- "The deadly power of love"
The Awakening is the first novel in the Vampire Diaries series, and first of the original story arc. The book was written by L.J. Smith and was first published in the United States in September, 1991 by HarperTeen.
"To my dear sister, Judy. A special thanks to Anne Smith, Peggy Bokulic, Anne Marie Smith, and Laura Penny for information about Virginia, and to Jack and Sue Check for all their local lore."
"Elena is cool, blond and slender - the girl every boy wants and every girl wants to be. Always in control, no boy has ever stirred her innermost feelings - until she meets Stefan. Drawn to him with a frightening intensity, overwhelmed by desire, Elena knows that she must make Stefan hers.
But Stefan is hiding a terrible secret. Centuries earlier, his love for another left him with a terrible legacy, the curse of living forever as a vampire. Aching to respond to Elena, he struggles to resist. For if he and Elena should come together, he fears that his passion would demand the ultimate gift of love..."
- "Dear Diary,
Something awful is going to happen today.I don't know why I wrote that. It's crazy. There's no reason for me to be upset and every reason for me to be happy, but..."
- —Elena writing in her diary
Elena Gilbert writes in her diary about how she, her sister Margaret and aunt Judith, arrived back at their house following a holiday in Paris, France. She expresses nervousness about the first day of school, something she had never experienced before. She goes to school and, outside her house, is unnerved by a crow that seems to be watching her.
In the woods, vampire Stefan Salvatore expresses guilt after accidentally killing a rabbit while feeding on it. He, too, sees a crow, and wonders why he seemed drawn to Fell's Church before heading to school.
Arriving at Robert E. Lee High School, Elena is greeted by Caroline Forbes, Meredith Sulez and Bonnie McCullough, who, after being told by her cousin that she was psychic, predicted that Elena would soon meet a dark stranger who "was tall once". The girls watch a new boy arrive and have a strange confrontation with the admissions secretary, Clarke, who first seemed to be rejecting his admission before suddenly handing him forms to fill out. Elena is confused by this, and even more so when he deliberately ignored her.
In Trigonometry, Elena contemplates her relationship with Matt Honeycutt, who she had recently broken up with, and then the boy that had ignored her. Later, she told Frances Decatur to copy his class schedule for her.
At lunch, Caroline Forbes rejected Elena, taking their once friendly rivalry to a more serious level. Bonnie told Elena that the boy's name was Stefan Salvatore, that he was Italian, that he was staying at Mrs. Flowers' boardinghouse, and that he had helped Caroline after she dropped her books, something that Bonnie thought was romantic.
On his way to History with Tanner, Stefan is irritated by his telepathy. He is seated behind Elena, who he mistakes as Katherine before noticing several minor differences. He looks down when she smiles on him, and stands up for a redheaded girl by outsmarting and correcting Tanner.
Elena watches Stefan leave, upset that he had deliberately snubbed her in front of Caroline. This makes her determined to have him.
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