The Commonly used YA Fomula Started Here

The Awakening and The Struggle - L.J. Smith

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So here we are, The Vampire Diaries. Let me tell you people something.




I can’t begin to understand why this was popular. When it comes to YA novels, there is a formula that goes into the story and brings millions of fans to buy the book and keep coming back for the sequels. With that said, let’s take a look at the formula that is so overused yet keeps bringing fans to read more. The formula, as I can figure out, is as such:


 • Girl sees a new hot guy and instantly obsesses over him without knowing him at all.


 • Guy tries to avoid girl because he thinks he’s protecting her and he’s “too dangerous” to be around


 • Girl stalks guy until guy can no longer resist her and they hook up


 • Nothing happens for the rest of the book until the “villain” appears and goes after the girl because . . .


   a) He wants her cuz she’s hot




   b) He’s a complete asshole with nothing better to do




   c) He wants revenge or has a personal grudge against the guy


This right here is basically the plot of the Vampire Diaries. It could’ve been a lot shorter but the problem here is that most of the book follows Elena and Stefan around just living their normal lives while trying to cope with “loving” each other. (As you can guess, this is insta-love.)




There is absolutely no plot here in this book (or the first two books in this case) whatsoever. The two characters obsess over each other but it doesn’t even work because the book rarely shows any interactions between the two of them. In fact, they don’t spend much time together as a couple for most of the second book. The second book mostly focuses on Elena being drawn to Damon while trying to convince him and herself that she and Stefan are an item and that they belong together.


The problem with this is that the book is just telling us what is happening to these characters instead of just showing us. I just can’t possibly comprehend what the book is trying say about their relationship, if there even is one. All of the boring school life that is not important takes up most of the book while the important scenes, that should be lengthened a little bit and nicely flowed, are rushed and don’t allow the characters to breathe in their environment. It’s just not showing any relationship development or characterization. There are even scenes where we see Elena’s diary. We don’t SEE her love and feelings towards Stefan. The diary tells us for her. I’m just boggled why these two characters “love” each other. There is little-to-no interaction between them. If anything, it shifts more towards Elena and Damon being a couple. (I didn’t bother finishing the book so if this is the ending than I’m sorry.)


Moving on, there’s no way we can tell if the two of them (or any characters for that matter) are developing a relationship. They hardly have any conversations and they don’t talk about their problems or try to get to know each other. The only conversation they had is when Elena finds out that Stefan is a vampire and he talks about his past and how terrible it was that this stupid delusional woman, who was two-timing on him, couldn’t choose which brother she wanted to be with! For some reason, this little bimbo (I think her name is Katherine) was under the impression that she could live happily with two men at the same time. What did she think would happen if they both found out? That they would just happily live together while they both knew the other was seeing the person they were suitors too? Girl, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU??????


That’s another thing that’s terrible; the characters. These characters are just so terrible that I don’t know where to start with them.


Well, no time like the present.




Elena’s just determined to have Stefan even if it kills her. She’s the queen of the school. Miss Popular with the boys and basically can have any guy she wants, until Stefan turns her down flat and she stomps her feet and DEMANDS to have him. She even gets her friends to stalk him and devise a plan to make Stefan belong to her. (Seriously? He’s not a puppy! He’s a human being (technically a vampire) person and NOT a piece of property that she can claim!) She also tells Stefan that she’s in love with him, although really she’s just attracted to him and barely knows him. But to her credit, she does have a personality. Not one that I much care for, but she wasn’t as annoying as she could’ve been. Her character was intentional but that still doesn’t make her interesting. She’s determined and obsessed with Stefan and that’s it.




Stefan’s character boils down to the most forgettable YA hero ever. He’s the handsome, mysterious guy who doesn’t want to get involved with anybody because he’s too dangerous to be around. There’s nothing to him except that he’s a vampire that’s doesn’t want to drink human blood and prefers the blood of animals. Gee, I wonder when we see that again? Throughout the second book there really isn’t a lot of focus on this guy. He almost just disappears very slowly while Damon comes into picture.


In fact, I sorta like Damon. He actually embraces his life as a vampire and he does it pretty well. He’s seen as sexy, confident, dark, seductive, creepy, and filled with such anger. What’s even more is that he’s got power to boost. Why doesn’t the book make him the main character? He seems to be way more interesting than Elena or Stefan. He’s built up his powers and actually traveled the world! That sounds cool, I wanna know more about that. Not some boring high school drama clichés.


In closing…


I just hate this book, Damon could’ve turn out okay if he didn’t have the stupid cliché of wanting Elena just because she’s with his younger brother Stefan. I would continue on hating and saying other stuff, but I’m getting drained from just trying to remember what happened in the book that I’m supposed to remember. It’s just forgettable with little-to-no impact.