Monday 12 April 2010

From Book to Screen : Vampires on TV.

It's no secret amongst my friends that I'm pretty much vampire obsessed, and it's started way before Edward Cullen arrived on the scene! Right now two of my favourite vampire themed shows are 'True Blood' (I'm an Eric girl) and 'The Vampire Diaries' (it might be surprising for most of you, but Stefan's the one for me!) So,  I decided to check out the books that these shows are based on.  It's been a while since I read the books, so they're not fresh in my mind, and you're only gonna get mini reviews today.

The Vampire Diaries
L.J Smith
Books 1& 2 - The Awakening & The Struggle

The Awakening: Elena Gilbert is used to getting what she wants and she wants mysterious new boy, Stefan. But Stefan is hiding a deadly secret - a secret that will change Elena’s life for ever ...

The Struggle: Elena is torn between her boyfriend, Stefan, and his brother, Damon. But these brothers hide dark secrets and a tragic past that threatens them all. Damon wants to lead Elena astray - and he’d rather kill Stefan than let him possess her ...

The Vampire Diaries is one hot show, but don't expect the same from the books. They are very tame in comparison to the show,  and also when compared to most other YA urban fantasy romances I have read lately.  I'm trying not to be too harsh on this book.  YA fiction pushes the boundaries these days.  The early nineties, when these books where first published, was a far more innocent time in young adult fiction.  That said,  I don't these will appeal so much to today's readers.   I generally love YA fiction of this type, but this was not for me.  The book is simple in both plot and writing style.  Overall, it feels very dated. I rated it ans average If you love the show, it might be worth checking out, especially if you are a younger reader.  I know a few adults who love these books too though, since they read them when they were teenagers and are now revisiting them, but I don't have that connection.  I was a Christopher Pike girl in my youth.

Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 1)
Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much - not because she's not pretty - she's a very cute bubbly blonde - or not interested in a social life. She really is . . . but Sookie's got a bit of a disability. She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he's tall, he's dark and he's handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting all her life for. But Bill has a disability of his own: he's fussy about his food, he doesn't like suntans and he's never around during the day . . . Yep, Bill's a vampire. Worse than that, he hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble - of the murderous kind. And then one of Sookie's colleagues at the bar is killed, and it's beginning to look like Sookie might be the next victim . . .

When True Blood first arrived on our screens, I was pretty much addicted to it, and as a result have acquired almost the whole series of books via Bookmooch.  I've only read the first book so far, but  I'll start on book #2 soon. I had to wait until season 2  of the show finished up. No major plot spoilers for me!  Dead until Dark was a pretty fun read, and pretty humorous, which is something a  little different for a series of vampire books.  Here, although I didn't quite warm to Harris's writing style which I found lacking in the description department,  I think the books will be an an interesting accompaniment to the TV show for me.  You should be warned, though,  that not all of your favourite characters in the TV show will appear in these books.  A promising start to the series, but with room for improvement.

If you're a fan of these shows, and have also read the books, share your views with me!


  1. Cool post! I think I saw a bit of an episode of The Vampire Diaries on TV.

    By the way, you've won an award on my blog!

  2. I pretty much agree with you here. I really didn't care for The Vampire Diaries books, but I've been enjoying the show so far. I love True Blood, and I love the Sookie Stackhouse books as well. In my opinion, the books get better and better as the series goes on. I think I gave a 3 to the first one too, but I'm up to giving them 4s and 4.5s now. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on all of them! :)

  3. I love Christopher Pike when I was younger too! I hope you've heard he's got a new book out? I read about it on...La Femme, I believe.

  4. I watched a bit of both of these series before reading the books and I was disappointed more in the tv shows than the books. I just found to many differences in the tv version, I will continue to read the series but not real interested in watching the tv versions anymore.

    I read Christopher Pike when I was young too.

  5. @Emidy - Thanks for the award. I will come and collect it!

    @Natalie - I'm glad to hear the books get better. I'm looking forward to reading the rest now! :)

    @Chutzpah - funny, I just read about the new Christopher Pike on another blog. I can't really remember the books now, but I definitely loved his Chain Letter series.

    @ladystorm - The Vampire Diaries is a seriously great show once you get into it, but yes, extremely different to the books!

  6. Oh, I'm an Eric girl too!! But at least we won't be fighting over The Vampire Diaries boys, it's all about Damon for me =)
    Haven't read any of The Vampire Diaries books but I DID try the Sookie Stackhouse series because I love True Blood so much but I was pretty disappointed. I think the character development is SO much better on the show.
    Still looking for the PERFECT vampire book...

  7. haha! It's all about Damon for everybody, but not me. Stefan has my heart!!

    I don't think I have a favourite vampire book either. I did love Interview with a vampire, but it's been years since I read it. Have you read Lost Souls by Poppy Z.Brite? Everyone I know says it's the ultimate vampire book, but me, I didn't love it.

  8. Mentioned Christopher Pike? I just bought a whole load of his books. ;) Glad to know your a fan!

  9. HI - I liked the Sookie books MUCH better than the True Blood series. Then, I had read them before the series and didn't think the series was true to the books. I hope you enjoy reading the books.

  10. @MarthaE - Usually if I read the book before I see the TV show/movie, this happens to me too. I saw the show before I started on the books though. That's said, there are times when I've been a little bored of the show. Vampire Diaries is my top Vamp TV show at the moment. :)

    @Elle - I hope you enjoy the Christopher Pike. Maybe I should re-read some of my old books - if I can find them!


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