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Origins (The Vampire Diaries, Stefan's Diaries, Vol. 1) Paperback – November 2, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Thanks for the Trouble
Thanks for the Trouble
A brilliant new novel about a young man who overcomes a crippling loss and finds the courage to live after meeting an enigmatic girl. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

L. J. Smith has written over two dozen books for young adults, including The Vampire Diaries, now a hit TV show. She has also written the bestselling Night World series and The Forbidden Game, as well as the #1 New York Times bestselling Dark Visions. She loves to walk the trails and beaches in Point Reyes, California, daydreaming about her latest book.

Kevin Williamson is the show runner and executive producer of The Vampire Diaries. His credits include the critically acclaimed television series Dawson's Creek and the blockbuster horror franchise Scream.

Julie Plec is the co-show runner and executive producer of The Vampire Diaries. She was most recently a writer-producer of the fan-favorite television series Kyle XY.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062003933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062003935
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lisa Jane Smith is the New York Times #1 Bestselling author of The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, The Forbidden Game, Dark Visions, Wildworld and Night World series. She has written over two dozen books for children and young adults, and has enjoyed writing every one of them. She lives in the Bay Area of California, with a backyard that is full of flowers, which she adores, especially with many different shades of roses.

She loves to visit a friend's little cabin in the Point Reyes National Seashore area, which has lots of trees, lots of animals, lots of beaches to walk on, and lots of places to hike. Once, while hiking, she saw a snow-white buck which allowed her to follow it nearly half a mile. She also likes to collect things: angels (they remind her of her late mother), tiny boxes from different countries or of fanciful shape, nineteenth century children's literature, and books about quantum physics--especially about the mystery of the dark energy in the universe. A militant optimist, she is also part of the Velociraptor Sisterhood (a fancy way of saying that she likes to read, write and discuss books with strong female characters), and she has traveled extensively in Europe and the Far East. The two countries she loves to visit most are Great Britain, with its historic monuments and amazing country landscapes, and Japan, with its bustling urban life and exquisite mountain scenery.

Her favorite current writer is Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series, for its wild and witty satires on life, death, war, love, assassins, coppers, and Australia. Her favorite classical writer is Jane Austen. Her favorite poets are Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. Her favorite movies are The Seven Samurai and Avatar (analyze that!). She doesn't have a favorite TV show, because she doesn't have time to watch TV (and only owns one for playing movies).

Her favorite people are her readers, each of whom she cherishes with deep and lasting affection.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Don't get me wrong, I love Vampire Diaries--both the tv show and the books by L.J. Smith--but this book wasn't quite as good as I was expecting. There's nothing new here--the story parallels the flashbacks from the tv show. I didn't really gain any new understanding of Stefan from reading this like I hoped I would. That being said it's an entertaining read and if you're a fan of Vampire Diaries you'll enjoy it, but if you watch the tv series you already know how it ends so there's no suspense here.


-Damon. He's not in the book much but his brief appearances make the read worthwhile. We actually get to see how his and Stefan's relationship was before they were vampires. It was interesting seeing this side of him.


-The details in this book follow the tv series rather than L.J. Smith's other books, which means they contradict her other books. This threw me off a bit at first. For example, characters who were introduced in the tv show such as Pearl & Anna but were non-existent in the books show up here. This may annoy detail-oriented readers.

-I love Stefan to death but in this book I'm sad to say he got on my nerves. He came across as so wimpy and depressing, letting his father walk all over him. I just wanted to smack him and say speak up for once already! Maybe that was the point but this side of his character still irritated me.
Also, his 'love' for Katherine bothered me. It felt more like lust to me, because he kept going on about how beautiful she was, but he only mentioned what qualities he liked in her I think once. And the smallest things would come up and in an instant he'd jump to conclusions be like "oh she's a monster how could I have ever thought I loved her?
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Format: Paperback
This book has me torn on what to think of it. The big thing I noticed and DID NOT LIKE was that this book does NOT follow the books. If you read the first couple vampire diary books and read this hoping for a better understanding of the famous rift, forget it. Apparently this book follows only the televised version. I have not yet seen the show so I cannot say for sure, but the scenario of this book has turned me even further off the show. However, if you like the show, then you may like this.
Heading off that rant for the time being...

This book is written from the perspective of our vampire hero, Stephen Salvatore. Although, to start with, he is not yet a vampire in this book, but a young man set to marry a woman he does not love. Enter Katherine, a beauty to whom he is instantly drawn to. This book covers his relation to he, the vampire hunt in his town and a bit of Damon too.


So in the books, both Damon and Stephen fall in love with Katherine and literally fight to the death over her and since she had been feeding off them, the both turned to vampires.
Not quite so here, while they do both fall for her, as Stephen sees her true nature he is horrified and turns away from her while Damon accepts her. When the hunt is on, he helps Damon free her. Yet they fail, Katherine is apparently 'killed' as are Damon and Stephan by their own father. They aren't yet dead though, and are instead something between vampire and human. Stephen hunts down a young girl, feeds as he finishes the turn and giddily gives the same girl to his brother so they can be vampires forever together.

So stopping there for a second...that does not even make much sense to me.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Firstly I want to say that I have loved many of L.J Smiths books and especially her VD series. I am also a fan of the VD tv show... This is a completely new series written by a completely different author and is based on the tv show. Yes. Based on the tv show. But it is very very good and the writing is amazing. Whoever the ghost writer is deserves a lot of credit. The best way to go into this book is to look at it as an entirely new series with no major expectations as to what happens. Fans of L.J. Smith and the tv show or either one will love it... I hate to say it but this book is waay better than anything L.J. has written lately. The character development is amazing... Whoever the writer is has taken great care with this world and characters. Definitely worth the money.
1 Comment 11 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Being a huge fan of all of L.J. Smith's books, including The Vampire Diaries series, I was eager to discover how another writer would interpret the world she inspired. If you think this will be just like the other Vampire Diaries books, know that it is one hundred percent based off of the television show. The only similarity to the books are the names, as it is with the show. That said, I still enjoyed it tremendously.

Stefan is telling the story in this series, and I enjoyed hearing his voice retell the story of his past. I easily fell into the story he was narrating, and enjoyed seeing the world through his eyes. He does counter himself a bit, which got to me after a while, however. The rest of the characters were very well written, and I felt as though they were taken from screen to page perfectly.

Though we do not know who actually wrote this book, they did a great job. Unlike Smith's writing, this story wasn't bogged down with description and detail, which I quite liked. I do adore L.J. Smith's writing style, but she can load on a bit too much description at times. With this book, you get just enough description and feel as though you are living the story.

I had the unique experience of someone who doesn't watch the show. Sure, I've seen a few episodes, but I don't tune in every week, eyes bulging at the screen with every twist and turn the story creates. That said, I didn't know too much about how this book differentiates from the show's plot.

I really enjoyed reading this book, as it takes you into the past of Stefan, Damon, and Katherine. While it is nothing like the books I adore, I know that fans of the television show and book series alike should take a chance on this book, even if it does deter from the story we have become so accustomed to.
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