Andrea Caro's Reviews > The Awakening / The Struggle

The Awakening / The Struggle by L.J. Smith
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's review
Nov 14, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011, annoying-character, young-adult, vampires, series, own-it, love-triangle, romance, southern-fried, now-on-television
Recommended for: people who like twilight
Read from November 14, 2010 to January 04, 2011 — I own a copy

I either read an interview or saw one with Stephenie Meyer who remarked that she got her plot to Twilight from a dream that she once had. After having read this, I can say in all certainty that if she got the idea from a dream, it was at some point after reading this series. Look no further for her source material, here it is.

Just a few of the parallels that I noticed: Stefan (Edward) can read minds. Stefan and Elena fall splendidly and exquisitely in love with each other despite the fact that there's little narrative to their love story. Stefan wants to stay away from Elena because he's a killer, and so on, ad nauseum. Credit L.J. Smith here, though, considering that she was the one that did it first and she did it better (although I'd say not much, since I'm being honest).

Particularly in the first novel, "The Awakening", I found the main character - Elena - to be selfish, spoiled, and revolting. Perhaps it's because the popular, pretty girl foil is simply something that I can't related to, or perhaps it's because the idea of making my friends swear in blood that they won't stop until they 'get me' a boy is totally and completely absurd.

In the second book, Elena is a touch more palatable, but that might have been because the story as a whole got marginally better, leaving less time (but still ample, believe me) for Elena to wax poetic about the unexplainable love for Stefan that seemingly flourished after one kiss.

I'll give this three stars because it did get better in the end, but a more realistic rating would have been two or two and a half.
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Reading Progress

12/31/2010 page 141
28.0% "Generally speaking, I love L.J. Smith, but Elena is close to unbearable."
01/02/2011 page 388
76.0% "Oh, yeah, The Struggle is infinitely better than The Awakening. Glad my OCD makes me stick with something until I finish."
04/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Like because you spotted the parallels.

Andrea Caro G N wrote: "Like because you spotted the parallels."

Yeah, it's essentially identical in a lot of ways. Ditto the delayed introduction of the werewolves and the friends who seem to exists only to cater to either heroine, but have virtually no redeeming qualities in their own right. Yikes!

message 3: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca I'd heard about it, but I haven't yet read a review here which made the connections so clear. No wonder there's been a lack of follow-up novels in the Meyer stable. Hasn't had another 'dream', I guess.

Andrea Caro Honestly, it makes me want to go through what I'm sure would be the headache of reading the Host to see where she lifted that source material. I don't get it. If you're going to steal your plot, shouldn't it be a really awesome plot?

message 5: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Do it. I'll be waiting for the review.

Andrea Caro Oh man, you tempt me. I was able to reserve it at the library, so I'm going to pick it up today. I blame you for the inevitable migraine I'm going to get reading it!

message 7: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Ha, ha! I'm know for giving people headaches. :D

Sarah I agree. When I read this I thought, "Oh no I'm reading Twilight again." But I found out that this was published first.

message 9: by Sam (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sam definitely had the some of the same thoughts as you, but was happy that Elana isn't as weak of a character Bella. Elena actually does stuff instead of running to Stefan.

Carolyn I'm so glad someone else has noticed the similarities between twilight and TVD. I personally love this series while I found twilight a bit lacking.

message 11: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Carl I too found Elena's character to be so revolting I routinely found myself wanting to throw the book across the room. The one good thing I can say in favor of Bella as opposed to Elena is at least Bella had flaws, Elena seems to be painted in this holier than thou manner that I could barely stomach.

message 12: by Xin Le (new)

Xin Le Exactly! Stefen = Edward and blahhhhh
I like the scene in the drama when Damon actually questioned and criticised Twilight. Lol that makes me laugh.

message 13: by Josh (new)

Josh Likely the only reason Bella and Elena are so different, while the rest of the stories are so similar, is because they're both self-inserts of the authors.

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