Since the beginning of time, similar things have always been compared to each other: Pepsi or Coke? Lemon or Lime? Boxers or Briefs?
And books are no exception!
Throwdown Thursdays: On the first Thursday of every month I play the ultimate game of “Would You Rather” with books that are inevitably compared to each other. After 3 rounds, I pick my winner. Feel free to join in by commenting, making your own response (just link back) or vote in my poll! Here is this month’s match:
Twilight Saga Review Here | Vampire Diaries Review Here
*I am only including the first 4 books of the original Vampire Diaries Series in my review
**Note: I am comparing the BOOK series, not the movie vs TV series
Round 1: Story
Unsuspecting New Girl Falls for Local Vampire vs Local Girl Falls for Newbie Vampire
At the base of these stories is a romance, but there is some more to them plot-wise…
Contrary to popular belief, Twilight was actually written YEARS after the first Vampire Diaries novel. It’s simply that the revival of the Vampire Diaries series with the TV show happened after Twilight’s popularity became main-stream so people accuse it of being a rip-off of Twilight.
But I can understand the comparison. In a lot of ways these books are similar: a new person at school, a stand-offish relationship until a major event changes everything and then throw in a vampire antagonist and you have the bones of each series.
Twilight focuses more on the romance
I think. The whole first book is basically Bella learning about the vampire world with a dash of dramatics near the end. Then you have a whole book dedicated to heart-break (New Moon); followed by a book of romantic indecision (Eclipse) which all wraps up in the final book of fan-fiction wishes (Breaking Dawn). Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you go into it knowing that it is a romance with some paranormal elements. And I will be the first to tell you that as a teen-aged girl, I loved the first novel because of the romance with its little bit of excitement near the end.
Vampire Diaries takes a bit of a different approach. The dramatic paranormal plot is pretty much right there from the get-go, side-by-side with the romance. I felt like there was a good balance between the two. But most of the focus is on Damon trying to make Elena his Queen of Darkness, Stefan fighting his true nature and Elena trying to figure out her path in this crazy world she finds herself in. Throw in a witch, magic and a creepy grave and you get a more paranormal urban fantasy than Twilight provides.
Winner: Based simply on plot concept alone, I have to give it to Vampire Diaries. While I found they were slower and didn’t have too much going on, I liked the fact that it focused more on the paranormal and trying to solve the supernatural problems that were happening.
Twilight: 0 | Vampire Diaries: 1
Round 2: Vampires
Glitter in the Sun, Mind-Power Vampires vs Bat-Transforming, Will Die in the Sun Vampires
It’s a battle between the modern and the classic vampires…
Twilight gets a lot of flack for the fact that Edward glitters in the sun. And while it isn’t my favourite modification of vampires ever (that goes to Vampire Academy), I can appreciate the fact that it is fiction and with fiction comes artistic licence. I also sympathize with Edward because my skin is so pasty I too reflect sunlight when I am outside 😛
I also didn’t mind (no pun intended) the whole mind-powers bit that vampires possess–initially. It got a little ridiculous near the end of the series to me though (do you get the impression yet that I really, really didn’t like Breaking Dawn?). What I did like was how vampires were the ultimate predators; the scientist in me can see how this would happen in nature. I also kinda liked the fact that they were these sophisticated vampires who secretly ran their own world. I thought that it was really interesting to read.
Vampire Diaries features your more classically known vampire stereotypes. They transform, they drink human blood (though Stefan, like the Cullens, drinks animal blood), and they don’t do so good in sunlight (unless they have a magic amulet/ring). Naturally they are more aggressive and tend to stay alone. There really isn’t much more to say about them.
Winner: Call me whatever you want, but I liked learning about the vampires in Twilight. I like different takes on popular ideas. Sure, some of the ideas weren’t that great, but to me it was more exciting because these vampires and their characteristics were unknown. While I can appreciate the darker vampires in Vampire Diaries, they weren’t anything new to me.
Twilight: 1 | Vampire Diaries: 1
Round 3: Romances
Love Triangle vs Love Triangle
Oh! Don’t forget the male BFF who is also in love with the heroine! So I guess that makes it a love square?
I detest love triangles–I actually have Twilight to thank for that realization: so thanks Twilight! I just never got why three boys (you are probably wondering where I got three from: Jacob, Edward and Mike, you know the normal guy who crushes on her in the first book) all simultaneously fall in love with dull Bella. Maybe they like her moodiness? I guess girls like brooding guys so I suppose it works vice versa. But the worst part of this triangle was the indecisiveness on Bella’s part. Like I said in Round 1, all the books focused on Bella sorting out her love life. And while I can see why it might be hard to differentiate romantic feelings from ones of friendship, I think it was glaringly obvious to everyone else who she was going to pick. Mostly, I’m just mad that I had to read New Moon–perhaps one of the most boring books I have ever had to read–to set up a love triangle. Yes, I am still bitter 7 years later.
There is also a love triangle (plus one) in Vampire Diaries. However, it never really felt like a love triangle to me (at least in the first four books, I never read past that). Elena is smart enough to know her feelings for Matt are just friendly and she is magically compelled to fall for Damon. It was frustrating to watch her swoon all over Damon but because I knew that there were supernatural things at play, I think I always knew deep down what the end result was going to be. But, I did find the romance between Elena and Stefan to be a little too insta-love for me in addition to being super cheesy (was it just me or were romances really cheesy in the 1990s?)
Winner: Vampire Diaries for sure! It never made me pull out my hair or read an entire book about a girl mooning over her boyfriend while another hot guy tries to sweep in. The Vampire Diaries love triangle served a purpose plot-wise which I can appreciate.
Twilight: 1 | Vampire Diaries: 2
Ultimate Winner: The Vampire Diaries!
Final Comments: Both series had their quirks that irritated me but they also had aspects that I really enjoyed. Yet neither series tops my Favourite Series list for various reasons (read my individual reviews to learn why). But for me to make this decision it really came down to the basics of what I like more as a reader objectively. Which is hard because enjoying a book is supposed to be subjective! However, I think if I had chosen different Round topics, the results could have definitely swung in Twilight’s favor.
What are your thoughts: which one would you rather read? Leave a comment below!
Next Time: Vampire Diaries Novels vs Vampire Diaries TV Series