Friday, February 13, 2015

Page to Screen: The Vampire Diaries

Welcome to Page to Screen. Here I'll be taking a look at some of the books that were turned into movies or tv shows.

The book series the tv series is from was written by L.J. Smith and first published in 1991. It is called The Awakening and it is book one of The Vampire Diaries series. It remained somewhat unknown, something of a cult classic even, until the advent of vampire-as-love-interest fiction. There are now several series and over a dozen books, but this is where it started.

A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror...

Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

First thing you gotta know, I didn't buy this book. If it had been up to me, I probably never would have read it. But, I got it free in audiobook format when I bought season one of the show and thought 'eh, why not?' Turns out there were plenty of reasons 'why not' - but, before I get ahead of myself, let's talk about the show.

The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls and follows teenage Elena Gilbert. Her parents died in a car crash months ago, leaving Elena and her younger brother, Jeremy, under the care of Aunt Jenna. Not everything is peaceful in idyllic Mystic Falls though. It isn't long before mysterious, brooding Stefan Salvatore catches Elena's attention. Not long after that his brother, Damon Salvatore, arrives in town, seeking revenge.

Soon, Mystic Falls turns into a hotbed of supernatural occurrences: vampires, werewolves, witches all working on their own plans.

In the interest of 'full disclosure' - I really didn't think I'd like the show much. I was kind of digging the whole vampire thing at the time though, so I thought I'd go ahead and buy season one. Low and behold, I liked it. Long story short, I'm still buying seasons of the show as they release.

Book vs Show
(When I say 'show' I mean season one of the show. Yay for character development.)
Elena Gilbert of the show is somewhat weak and...pathetic. She's not very admirable. The Elena of the book is a bit of a bitch. She's 'Queen Bee' of the school, she's spoiled and rich and everything self-absorbed. She also has blonde hair and gemstone eyes - unlike poor, boring brown on brown show Elena.

Jeremy Gilbert is Elena's younger brother. In the show. In the book, Elena doesn't have a younger brother, instead having a four year old sister. (!?)

Caroline Forbes is the third in the trio of close friends, with Elena and Bonnie, in the show. In the book, she's Elena's 'frenemy' who is constantly trying to take over the 'Queen Bee' role and is an even bigger bitch than Elena.

Mystic Falls, a lovely little town - but where is it? It wasn't until I read the book that I found out it was in Virginia.

So many changes... Honestly, I gotta say that if you like the show, I wouldn't bother with the books. If you like the books, I wouldn't bother with the show. They kept the basis - or, mostly, just the names - but everything else changed so much.

Final Verdict
Accuracy: * (Uh... Well, they got the names right.)
Homage: * (Not even applicable.)

Enjoyment: *** (Hey, I liked season one enough to buy, sight unseen, season two.)

So, do you like the show or the book? Let me know what you think, drop me a comment.