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The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries, Vol. 1) Paperback – August 25, 2009

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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.


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Product Details

  • Series: Vampire Diaries (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Rev Mti edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061963860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061963865
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (444 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,131 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Awakening is the first books in one of L. J. Smith's early series, The Vampire Diaries, and was first published back in the early 90s. This series is one of the better teen horror ones. Leaving at least some of the formulas behind, #1 The Awakening sets up the main characters and the center love triangle: vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore, whose fight over young vampire Katherine in Renassaince Italy led to their turning, and Elena Gilbert, the human high school girl that will renew their centuries-old feud. Highly reccomend for horror and vampire fans.
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178 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Lana Del Slay VINE VOICE on September 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
I became interested in the books once I saw the show on The CW. I think the show is great, the best new show I have seen in awhile. After reading the first book, I would say that the show is loosely based off of the books. The show writers have taken a lot of liberties, and I would say, improved upon the original.

Take Elena, the main character in both the book and the show. In the book, she is quite mean and self-involved, while in the show she is down to earth and unassuming. I far prefer the show version of Elena. Needless to say, the main character being a polar opposite in the show versus the book can tell you how different the two stories are.

When all was said and done with this book, I was unimpressed. I think that it was a rough version of what it could have been. This book needs work, the story is hardly fleshed out at all, making the emotions the characters feel quite unbelievable.

Watch the show, skip the book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mine for the Reading on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
When people said that the TV show is immensely different from the book series, they weren't kidding. Nearly everything is different apart from the characters' names. But, looks, appearances, locations... that stuff all got changed in the TV-remake. I must say that I find the TV show much more appealing, though. And it's not just because Ian Somerhalder is playing Damon Salvatore, I swear.

Maybe it's because there was that tedious instantaneous love between the two main characters. It was almost reminiscent of Twilight in that sense, yet completely different. And what's particularly funny about that is Vampire Diaries came out long before Stephanie Meyer gave a thought to Twilight. Normally, I love that kind of soulmate-love-attraction stuff that happens with Smith's characters (i.e. Nightworld, Secret Circle, etc.) But, this time around it didn't send me headlong in love with book. Rather I got a little irritated...

Or perhaps its because the original Elena Gilbert isn't sweet and selfless like her TV portrayal. She's actually the opposite. Which, at first, was pretty nice, because I've never read about a heroine who's selfish, self-serving, and spoiled before. However, the attraction quickly faded to be replaced by mild flickers of anger. Elena, basically, takes her friends and family for granted, and simultaneously uses them for her own ends. Elena snaps her pretty little fingers and these people in her life jump up for the chance to serve. It got to be pretty annoying. The whole time I was expecting someone to tell her to Piss Off. But no such luck.

And because she's a character with a pretty rotten personality, I didn't feel like she deserved to be with Stefan (aka Mr. Tallldarkandbrooding).
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bella Prim on October 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I've always thought it a travesty and an insult to the author whenever an adaptation of a book, whether it be film or telivision, does not hold true to the original story line; however in this case I can see why they didn't. Technically I found the book daunting to read let alone finish. The story itself did hook me briefly in places but I found myself so irritated by the writing that I was unable to get lost in it. The characters are all so terribly one dimentional and similar that it was difficult to know who the hero or heroine was or who to root for. It seems that everyone is the villan, all out to get our "Heroine" Elena, who is herself a petulant, conceited brat who has no problem stepping on those around her in order to get what she wants; even her attraction to Stefan is born out of his rejection of her and her inabillity to accept that she is not coveted by him. Oddly, the character I found to be the most multi-faceted and endearing was Damon Salvatore; he was the one character who had his own personality and voice - and he was suppose to be the bad guy!! The cliff-hanger ending was the most frustrating of all because I cannot bear the thought of reading anymore in order to find out how it all ends.

I guess I take back my earlier statement about being unable to decide who to root for; I am pulling for Damon in the hopes that he will eat everyone, thus ending the series.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nelaine Sanchez VINE VOICE on October 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Why didn't I read this series when I was 12? I'm 31 now and enjoyed it, but I think this would have been much more magical at 12.

Elena comes off on the pretentious and shallow side at first - the self-titled "queen of the school". But she slowly blossoms throughout the book and you eventually start to like her. Her obsession turns to devotion, and her conceited demeanor transforms into a single-minded determination to become someone worthy.

Stefan is handsome, brooding and your typical tortured vampire. He's haunted by his past love who he and his evil brother Damon dueled over, and centuries later he's still not over it all-until of course, he meets Elena.

Damon although evil - I found to be a very captivating character. Even in the first installment of this series, it is difficult to dislike him. He is the embodiment of sexuality and temptation that I can assume will only become more appetizing as the series enfolds.

My only gripe would be that I found Elena and Stefan's relationship to be slightly rushed and not very credible. One moment he's avoiding her like the plague - the next moment she's telling him she loves him. I just don't think that's a positive note for kids to read about when they're young and impressionable. I feel that the "love" word should have a bit more substance than that.

With that said, I can definitely see why this series is popular - especially with the tween crowd. There were foggy cemeteries, dead teachers, dark and stormy nights, girls being held in thrall, you know, all that great classic stuff. Ms. Smith's writing is succinct and to the point - but you can still enjoy all the details that are necessary to create the dark atmosphere surrounding Elena and Stefan.
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