The Vampire Diaries: What the Heart Wants (Book One) (Kindle Worlds Novella) Kindle Edition
"The Summer Children" by Dot Hutchison
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Author Alicia Dean is a self-proclaimed, obsessed Vampire Diaries' fan and that was clear throughout this novella. She treated her characters with the care one would expect from an author who didn't create them, but is highly invested in them nonetheless. She knows these characters and captures their voices so clearly that at times they jump right off the page.
Dean made the commitment following the 15th episode of season four not to watch another episode until she'd completed this story. As a huge TVD fan, that's big deal, especially as the season was rushing towards it's climax. But, in order to write her own story, Dean takes the plunge and it truly pays off. What the Heart Wants could've just as easily been the path season four took and I would've enjoyed it immensely.
Dean incorporates all of the show's characters, yet never forgets that Elena Gilbert is the heart and soul of the show. Her Elena is nicely written and actually returns to the girl we haven't seen in awhile: a young woman who doesn't allow everyone else to make decisions for her and is capable of taking charge of her life even when faced with overwhelming adversity.
I gave this four stars rather than five due to some continuity issues with the show's canon. Otherwise, I highly recommend this and look forward to the next book in the series, Divine Enemy.
The reason it got 4 stars rather than 5 from me is really subjective and I hesitated to say it is a universal reaction rather than just a personal quirk. Either way, I didn't feel particularly emotionally connected to the characters or the storyline. Despite clear character motivations, it felt a touch mechanical and plot driven rather than character driven. There were a lot of mistakes with detail work in comparison to the show but that didn't bother me much. I didn't particularly believe Elena's reaction at the end of the book, though. It felt like a very strange reaction to Jeremy's death when applied to her feelings for Damon and Stefan. Either way, this was a good read, well done, but not one that was close to my heart.
Not only did she do a great job bringing Elena, Damon, Stefan, Caroline, Bonnie, Rebekah and the ruthless Katherine to life, but Klaus in this book is the same as he is in the TV show - sexy and dangerous! You can almost hear Klaus' accent when you are reading his dialogue!
The author explains in the foreword that her story takes place after Season 4, Episode 15, where Damon turns off Elena's humanity. The book reads like a full episode, and of course, leaves you hanging for more Vampire Diaries!
I especially enjoyed Stefan's and Rebekah's storyline in this book.
If you can't get enough of Vampire Diaries, especially until Season 5 starts, check out this novella, which is written through Kindle World's fan fiction program.
Full disclosure: I received a copy of "The Vampire Diaries" What the Heart Wants" (Book One), a Kindle Worlds novella in exchange for an honest review.