Jen's Reviews > The Awakening / The Struggle

The Awakening / The Struggle by L.J. Smith
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's review
Apr 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, owned, young-adult, vampires, horror, contemporary

** spoiler alert ** The Awakening: 4 stars
Favourite Character: Damon

Elena Gilbert is, on the surface, a typical high school senior. She’s pretty, popular and has several close friends. She’s the “it” girl that boys want to date and girls want to emulate. But there’s more to Elena than meets the eye. Deep down, she’s lonely and struggles with feelings of abandonment due to a tragedy that occurred when she was younger.

Elena feels an intense connection with a handsome new student named Stefan Salvatore, and they fall deeply, passionately and madly in love. However, Stefan is soon suspected of attacking and murdering local residents which all starts from Tyler Smallwood. When Elena confronts him, she discovers that Stefan is a vampire and that his diabolical older brother, Damon, is the real killer. Elena later meets Damon and rejects his advances, angering him.Damon shows romantic advances towards Elena and wants to make her Princess of Darkness. In a fit of rage, he provokes Stefan to fight. When she cannot find Stefan, Elena believes that Damon is to blame for his disappearance.

The Struggle: 4 stars
Favourite Character: Damon

Picking up where The Awakening left off, Elena confronts Damon about Stefan's disappearance. When Elena rejects his romantic advances, he refuses to help her find Stefan. Bonnie, who is believed to have psychic powers, uses magic to track down Stefan. The girls and Matt discover Stefan trapped in a well, close to death. After they rescue him, Elena gives him her blood to speed his recovery. Because of the common belief that he has attacked area residents, Stefan still faces hostility in the town. As Founder's Day approaches, Elena learns that Caroline Forbes has stolen her diary, whose contents can be read as evidence that Stefan is a violent criminal. Bonnie, Meredith and Elena break into Caroline's house to search for the diary but fail to find it. Damon offers to help Elena's cause - if she gives him her blood. Elena initially refuses, but she gives in when Damon threatens to feed off of her little sister, Margaret, instead. Damon and Elena do a blood exchange. Soon after, Elena tells Stefan about the missing diary. Stefan tells Elena that even if Caroline reveals the contents of Elena's diary to the whole town, because of his love for Elena, Stefan will stay. On Founder's Day, when Caroline prepares to read the diary in public, Elena learns that Damon has switched Elena's diary for Caroline's. Damon accepts Elena's thanks, but his satisfaction turns to anger when he hears about her engagement to Stefan. Aunt Judith is also displeased. Frustrated by their reactions, Elena storms off in her car and soon detects something malevolent about the weather. She tries to cross running water, as she thinks this will keep her safe. As she drives over a bridge, it breaks, and Elena drives into the water. She then drowns and becomes a vampire.

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