Okay, now that it’s officially September, it’s time to start looking forward to all the new shows the networks are trying to ‘tempt’ us with, as well as the return of our beloved favorites! This fall, I’ll be recapping episodes of The Vampire Diaries, a surprise favorite of mine last year. But first!

It’s time we squared-off the television show with the books by L. J. Smith that inspired them! I enlisted the help of reader/friend Talya, who is a super fan of L. J. Smith (or at least was when she was 12, and therefore has many fond memories and is STILL waiting for the final installment of The Night World series, dammit!). Who will win? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure the Salvatore brothers are about to KO somebody!

Meet the Champions

Author: L.J. Smith
Published: 1991
Series: The Vampire Diaries

Title: The Vampire Diaries (Season #1)
Released: 2009
Series: The Vampire Diaries

Talya will be representing the books, while I will represent the tv show.

Round 1: Elena Gilbert

Books: -1 Point

Elena is a BEYOTCH. She is whiny and mean and snobby in the books, so it’s like, ‘who cares? Die!’

Show: +1 point

Elena is awesome! She’s really sweet and caring, and tough! (Like, when she finds out she’s dating a vampire, she tells him to get out of her life, instead of being all accepting and swoony). She stands up for herself and others. (Plus she’s the adorable Nina Dobrev, whom Talya would like to remind everyone was Mia, the teen mom, on Degrassi!)

Round 2: The Salvatore Brothers

Books: +2 points

In the books the Salvatore brothers are from the Italian Renaissance. HOT. They become vampires- after they have ingested vampire blood- by fighting to the death and killing each other! Awesome! Stefan is the good one, Damon is evil. Not awesome sexy evil, just douchebag fiend evil. As characters without pictures, they can be as hot (or not) as you want.

Show: +2 points

In the show, the Salvatore brothers originate on a Virginia plantation in the 1800’s. They become vampires- after they have ingested vampire blood- by being killed by their father- the ever-awesome James Remar, clearing the town of the vampire scourge, even if they’re his own sons. Stefan is good (or is he?) and Damon is evil, (but was he always?) in that super-sexy evil way. In the show, as Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, their hotness is NOT left up to your imagination.

Round 3: The Diaries

Books: +1 point

In the books, the Diaries are actually an important part of the plotline, it is called The Vampire Diaries after all. Caroline steals Elena’s diary, which conveniently outs Stefan as a Vampire, and plans to read it to the entire town. Major plot point, and awesome right?

Show: -1 point

The first few episodes showed both Stefan and Elena doing some diary-writing while some angsty alternasong played in the background. Then they kind of drift into the background, only showing back up when Elena’s kid brother of the eternally pouty face steals it and finds out all about the vampires, which, by then, he knew anyway, but it creates tension between them.

Final Round: The Plot

Books: +2 points

One of the reasons I (and many others) loved these books was all of the crazy plot twists and turns! However, since there are many books, and only one season of the show is out so far, anything listed here might be too spoilerish for those who haven’t read them.

Show: +2 points

The first half of Season 1 meandered a bit, however, everything felt pretty plot specific, and by the second half of the season, I couldn’t wait each week for the new episode to air. A large part of that was due, in fact, to the cast (not just the three leads, but cute blonde Caroline, hot history teacher with a mysterious past, and Sark from Alias, chewing up the scenery!). However, the plot did twist and turn, and even though I could see where it was heading a fair amount of the time, I still got pleasantly surprised along the way, and the ride was thoroughly enjoyable. (Talya also noted that where the show deviates from the books has made it really come into its own.)

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it, but it looks like we have a tie! You know what that means, gentle readers! It’s time for a…

Bonus Round


My closing argument is as follows: Women want them. Men want to be them. Exhibits A & B:

Oh, did I forget to mention that the Salvatore brothers spend much of the show shirtless?

To quote the words of the text from my husband regarding these two: “Dude, I am so gay for them.”

The defense rests.

Book: -1000 points

I’d like to say how much awesomer the books are, but the truth is the show is much more AWESOME! So instead I will list my #1 reason why the books aren’t as awesome as the show: The obvious one, the books are written down on paper, which means there is no ogling of Ian Somerhalder.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.