Vampire Diaries #1: The Awakening by L. SmithAdolescent Paranormal Romance
With all the hype and hullabaloo, I expected to fall in love with this series. I haven't watched the show and don't intend to. I'm judging the book solely on the writing. But, I didn't love it, at least not with this first installment. Still, I liked it enough to keep going.
It has all the right ingredients to be a good series: a beautiful, thoughtful, longing heroine; a tragic, misunderstood, sexy hero; an ancient and deadly curse that stands in the way of their love.
Yet, it still felt a little false to me, a little staged, and not quite real enough. A lot of the dialogue felt really forced. The main character, Elena, is very hard to like or connect with in the beginning of the book. She is mean, petty, selfish, and shallow. I couldnt' find a way to sympathise with her at all. Elena does show some promise. She starts opening up and change some, but her "love at first sight" devotion comes across as slightly false.
I did like the character of Stefan. He is dark and brooding with a tragic past and a secret. There's enough in that to keep me coming back one more time. I also really liked how the story flashed back to Stefan and Damon's past--the how and why of becoming a vampire. It shows there's a reason for Stefan's angst. Stefan is a much more magnetic character and my only reason for the reading the next book.
Still, I'm a bit worried about the next book. Elena most certainly doesn't deserve Stefan and he's only interested in her because she bears a striking resemblance to his dead love. That's not much to base a romance series on.