The Vampire Diaries universe is quite vast, beginning with The original four book series, The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries, #1), The Struggle (The Vampire diaries, #2), The Fury (The Vampire Diaries, #3), and Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries, #4). There has been multiple spin-offs following the main series, The Return trilogy, The Hunted trilogy, The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries, and The Salvation trilogy. (All books have been written by L. J. Smith). An eight season TV show has also been produced, with its own two spin-offs emerging, The Originals and Legacies. Quite an impressive number of achievements to say the least! However, for the sake of this book nerd’s blog I will be focusing on mainly the original four book series.
I ended up reading all four books in the original series (mentioned above) in about a week, something that if you read my previous blog post is not at all surprising. The great thing about all of these books is the next one begins exactly where the former one ends, so theoretically all four books could have been compiled into one very large book, but in reality that would be way too long, and no one except for me would want to read it, hence it being split into four. These books released in the early 90’s definitely have an older feeling to them, which might turn some people off, but I think it actually adds to the overall story. It is the rather typical love triangle we all know so well, but there is a fun little twist that catches people’s interest, they are about vampires! It seems that books and movies about vampires has been a constant and ever-growing fascination in the last decade or so, and this series fits right in. Based in a small American town, with the stereotypical popular girl, Elena who is loved by all, envied by most becomes interested in the mysterious, brooding new kid Stefan, who moved there to try and escape his past. However, his charming, devious older brother Damon follows him, thus forming the odd love triangle. It seems like a perfectly fine and innocent story, but once Elena finds out Stefan is in fact a vampire, the story goes from what you think will be obvious and generic to one of great mystery and intrigue. Elena is confused by the brothers, she loves one but is drawn towards the other, and while unravelling the secret past of Stefan and Damon she ends up becoming something she never thought possible. Throughout each book you learn about the three main characters’ pasts which are very important, their hopes, doubts, struggles and that they will do anything to save and protect one another.
I decided to read The Vampire Diaries because I had watched some of the original TV show and had no clue that there was a book series. More often than not the books are usually better than the TV shows / movies but I had to see for myself. The interesting thing about comparing the books to the TV show is just how different the exact same story is portrayed. The books have a lighter, more innocent feeling to them, where as the TV show is all dark and way more dramatized. Regardless of comparisons, I do recommend reading the books especially if you have watched the TV show, because not only are the books where the entire story began, but because of episode length they end up having to take out sometimes rather important parts. It is an easy, interesting read that will make you want to become invested in every spin-off series, and of course all the TV shows.