Review & Comparison: The Vampire Diaries books vs. TV show

Posted July 1, 2016 by Tiffani @ Bookish Things in Book Review, Discussion / 8 Comments

Review & Comparison: The Vampire Diaries books vs. TV showThe Awakening / The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2) by L.J. Smith
Published by HarperTeen on June 26th 2007
Pages: 492
Format: Paperback
Source: Own
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

This book has Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE]
ACE #1

Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants.
Stefan: brooding and myterious, he seems to be the only one who can resist Elena, even as he struggles to protect her from the horrors that haunt his past.
Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Determined to have Elena, he'd kill to possess her.
Collected here in one volume for the first time, volumes one and two of The Vampire Diaries, the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

So, I TOTALLY adore The Vampire Diaries with a fiery passion; both the show and the books, though I watched the show before I read the books because I suck.

A few weeks ago I went to the Arlington Convention Center’s Half Price Books blowout sale where EVERYTHING was $2 or less. I picked up every Vamp Diaries book they had. I got the ones where they’re 2-in-1 so, it was The Awakening/The Struggle, The Fury/Dark Reunion, The Return: Nightfall, The Return: Shadow Souls, and The Return: Midnight. So far, I’m only in Dark Reunion. I apologize, but I still felt it needs to be discussed how vastly different the show and books are. Katrina warned me, btw. I read anyway.

There’s a comparison below but first I just want to say to anyone who hasn’t read the books but has seen the show, please read the books! There are hardly any resemblances and it genuinely felt like I was reading completely new material. I love it a lot, actually. Now, let’s get some comparisons going.


The Books

  1. Elena is blonde-haired and blue eyed and a TOTAL BIOTCH. She’s like the TV show’s Katherine. Cringe.
  2. Elena still has a soft spot for Matt.
  3. Bonnie is pale and red-haired.
  4. Jeremy does not exist. Elena has a little 4 year old sister named Margaret.
  5. Bonnie is descended from druids.
  6. The town is named Fell’s Church (it’s weird that it has 2 words, actually).
  7. Damon is way nastier and a lot more mean in the books.
  8. The vamps can affect the weather and have more powers.
  9. Basically, all of the traumatic, high-intensity fight scenes and bad stuff that happens in the show doesn’t actually happen; it’s all different events for the most part. Which is nuts.
  10. There’s blood sharing in the books between Elena and the brothers.

The Show

  1. Elena is dark haired and of Bulgarian descent? She’s descended from Katherine!
  2. The town’s name is Mystic Falls.
  3. Bonnie is African American and descended from the Salem witches.
  4. Damon is tamer and in love with Elena quickly, not just wanting to steal her from Stefan.
  5. Vamps can use persuasion to make people do things still, but they can’t make it storm or anything.
  6. Elena’s parents have just recently died when the show starts vs. dying 3 years prior to the book.
  7. Elena doesn’t drink Stefan’s blood in a romantic way as a human.
  8. There’s a LOT more sexy scenes up in this.
  9. Elena’s bff Meredith doesn’t make it on the show!
  10. Caroline isn’t quite as retched in the show, which I really like because she’s despicable in the books.

Those are the main things I wanted to bring up. I know I’m late to this party but at least I made it, am I right?! What do you guys think? What other differences have you noticed? I only listed 20 but they’re so different there could be hundreds. Also, who’s on Stefan’s side and who’s on Damon’s? I think I’m in love with TV show Damon. Let me know in the comments! Happy reading. 🙂



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Tiffani @ Bookish Things

About Tiffani @ Bookish Things

I love anime, Halloween, makeup, my cat Dexter, and strange music. Currently a Barnes & Noble barista.

8 responses to “Review & Comparison: The Vampire Diaries books vs. TV show

  1. I love this post! I’m a huge TVD fan! I read the first books before the show even came out. And when the show started, I wasn’t at all pissed with the changes because it felt like something different to me. The only thing that really pissed me off was that Bonnie wasn’t the redhead I fell in love with in the books. But I’m also really biased when it comes to redheads, since I am one! 🙂

    It’s been so long since I’ve read the books so I don’t know what team I am for the books but for the show I am ALL about DAMON <3 I cannot stand Stefan. And I also really LOVE Caroline in the show! Have you watched The Originals? I'm really loving that one! I have to catch up, though! I stopped watching TVD after the season 6 finale, but have been really curious to where they're taking it, so I might catch up on that one too. But in reality I am really hoping for Klaus and Caroline to be a couple! IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN!

    Great post, Tiff!
    Stephanie Kaye recently posted…Square in Wonderland Recap! [June 2016]My Profile

    • I’m so glad you agree about the different vibes they put off! I’ve only watched through season 6 myself because I can’t bear to watch TVD without Elena. Why does Nina Dobrev hate us?! I haven’t watched The Originals yet because I wasn’t sure if Caroline would be in it or if it was just Klaus, Elijah, etc. It’s definitely on my list, though. I also am very annoyed with Stefan both on the show and in the books. He’s a little TOO brooding for me. Thanks for your input! 🙂

  2. I watched most of the seasons of the show, but I haven’t been following the 3 years later season because I don’t care about it very much anymore now that Elena is gone. :/ I’ve never read the books, but I’m thinking that maybe I should! Although I’m not sure how I feel about Elena being more like Katherine… Great comparison!
    Tracy @ Cornerfolds recently posted…Audiobook review: Soldier by Julie KagawaMy Profile

    • I stopped watching when Elena left, also! She was the main character and I hate that she left the show. Also, I found myself still really liking Elena despite her being catty, which is amazing because I absolutely HATED Katherine’s character on the show. You should definitely pick up the books at Half Price or something. They’re worth it. Thanks for your input! 🙂

  3. Hi Tiffani. I totally agree with you. I just fell in love to Elena. Do you think that cannot be watch the film without reading the books?

  4. K

    I just started watching the TV show the night it was cancelled( Thank you netflix and yes, I know I’m late:) but can anyone tell me if Caroline and Stefan exist as a couple in the books? That is pretty much the only thing so far that interests me.


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