Wednesday, April 6th 2011

Review: The Awakening, L. J. Smith.

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Publication Date: August 6, 2009
Received From: Bought
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780340999141

Elena Gilbert is used to getting what she wants and she wants mysterious new boy, Stefan. But Stefan is hiding a deadly secret – a secret that will change Elena’s life forever…


The Awakening is the first instalment of the ever popular Vampire Diaries book series. I was attracted to reading this book due to being a fan of the TV series. I expected that I would know the plot line, as a result of watching the TV show. However, this was far from truth.

I was surprised and pleased that the plot line differs in a lot of cases compared to the show.  The series was first published in early nineties and were recently re-released as a result of the growing popularity of the vampire genre. Through researching the series in some detail before sitting down with the book, I found that this series has a large fan base which has continued to excel over the years. This was another aspect which attracted me to the book.

Set in the third person, The Awakening offers an intriguing and entertaining beginning to the Vampire Diaries series. The protagonist, Elena, is a popular and admired girl who attends Robert E Lee High School. She appears to be the girl who has it all; a pose of fellow students idolising her, a soaring social life and a love life in the form of Matt. However, it is interesting to learn that despite this, there are areas of darkness in her life too. From the first chapter, attention is grasped through the narrative which holds a sort of menace to it.

When Elena sets her sights on new student Stefan, a new side of Elena is exposed. When she doesn’t get the attention she is used to from Stefan, Elena sets her sights on changing this. I do feel that as a character Elena can come across quite “queen bitch” like through the dialogue of how she is going to ‘get’ Stefan. Yet I kept having the feeling as I read that there is going to be more to Elena as the series progresses. I feel she is one of those characters who will win me over as I learn more about her as an individual and get deeper into her life. I hope so anyway!

After the arrival of the mysterious Stefan, some horrific events begin to occur in the town, thus building upon the menace of the plot. I felt that Smith created the tone of the story in such a way that results in its reader wanting to continue to learn more about the characters and the outcome of the plot.

There is one character in particular I wanted to know more about and that was Damon. Damon is even more mysterious than Stefan. In The Awakening we don’t learn a lot about his character and I am looking forward to learning more about him in the subsequent novels.

I don’t have any relevant or acceptable criticism to put forth about this book. It is the kind of book to read when you want something light hearted to read. It keeps you wondering what is going to happen next in the plot which is always a winner for me. Some of the events were a bit predictable in places for me, but this might not be the case for other people who are perhaps not familiar with the vampire genre as much as other people are.

I cannot relate too well to Elena in this novel as nothing was presented to which I emphasise with. Like I mentioned earlier, I am hoping in the later books I will learn more about her, but from this book I don’t feel any depth to her character.

I can appreciate why so many people are a fan of this series. This book was a good, solid beginning to what I hope to be a series which gets better with each book.



One Response to “Review: The Awakening, L. J. Smith.”

  1. Ramona says:

    I am a fan of the TV series, that’s why I chose to read the books.I liked the fact that the books were different from the show.I’m a fan of this book too.

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