Callista 's Reviews > The Awakening and The Struggle

The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J. Smith
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's review
Aug 28, 09

bookshelves: nonurban-contemp-fantasy, ya-paranormal-romance, vampires-after-all
Recommended to Callista by: Jamina Fritts
Read in August, 2009

The writing style is rather flat-—more “telling” than “showing.” Many of the characters are standard-issue; Bonnie is my favourite, as she seems the least stereotypical. At least the heroine, Elena, has friends, although she’s obsessed with Stefan the moody vampire. And Stefan's great appeal (aside from the fact that he's handsome and gifted with the famous vampire ability to mesmerise) is unclear to me. (But I did already note that he's moody, and that seems to be a big drawn for teenage girls.) I did like that the vampires have fairly traditional attributes, including weaknesses, though; and Smith comes up with an interesting way around some of the weaknesses.
I don't know if Smith did it before absolutely anyone else, but here again we have the vampire in high school plot device that bugged me in Twilight. Even if someone's target audience is teens, I fail to see why a character hundreds of years old would subject himself to modern high school (except for the necessary plot device of meeting teenage girls).
While there’s good tension throughout due to a number of mysterious and malicious operators moving about, the plot doesn’t fully kick into gear until the second volume. Despite the story's weaknesses, the developments in the second volume make me want to find out what happens next.
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