Again, I am a huge fan of the TV show on CW and was recently made aware that it doesn’t quite follow the books. I was intrigued. While it doesn’t follow, it does hit most of the major themes and the basic feel of the characters, they just get it done differently and probably for good reason. A lot of things that can make sense in a YA book doesn’t translate well into TV and the 20 year gap between book release and pilot debut makes a difference. Our expectations for our supernatural creatures is a little different and the show does a great job of settling it in to this timeframe. 20 years doesn’t sound like it’ll make a big difference in something like YA paranormal romance, but it just does.
That being said, this one definitely made my inner feminist smile a little more. While Elena has always felt a little like a damsel in distress, she’s of the Lois Lane variety. Her distress is usually caused by a combination of outside forces and her own willingness to put herself in danger to save her friends. That kinds makes her the same as every guy in every book that has ever gone into a distressing situation to save a girl. She even gets to do some saving sometimes. She’s also never been helpless, even when outpowered. Still, I don’t want to outright spoil anything, so I’ll just say that we get to meet another great female character that I had hoped was coming because of the bit of foreshadowing watching the show does give.
But the new character and Elena aren’t the only ones who start to get a bit more credit in this one. Bonnie and Meredith take on more life and depth and Caroline is nudged a little closer to the character I know and love from the show.
What I didn’t like about this book and the way it ended is that it felt like the first true ending to anything in the series. I understand that there are word count limitations for books, particularly from new authors, but these first three books were all one story. It made them feel a little dragged on to hit the marks between what should have been acts one, two, and three, rather than books one, two and three. That being said, I respect the way that Smith handled it. This one does have a good and solid ending. It’s funny then that this wasn’t simply a trilogy, but when you get to the way it ended, I get that too. It was a good end, and it made sense, but it probably wasn’t very satisfying to write. I’m starting the fourth book now and will probably take a little break for some more contemporary work. Nevertheless, this one was a lot of fun and I’d definitely recommend checking the books to anyone who is a fan of the show, and even a lot who aren’t. Just get the whole first set together, it’s better that way.
Have you read this series? What do you think about it?