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Belle's Bookshelf

"With a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book..."

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What Maisie Knew
Henry James
My Friend the Enemy
Dan Smith
Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages
Guy Halsall

Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries Series #1)

Origins - Julie Plec, L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson This review appears in full at http://bellesbookshelf.blogspot.com/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.Talking Points-Although the writer attempted to go all olde worlde with the language, it was really jarring to 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).