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The Awakening / The Struggle (Vampire Diaries, Books 1-2) Paperback – Unabridged, June 26, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 295 customer reviews

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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: The Vampire Diaries Books 1-5 (The Awakening and the Struggle, The Fury and Dark Reunion, The Return: Nightfall) (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006114097X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061140976
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Kukura on September 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Vampire Diaries is darker than Smith's other books, but every bit as enjoyable and entertaining. The dark edge actually allows for a wider audience... I vividly recall when, over ten years ago, I noticed my copy of The Awakening was missing from my bookshelf, only to find it in my 27 year old brother's room!

To be quite blunt, IMO, Vampire Diaries is what Twilight wishes it could be (sorry, Twilighters, don't kill me!).

As always, Smith is very skilled at showing the depth of her characters. The lead heroine, Elena, is beautiful and the most popular girl in school, but she silently doubts herself and the life she's made for herself so far. She doesn't know where she belongs. As the story continues, she grows as a character as she realizes how much the people in her life mean to her, and how much she is willing to give up in order to protect them.

Stefan, the vampire and romantic interest of Elena, is self-loathing and blind to his own good heart. He lives off of animals, and even then feels guilty when he accidently kills his prey. This conflict with himself only deepens when Elena enters his life, and he is convinced he doesn't deserve her love. Yet, despite this, Stefan fights for what he believes is right, even if it's against his own brother, Damon.

To complete the little triangle, we have Damon, who is also a vampire (and my favorite character... Damon = *swoon*). Damon is snarky, cold, handsome, and darkly hilarious. He knows what he is and he doesn't apologize for it. He also knows what he wants, and that happens to be Elena. But don't write Damon off as a one-dimensional character...
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Format: Paperback
This book caught my eye at the bookstore and I finally decided to get it and give it a try. It was a pretty good book. Nothing really outstanding but an enjoyable read. I think these books may have been spectacular back 15 years ago, but with the market so saturated with this subject, they didn't really stand out for me. These books were originally written something like 15 years ago and were re-released as this omnibus which contains the first two of the four original books in the series.

Elena, the most popular girl in school, is intrigued by the new boy in town named Stefan. He is mysterious and will never answer any questions about his past. Elena is determined to make him notice her. Stefan finds Elena disturbing in that she reminds him of someone in his past. Things get tense when killings and attacks start happening in the area and people begin to suspect that Stefan is more than he appears to be.

A lot of people are comparing this to Twilight, and while the theme is kind of similar, the writing style is much different and the topic of vampirism is handled in a more traditional way than it is in Twilight. Personally, I shy away from comparing this series to Twilight because it is just a very different type of story.

This was a well-written and engaging story. It is again a story of star-crossed lovers in a way, as Stefan and Elena struggle to make a relationship work between a human and a vampire. It is also a story of revenge as Stefan's brother, Damon, tries to tear Stefan and Elena apart. This is a book for teens or young adults; it takes place during high school and there is a lot of angsting over who loves who, and who should go to what parties, etc. There is some mystery as they try to solve who is causing the attacks.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that stick with you long after you've read it. I first picked up the Vampire Diaries 15 years ago when it was first published. Needless to say, because I'm writing a review here, I still adore the books. The novel is beautifully written, with characters I genuinely care about. Sure, my opinion of the characters have changed over time, mainly my impressions of Stefan and Elena... but they're still friends I enjoy visiting . I've reread this series a number of times. In a nutshell, its about finding love and acceptance despite outward appearance. A lot of this book is based on friendship and societal roles. It's a lot like Romeo and Juliet, had Romeo not died, but lived on, waiting to be whole again, never forgiving himself for the mistakes of the past. I like this story because the characters are so multi-dimensional, the world lush and exotic. EXCELLENT book. Don't skip it!

My main concern will be people who see parallels to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe. This one came first, and in my opinion, is better.
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Format: Paperback
I will never understand how come this series didn't catch on like wild fire. Like how the Twilight series is. This series, in my opinion, far surpasses the Twilight series. With this said, and my high and mighty opinion stated. ^_- I'll review.

The writing for this book (series) is superb. Adults will love it, and younger audiences will appreciate the change of reading level. The book enters the mind of a teenage girl, without trying to be a `teen' mind set of to day. Making it easy for anyone to sink into the skin of the main character, and of course the other characters. Although the main character is spoiled and gets every thing that she wants, it's fun, and quite enjoyable to watch her grow up.

All the characters have their own emotions and style that makes them interact well with each other. Even if friends break up, they care enough to work things out. The writing also focuses on these splendid side characters. Which is really nice, because it is such a great cast.

The plot never stops. Even after the characters fall in love, nothings perfect they have to fight and work together. And the reality of having a vampire boyfriend is nicely played out. So that it's not just happy easy perfect life, it's nitty gritty real life. Of course it is still a book.

The two brothers are great together. They conflict well and there background is well thought out. They were so well thought out that not only did I like the good brother, I also didn't mind the evil brother. Even though his deeds were terrible and I'm rooting for him to die. ^_-

Then there's the ending to this book, which is the first two in the series combined into one. It leaves you wanting the next one. Leaving on the best cliffhanger that only this book could pull off.
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