The Awakening + The Struggle (Vampire Diaries #1+2) by

The Awakening & The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2)

Title: The Awakening + The Struggle
Author: L.J.Smith
Series: Vampire Diaries #1+2
Publication: 1st January 2007
Genre: 

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

The Awakening: 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 for ever …

The Struggle: Elena is torn between her boyfriend, Stefan, and his brother, Damon. But these brothers hide dark secrets and a tragic past that threatens them all. Damon wants to lead Elena astray – and he’d rather kill Stefan than let him possess her …

My Thoughts

I dragged myself through this book so I could tick off the challenge, from Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge, of reading one of the 100 best YA books. Imagine my frustration when I realised I got confused and it’s actually Vampire Academy that’s on the list, not this. On the bright side, at least this isn’t in the top 100 best YA Books because it’s truly awful.

The first book was originally written in 1999, so years before Twilight. However, it was hard not to draw connects between the two as it’s incredibly similar. They both had annoying and whiny main characters, stupid instalove and frustrating writing. This obviously reflects worse on Twilight than this book. I can’t say I was overly impressed with either of the books but at least Twilight was slightly better writing and marginally better characters.

The main character, Elena, is blonde, skinny and self claimed queen of the school. She prides herself on getting any boy she wants, so when a dark, handsome boy walks past her, completely blanking her, she instantly dumps her boyfriend and won’t rest until this stranger is hers. Rolling your eyes yet? It get worse. She is just a horrible person, she is manipulative, obssessive and egocentric.

Of course this dark, brooding stranger is a vampire and is staying away from her because she looks exactly like the love of his life from his past. He spends half of the first book ignoring her and when they finally do talk BANG they’re together and “in love”. God knows why, maybe because they’re both as dry as each other?

Then there’s Stefan’s brother, Damon. He’s the consistant “bad guy” who sexy and mysterious. Guess what, he want Elena too. Funny that. Turns out he was in love with the girl that Elena looks like too.

Guess I should have learnt from the TV series. Wasn’t overly impressed with that either.

My Thoughts (1)

1-star

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Teardrop by Lauren Kate

Teardrop

Rating: 1/5

Since the storm in her childhood, Eureka’s mother had always drilled into her that she should never, ever cry. But Eureka’s mother has died suddenly, leaving Eureka feeling broken, abandoned and alone. Ever since, Eureka has wished she were dead too, leading to her Dad and Step-mother sending her to counselling. The only people Eureka feels close to are her best friends Cat and Brooks. However, Ander, a tall, pale blond boy, who seems to know things about Eureka he shouldn’t, reveals that she is grave danger. With her strange inheritance including an ancient book containing a tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea, Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale might be more than just a story…

In all honesty, I was mainly drawn to this book due to its beautiful cover. The blurb made the book seem interesting, but straight away, I could tell it was going to be a stereotypical love triangle.
Being a YA book, I can forgive many of many cliché’s this book incorporates, such as being intrigued by someone because they’re hot “He was the hottest guy she’d ever yelled at. He might have been the hottest boy she’d ever seen.” I can forgive the being oblivious to your close male friend being in love with you, and I can just about overlook the stereotyping and/or shaming of every character that is not a close friend. However, my major issue with this book, and what I cannot forgive, nor condone, is the romantisiation of a stalker. This book is aimed at teenagers, many of whom gain their ideals from books and movies, such as this one. Therefore, I feel that issues such as stalking should be explored carefully through these forms. I viewed this book as implying that stalking is positive. For example; even as Eureka begins to twig that Ander is following her, she does not seemed concerned, in fact she seems to want it; “Eureka didn’t know what was stranger: that he’s been there or that she wished he hadn’t left.”. Despite her friend Cat insisting that he is creepy, and dragging her to the police station to report him, she still doesn’t see it as a negative thing; “Had he been thinking about her the way she had been thinking about him?”. To quote, that really concerned me was “”I’m not stalking you… I’m observing you, there’s a difference”. No, there is no difference. It is stalking. Just because the character is ultimately there to save her life, does not justify the invasion of privacy.

On the positive side, the book does effectively explore the emotion turmoil surrounding the loss of someone close, in this case Eureka’s mother, Diana. Eureka forms a bubble around herself to supress all of her emotions, to protect her. By doing this, she shuts out everyone, causing her for be more isolated from her friends and family. I can imagine that many people who have suffered losses would be able to relate to Eureka due to her way of dealing with grieving, and may be a comfort for them to know that these feelings are natural in the grieving process.

Unfortunately, due to my ebook copy not having page numbers, I am unable to state the pages from which the quotes come from.
Thankyou to Random House Children’s Pulbishers UK on NetGallery for providing me with a free copy in return for an honest review.