This novel gave an exciting plot with interesting characters making it very enjoyable.
This riveting story takes place in the sleepy town of Fell’s Church, Virginia. Elena is a beautiful girl who can have any guy she wants; however, she is an extremely deep person, contrasting the common stereotype of popular blonde girls. Stefan is “brooding and mysterious” and drives Elena crazy for much of the book because of his lack of interest in her, or so she thinks. Damon, whose character does not develop until the end, is dangerous, mysterious and is Stefan’s brother.
Stefan has had a rivalry with his brother since the Italian Renaissance which they were born as humans. Their feud began over Katherine von Schwartzchild, a beautiful girl whom Elena looks almost identical to. Katherine was in love with both Stefan and Damon, and both Stefan and Damon were in love with her. She broke both of their hearts because she couldn’t and wouldn’t choose one of them, as neither of them wanted to share. The readers never learn much about Stefan, but we do know that he has a dark side that he is constantly trying to hide from Elena: “He’s very unhappy about something, and if he won’t tell me what it is…” (173).
However, he can only keep the secret for so long. Elena also always feels like someone is watching her, another part of her paranoia. There is a crow that is often perched outside her house and sometimes Stefan’s house too that seems to have “an almost human stare” (70). Through keeping an intricate journal, Elena keeps track of her thoughts. Her journal entries often sound profoundly paranoid: “something bad is going to happen today,” (2) “but right now everything looks strange to me, as if I don’t belong here” (4).
Elena has a thing for Stefan from the first time she sees him pull onto the high school campus. She loves the mysterious factor, but she constantly agonizes over it. Stefan blows her off the first time she tries to talk to him, which only makes her want him even more. Little does she know that Stefan is avoiding her for her own good. Elena’s life soon becomes consumed with thoughts and actions aimed at getting Stefan’s attention and impressing him. Elena writes, “I want him to be proud of me. I want him to love me as much as I love him” (197). Eventually, Elena and Stefan forget what their minds are telling them to be together. They find that their love is strong and intensely passionate: “What she felt was not merely passion, but a bruising tenderness and a love so strong that it made her shake inside” (97). When Damon comes into town near the end of the novel, he makes it clear to Stefan that he is going to steal Elena from him and there is nothing he can do about it.
Fell’s Church is a small, sleepy town that is hardly on the map. However, this small town has its fair share of secrets, as do many small towns. The author likely chose to write about this location because small towns are the prime locations for intense drama because everybody knows everything about everybody. This concept is almost unavoidable in small towns, so placing the story in this location while the characters are trying to hide a secret makes the story all the more interesting. Having two brothers fall in love with the same girl was a genius move by Smith. It keeps the story juicy and interesting. Stefan and Damon are not just any pair of brothers, but they are vampires which makes the story somewhere to escape to instead of reading about everyday life.
One theme that can be interpreted in The Awakening is that love can be hard to come by and may seem impossible, but lovers should ignore others’ opinions and love will prevail. Even though they knew it was going to be hard, Elena and Stefan had a silent mutual agreement that they were going to be together.
The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening is an intriguing and well-written book. The only flaw with this book is that the beginning is slow, but that is only because this is the first book in the series and the author has to set up the characters and the main story plot. This book is recommended for anybody who likes a good love story with an enthralling twist.