You all know I like L. J. Smith. But these novels are dreadful, almost entirely lacking in the playfulness, fun characters, and interesting twists on genre tropes I enjoyed in her better books in other series.

Except for the fourth book. The fourth book is fairly interesting. Largely because the heroine is dead for most of it.

[ profile] yhlee showed me an episode of the TV series, and I have to say, that was much better. Damon is lots of fun, though Elena and the ever-boring Stefan, clearly cast for his vague resemblance to sparklepire Edward Cullen, have no chemistry.

Back to the books, I give you The Vampire Diaries in Fifteen Minutes!

Elena: I rule the high school! Bow before me, minions!

Minions: (bow.)

Stefan: I have only just laid eyes on you, Elena, but you are fire, ice, fire in ice, a white tiger, a sugared violet, a ravaged princess in a tower, snow, sapphires, midnight, steel, and… Damon, did you steal my thesaurus? Anyway, let’s get engaged!

Elena: We’ve only known each other for two days and barely interacted at all, but okay!

Damon: (lurks; drops Stefan in a well; turns into a raven; eats the gym coach; laughs evilly; menaces Stefan; menaces Elena; drinks human blood to get more powerful; is way more fun than anyone else.)

Elena: Stefan, drink my blood so you can get more powerful and defend me from Damon, or else Damon will kill us all. I want you to and it won’t kill me.

Stefan: Absolutely not! Drinking blood from humans is wrong! Even if it won’t hurt them, they consent, and otherwise everyone, including them, will die!

Rachel: (stubs fingers trying to reach through book to strangle Stefan.)

Elena: My thoughts are layered, like a parfait.

Rachel: (notes that this is an actual line from the book.)

Kitten: (is possessed by Big Bad; tries to bite Elena’s little sister.)

Everyone: DOOOOOM!!! We must save everyone from the cats!

Rachel (is not making this up; also, is reminded of the episode of the X-Files where stage hands hurled stuffed cats at the actors to simulate a cat attack.)


Elena: (drives over bridge.)

Rachel: (stubs fingers trying to reach through book to strangle Elena.)

Elena: (dies.)

Elena: (becomes the prettiest vampire ever.)

Big Bad: So, I have Stefan, Elena, and Damon tied up and helpless. Damon, you seem less boring and goodie-goodie than the others. How about I release you, and you can help me kill the other two, and then we go off and be evil together?

Damon: No! I cannot tell a lie, so I would never say okay and then kill you to save the others, not to mention myself! Screw you! Kill us all!

Rachel: (stubs fingers trying to reach through book to strangle Damon.)

Elena: (magical powers of Mary Sue slay Big Bad at cost of her own life.)

End of book three!

Book four is actually fairly entertaining and contains some deliberate comedy (thank God). The excruciating Elena-Stefan relationship is sidelined, which improves everything enormously. But not enough to make me read book five, which is supposed to be horrible. Not even on a plane, which is where I read the first four.

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle

The Vampire Diaries: The Fury and Dark Reunion

Long-belated sequel, which I haven’t read; note that it has been nearly universally dissed as a trainwreck, including by people who loved the first four: The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall

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