I completely blew through the first two books in this series. Couldn't put them down. Can't really explain why, as you'll see below. I am happy to report these books are absolutely nothing like the TV series. Although I'm not so sure I haven't ruined the show for myself anyway, now knowing what I do about the original story.
The Elena of the Vampire Diaries series is queen bee, self-centered, and totally caught up in her own feelings for her vampire boyfriend, and for herself. I never thought I'd say Twilight's Bella would contrast as a stronger female character. The books are kind of like The Babysitter's Club meets The Historian meets Dracula meets Twilight meets Goosebumps. They are...childlike. The movement of the plot has just enough excitement, the conflict resolutions are simplistic and at times a bit impractical, and so far the largest problem the characters have encountered has not been completely vampire-related (in the sense that if they were unable to correct the issue, Stefan's true identity probably would not have been revealed). I'll say they're a bit predictable, as most teen romances are...and wow, did the romance part happen fast. But it's not near as heavy as in Twilight. And Stefan doesn't piss me off like Edward does, mostly because he's not all, "Oh, you poor fragile human girl, you're so simple-minded and clumsy, I must protect you every moment of your life!" I think I'd trust Bella over Elena with most of my problems. Bella is more mature, if you can believe it.
Okay. Sorry to keep comparing to Twilight, but that's all I could think of while I was reading this. (Especially the part where Stefan demonstrates to Elena his superhuman-ness. That was just like Twilight, I am not even kidding. I am pretty sure Stephenie Meyer read these books before she started writing her own.)
Oh yeah, and also, watch out for the typos. I found several.
So far, I'm obviously intrigued. And it's really good to rest my mind after a book like No Turning Back. I'd like to see how this ends up, considering the storyline is almost nothing like the TV show. Two down, two to go. See, it's not so bad, now, is it?
NEXT UP: The Vampire Diaries: The Fury and Dark Reunion, by none other than L. J. Smith. Look out! I am on a roll.