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Throwdown Thursdays: Twilight vs Vampire Diaries

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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:
twiVSvam
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

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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 TwilightI 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

Throwdown Thursdays: Divergent vs Hunger Games

Introducing my new original monthly feature:

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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:


Divergent Trilogy Review Here | Hunger Games Trilogy Review Here

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Round 1: The Dystopian World

Personality Factions vs Resource Districts

What I love about dystopian novels is that they take a regular, everyday trait of society and exploit them to the extreme–and as readers, we get to see how everything unfolds.

Divergent goes the personality type route, dividing people into four groups: the honest, the selfless, the brave and the peaceful plus the one group that encompasses all four, the divergent. While you can argue that there are more than these 4 types of personalities, at the core these are the ones that exist and influence everything else. It makes for an interesting social project: but it isn’t a world that I would want to live in. You know how sometimes, the people who think exactly like you are the ones you can’t get along with. Like, I am a stubborn person when it comes to certain things so when I meet someone who is as equally stubborn we butt heads. I could see why, in a post-apocalyptic world, society might try this route but I think it would be a disaster! So this isn’t the world that I would want to live in–not like Pan Am is a golden world either.

However, Pan Am in the Hunger Games is more realistic to me. We live in a material world and The Hunger Games chooses to exploit this by dividing the people based on each district and their economic contributions. I could easily see this happening in our world–and to a certain extent we already live in a world where a select few have power and money while the vast majority do not. Do I think our current way of life will lead to a battle to the death game every year? Definitely not! But if you remove the game aspect from the Hunger Games, the world seems much more probable than Divergent’s.

Winner: The Hunger Games. I prefer its underlying themes of greed and the corruption that follows it to divisions based on personalities.

Divergent: 0  |   Hunger Games: 1

Round 2: The Romance

Four/Tobias vs Gale and Peeta

All is fair in love and…rebellion?

I really loved Divergent when I read it for two reasons: the suspense of Tris undergoing Dauntless’ initiation process and Tobias/Four. I loved their chemistry in the first book, even if it wasn’t a huge focus; but when we did get to see them interact, I absorbed every moment. And in the subsequent books, I loved watching their relationship develop. They make great partners in everything they do and I could see how much they loved and cared for each other. They brought out the best in their partner and it was so sweet to watch.

In the Hunger Games, I was Team Peeta all the way. I detest love triangles; especially the ones where the female lead’s male BFF is obviously in love with her and she is oblivious. So it really is nothing against Gale as a person (though I came to detest him by the end of Mockingjay) it’s just that he played a generic role and it didn’t do anything for me. However, I always felt like Peeta cared more than Katniss. But, to be fair, that is part of Katniss’ character flaw: she is too independent and guards her feelings. It definitely improves and in Mockingjay I think Katniss shows her true feelings for Peeta more. But sometimes I got the impression is was just guilt on Katniss’ part for using Peeta in the first book because Peeta does everything he can to save Katniss because he loves her and she just uses him in the first book to save herself.

Winner: Divergent. I loved the relationship between Tobias and Tris–it is a true partnership that is more than just physical chemistry and need.

Divergent: 1  |   Hunger Games: 1

Round 3: The Action

Breaking the Factions vs The Hunger Games

While both rebel against their respective governments, the each do so in a different way: but which way is best to read?

To me, Divergent’s action packed appeal slowly goes away in the next two books of the series. It becomes a lot more talking and trying to figure out what they are going to do next: which is fine and dandy but not all the thrilling to read. Especially when Divergent had so much action when you take into account the inner faction fights during the initiation, the fear simulations and the eventual rebellion. It took me a long time to get through Allegiant (Book 3) because it was so dry. But once the action was there (the last little bit of the book) I was hooked and it was over. I’m hoping the movies will focus more on the action than they do on the talking when they are finally released.

