THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: THE STRUGGLE by L.J. Smith [Review]

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

The Struggle is the second book in the popular Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith. In the first book, The Awakening (read review here), we met Elena, the most popular girl in her high school, and the vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon. Elena is immediately attracted to Stefan and they begin dating, even after she discovers his secret. After someone is murdered at the school Halloween party, Stefan becomes the prime suspect. The Awakening ended in a cliffhanger and The Struggle picks up where it left off. Now that she’s dating a murder suspect, Elena is no longer the golden girl. On top of being a social outcast, she also has to deal with the fact that someone stole her diary and is taunting her with some of the information in it. Damon is also determined to take Elena from Stefan and will stop at nothing to do it.

I liked The Struggle more than the first book. If you read my review, you know that the first one reminded me a little too much of Twilight even though it was published much earlier. I feel like the series really established its own identity in this book. Bad boy Damon and his dysfunctional relationship with Stefan are what really made me want to keep reading. Elena didn’t annoy me as much in this book either. Being shunned at school made her less self-involved and shallow, which made her more relatable. There’s still plenty of high school drama because of her feud with Caroline, but I just reminded myself that this is a YA book.

Even though the series was written in the 90s, I have to say that it doesn’t seem that dated to me. They don’t listen to grunge, wear flannel, or say “Not!” all the time (ok, I admit to being disappointed by this). I think the books have held up well and fans of Twilight will also like this series. If you like the Vampire Diaries TV show, you also might want to check out the books.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars | Publisher: HarperTeen | Pages: 512 | Buy on Amazon

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