Stefan's Diaries is, as the name suggests, told from the perspective of Stefan Salvatore. It's a prequel to the TV show (which is based on L. J. Smith's books), telling more of the story that viewers have seen only glimpses of in flashback scenes. We see Stefan and his brother, Damon, meet the vampire Katherine; each fall in love with her; become vampires themselves; and end up hating each other (no spoiler alert is necessary because knowing that is kinda the whole motive for reading the book).
I picked this book up after experiencing major VD withdrawals (ahem, no pun intended) due to the show being on hiatus, and it definitely gave me the fix I needed (although I would have preferred a bit more Damon, but I'm biased). I loved the flashback episodes on TV, so it was a delight for me to be able to discover the whole back story in detail. The writing was adequate with only a few groan-worthy moments (actually less than I was expecting!), and even though I knew exactly where the story was going, I was excited to find out how everything would fall into place.
Being totally obsessed with the TV show, it's hard for me to say whether this would appeal to those who haven't seen it, because, to me, that was the whole appeal. It'd definitely be confusing if you've only read L. J. Smith's original Vampire Diaries books, because in those, the back story of the brothers is completely different (they're alive in the 1600s, not the 1800s, and are from Italy, not Mystic Falls, and, er, Damon is kinda evil from the start). If you are a fan of the TV show, however, I would say it's definitely worth a read. I totally want to rewatch the show from the beginning now, with all this knowledge of the characters' history and headspaces. Like I need an excuse.
- Although the writer attempted to go all olde worlde with the language, it was really jarring for the characters to refer to everyone - including people they'd just met and their elders - by their first names. I might be wrong (but I don't think I am), but that's a MODERN thing.
- While we're on the subject, I also thought Katherine's character was a tad modern. I get that she's supposed to be a free-spirited, strong-willed vampire chick, but all the flirting/touching/swimming/running/skin-baring she does in public would have been just a bit more scandalous than it's shown to be.
- I'd like to know more about Katherine's interactions with Damon. We get the full picture of how she got Stefan to fall in love with her, and how he turned against her, but we still don't understand exactly what she said or, ahem, did with Damon. She told Stefan that she treated him like a brother, but given Damon's feelings for her, I somehow don't think that's true. Damon's Diaries, anyone? *Wishful thinking*
- (Minor spoiler alert) It was interesting that the writer introduced the crow at the end, and its apparent connection to Damon. The crow appeared in L. J. Smith's original books, as well as in the pilot episode of the show, but has since disappeared from the series without a mention. I wonder if they'll explain more about the connection in the other two volumes of Stefan's Diaries.
- Which brings me to the fact that, yes, this is part one of a trilogy. When I first started reading it I thought that, while this book really appealed to me, I didn't really see the point of turning it into a trilogy, because the back story/love triangle is pretty much totally explained in this one. However, after finishing it - and reading the preview of the next book - I'm kind of curious to read the rest. It might be interesting to see exactly how Stefan found his way back to his humanity, Damon lost his, and they totally lost each other. And, of course, how they discovered the rumours about Katherine's whereabouts and what drove their return to Mystic Falls (assuming all that is covered in the books, of course).
What the characters looked like was a bit of a no-brainer for this one, seeing as, y'know, it's based on the TV show that I'm just slightly addicted to. I even had the flashback episodes as a visual references for the old timey clothes. Not gonna lie, though - I pictured Stefan and Damon's modern hair. Their old timey hair just sucks.
|Damon knows the trick to covering bad hair days...|
|...he never leaves home without a hat.|
|Otherwise people laugh at him. Oh Damon, don't look so concerned - you only have to wait 250 years for the GHD.|
|In the meantime, be grateful that your hair still looks better than Stefan's.|
|Hoorah for GHDs and hair gel!|
|Wait a minute, I don't remember a reference to Damon shirtless. *rereading*|
|Did someone say Damon shirtless?|
|Why, yes, I believe I did.|
|I think we need that from another angle. You know, for accuracy purposes. Or something.|
|So THAT'S what he'd look like sleeping.|
|OK, I'm done now.|