NAME OF THE BOOK: The Awakening
1ST PUBLISHED: 1991
GENRE: Paranormal Romance/ Teen Fiction
A deadly love triangle.
Elena: beautiful and popular, the girl who can have any guy she wants.
Stefan: brooding and mysterious, desperately trying to resist his desire for Elena… for her own good.
Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him.
Elena finds herself drawn to both brothers…
Who will she choose?
I feel as if someone has hurt him terribly in the past and he’s never got over it. But I also think there’s something he’s afraid of, some secret he’s afraid I’ll find out. If only I knew what it was, I could prove to him that he can trust me. That he can trust me no matter what happens, to the end.
There are certain things you do in life which are inexplicable; my decision to read this book is one of them. The only thing I can say in my defense is that, obsessed as I am with the TV show based on this series, I had to find out what the book is like. And yes, I did read it after being warned that this is an outstanding example of the most disappointing teenage fiction ever written.
The first thing that completely put me off was the characterization of the female protagonist. A heroine can NEVER gain your sympathy- or admiration- if she is a born narcissist who is convinced of her superiority as the ‘queen’ of the school. And who is immediately attracted to the hero, not because he’s a great guy- or even mysterious or whatever- but because she is determined to prove to everyone that she can get any guy she wants. Try as I might, I could not get myself to like her- not even by the time I finished reading The Awakening.
Stefan is basically a good guy, but somehow fails to appeal to the reader. Cutting a long story short, he seems to be the ‘damsel in distress’ here. Not what you’d expect the hero to be like. He is never sure of what he wants, seems too scared to make a decision and never does anything to prove himself as the hero. I mean, I’m not expecting him to personify machismo, but as the male protagonist he really ought to show a little more grit.
Damon is the one who really is intriguing, the only one who manages to make you curious enough to read further. Sadly, he doesn’t have much role to play in the first book of the series. And since we all know that the book is about vampires, there isn’t much of a surprise element when it comes to Stefan’s dark ‘secret’. Written in the third person, with a few excerpts from ‘Queen’ Elena’s diary, The Awakening pretty much neglects the other characters. It has just one good thing to offer- the mystery behind Damon Salvatore’s desire for revenge. This part of the story is at least a little interesting, even though I was constantly annoyed by the differences between the show and the book. Pick this up only if you- like me- have the mad habit of reading any book on vampire lore that’s shoved under your nose.