Did you get your bite on?
Just how similar are the book series to the popular CW television show? Honestly, don’t expect there to be a great deal of parallels. I completed the novels some years ago, before the television pilot, and while I enjoyed the story, it was nothing that I want to rave about.
I did like the darkness in the novels, especially in the debut, and the premise of the story has great potential. There are a great many elements I find intriguing in L.J. Smith’s books, but ultimately it was their execution, and writing style that fell short of making Stefan and company compelling for me.
This experience mirrors how I feel about the television show – while I do enjoy watching it, I can’t say it’s my favourite, or that it would bother me if I missed an episode or two.
Maybe I’ve grown out of my fascination for Smith’s world?
I will say I like the characters portrayed in the books better than the tv show. Stefan and Damon feel more wicked and mysterious, and even though they are aged vampires, they still manage to connect, and project a lot of teen angst. Their television counterparts felt too mature and broody than dangerous… and that lost the edge for me. As for Elena, the written version is so much better, she’s innocent, wounded and ballsy; where I find Nina Dobrev’s interpretation of her insipid a lot of the time.
The stand out character that differs vastly from the book is that of Caroline. She is more of a secondary character in the books, and felt a little two dimensional. However, I love how her character has grown in the television series.
Other obvious differences in the cast of characters, like Elena’s little brother, add a better dynamic for the small screen (not to mention eye-candy).
The occasional special effect and added supernatural element in the television show grab my attention now and then, and is the primary drawcard to park in front of the screen with a bowl of icecream. The style of the novels is more for a tween market. I was easily bored, but thankfully it is an easy and fast read. Though the series do have a great many unpredictable plot twists that kept me entertained.
As to which I prefer – I can’t really say. I’m not overwhelmed by either. But if pushed I would have to say the novels… solely because of the better characters in the beginning and the brevity of the series.
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