I found the Hunger Games always had action because of the nature of the Games itself. Katniss is quickly thrown into a life and death situation and the way Suzanne Collins describes things makes you feel like you are right there with her. And while I found the second and third books didn’t have as much intensity, they had more action and just the right amount of talking. Well, maybe not Mockingjay so much, but I felt like it picked up much quicker than Allegiant did.

Winner: The Hunger Games. I preferred the high intensity fighting and background rebellion to the plotting rebellion and followup action that we get in Divergent.

Divergent: 1  |   Hunger Games: 2

Ultimate Winner: The Hunger Games

Final Comments: While I really enjoyed each series, The Hunger Games is one of my favourite series hands down. Divergent was great (and definitely had some things I loved more than the Hunger Games), but I was really disappointed in the subsequent books. If you could combine those two series into one, you would have an amazing series. Hmmm, maybe that’s why I love Legend by Marie Lu so much…

What are your thoughts: which one would you rather read? Leave a comment below!

Next Time: Vampire Diaries vs Twilight

Series Review: Grayson Siblings by Faith Andrews

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Keep Me (from Goodreads):

Sexy, tatted up, underwear model Marcus Grayson is every girl’s dream—or more likely worst nightmare. He’s a player, a self-proclaimed bachelor for life, and he’s got no problem living up to his man-whore status. But when his older sister’s friend comes back from the past, he may just have the chance to turn some of his adolescent fantasies into reality.

Tessa Bradley is a self-sufficient, take-no-bull, single mother—well, now she is. Finally rid of her abusive, alcoholic ex, she’s making a new life for herself and catching up with old friends; the ones she was forced to break ties with because of her controlling husband. When she runs into Marcus, her friend Riley’s once-adorable turned smoking-hot little brother, she has no idea how he’s about to rock her world.

breakdown

Series: Grayson Siblings
Author: Faith Andrews
# of Books: 2 (Keep Me, Keep Her)
Book Order: Companion, Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, Family
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

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Why I Picked This Up / My Expectations:

After reading a particularly slow young adult novel, I needed a lighter book to read  and decided to read Keep Me. Ever since I bought it, the plot synopsis had been stuck in the back of my mind so it was the first book that I thought to read.

My Review:

It was just what I needed when all was said and done. It was a cute romance with an interesting spin on what I have seen in the past. Instead of a younger sister crushing on her BFF’s older brother we get a reversal with the younger brother falling for his older sister’s BFF. It was a lot of fun to watch and I love the subplot romance we get introduced to (and later becomes the focus of the companion novel Keep Her).

I really enjoyed reading Keep Me. It kept my attention and I had fun reading it. There is a lot going on in their lives so I found that helped keep things moving. However, I wish the romance was elaborated more. It seemed like there was a lot of talking saying how Marcus always wanted her but all they seemed to do was have sex constantly with each other. I wanted to see more banter and sexual tension leading up to them sleeping together because I truly liked the two of them together. It was just lacking that something to make me give it that full 4 stars.

That’s where Keep Her succeeds more in my opinion. It’s a companion novel in the sense that a majority of the book takes place during the events of Keep Me but instead focuses on Marcus’ sister instead. But I liked that we got more interaction between her and her love interest: you get to see the connection between them forming more than in Keep Me and their relationship isn’t just based on sex. I also felt like their characters were better developed overall.

Until about 75% through Keep Her, I was fully going to give it a 4/5 and mark it off as my favourite of the series. But within the last quarter of the book, it got a little too soap-opera-ry for me. I understand why it was added–there were a few loose ends to tie up–but it was just a little too much for me; especially when it felt like we were getting our resolution to everything. A little over the top if you ask me but not as elaborate as I have read in some books.

Series Rating: 3.5/5

Keep Me 3.5/5 | Keep Her 3.5/5

overall

These books reminded me of a New Adult version of the Darcy and Rachel Series (aka Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin). Similar setup in the sense that it revolves around a group of four friends and the romantic drama in their lives but with a young set of leads. Overall, these books are a sexier light read that fans of New Adult romances will enjoy.

Read if You Like: “off-limits” romance, new adult, drama
Avoid if You: want less sex

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