I can't get over the number of young adult books that are being adapted for either film or television. Recently I learned that Emma Watson will star in a film version of Stephen Chbosky's brilliant 1999 novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and that City of Bones is under development as the first film to be adapted from Cassandra Clare's wildly popular Mortal Instruments series.
One of my favorite television shows based on a young adult book series is ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," which I wrote about in a previous blog. My other teen T.V. fave is CW's "The Vampire Diaries" based on L. J. Smith's series of novels. Starring Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, and Ian Somerhalder, "The Vampire Diaries" tells the story of a high school girl who is torn between two vampire brothers.
Stefan and Damon Salvatore were turned into vampires in the 1860s in Mystic Falls, Virginia. Eternal teenagers, the brothers try to blend in and lead normal lives. They move from town to town so that nobody notices the fact that they never age. They decide to return to their home town of Mystic Falls and enroll in the local high school, where they meet fellow student Elena Gilbert.
Good girl Elena (Dobrev) is drawn to both Salvatore brothers. Stefan (Wesley) is the 'good' vampire (think Edward Cullen, but without the sparkling) who struggles to hang onto his humanity and surpress his dark nature. He refuses to kill humans in order to satisfy his craving for blood. Damon (Somerhalder), on the other hand, is a dangerous bad boy who's been known to prey on Elena's classmates and other Mystic Falls residents. Both Stefan and Damon are smitten with Elena. Which brother will she choose? And what will she do when she learns their deadly secret?
I confess I haven't yet read any of the books in Smith's series, so I can't comment on how closely the T.V. show follows the books. In addition to the original Vampire Diaries series, Smith also has three other 'spin-off' series. The first series, The Vampire Diaries, has four volumes:
- The Awakening
- The Struggle
- The Fury
- Dark Reunion
The second series is called The Vampire Diaries: The Return. The books in this series are:
- Shadow Souls
The third series is The Vampire Diares: Stefan's Diaries. The books in this series are:
- The Craving
- The Ripper (coming November, 2011)
- The Asylum (coming January, 2012)
- The Compelled (coming March, 2012)
Finally, there's The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters. This is a new series. The first book is called Phantom, and is scheduled to be published on October 25, 2011. It will be followed by Moonsong in March of 2012. Whew! L. J. Smith sure is busy these days!
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to watch the first two seasons of "The Vampire Diaries" on DVD, read all of the books that have been published so far, and then write a 10 page essay comparing and contrasting the television show with the books. Ha ha! Just kidding! But, if you've seen the show and read the books, let me know how they compare in the comments below.
As you know, I like to end my blog with a song that fits the blog's topic. Since Halloween is just around the corner and we're discussing vampires, how about Concrete Blonde's 1990 song "Bloodletting"? You can enjoy the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOn1037ZLwA