had some suspicions that certain other PNR writers borrowed some concepts.


However, I must concede:

Stephenie Meyer is a better writer.


This reads like one of those "choose your destiny" stories written by girls in early teens. The level of writing craft fits. The completely unrelated yet pseudo-gothic title fits. The dead parents fit. The caring and all-forgiving guardians fit. The undue popularity fits. The money to be thrown on dresses with no remorse nor repercusions nor indication it will ever run dry fits. The fact that people are dropping left and right and no one cares fits. The quirky friends that are not competition and totally support her with not a shade of jealousy while getting nothing in return fit. The "you look like my/our past love we never got over until now but you're actually kinda different" fits. So does the way she completely ignores all unfortunate implications of that.

But most of all, two boys to choose from (with implications choice might not be necessary or will come when author writes herself into a corner or depending on readers' preference), with opposing personalities and sort-of-enmity, fit.


All that is missing are MCR or Good Charlotte lyrics.


And then there is the worst cliffhanger ending I've ever read.


There are only two things I liked here: horror sequences (probably the only parts that are well-written) and a part of supporting characters, even though they make terrible choices (Matt, Bonnie, Meredith). These saved this book from going on "waste of trees" shelf.


As for our "heroine"...I cannot remember right now if I ever read about a main character I hated more. It was an interesting concept - using a character that is usually an antagonist in teen literature. Showing her side of the story, like the hard work behind the image. I'm not saying the author should have Broken The Haughty - quite the contrary - but she gave us not a single reason to like Elena. And I doubt she will get more developed.


I don't care much for love interest(s) either. Except Matt, but we all know he's a place-holder. But the brothers have no personality. They don't even talk much. We know nothing of their tastes. Their general mindset. All they have going for them is the bone structure. They aren't even the typical "dark, brooding and over-protective". There is one rescue scene, but somehow even that falls flat because of complete lack of emotions. We feel neither Elena's fear nor Stephan's fury.


In short, disappointing. I didn't expect much plotwise, but I expected at least slightly better writing.