Tag Archives: vampires

Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Series. Dir. Marcos Siega. Perf. Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, and Ian Somerhalder. CW, 2009. Netflix

Reader’s Annotation

Elena Gilbert is having a hard time staying focused on the things that are supposed to matter: cheerleading, her best friends and her boyfriend. When the new kid Stephan Salvatore and his brother Damon show up her life takes a sharp turn out of ordinary and into fantastic as she uncovers the hidden past of the town, and the new boys.

Plot Summary

Vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore have been trapped in their teenage bodies for 145 year, since they were “made” by their vampire lover Katherine. Elena Gilbert has been trapped in her body for 17 years, and more recently things have taken a turn for the incredibly weary. Her parents died four month previous to the show’s beginning and since then the townspeople of Mystic Falls, Virginia have been treating Elena and her younger brother with kid gloves. Elena vows at the start of the season to get her old life back, but soon finds that the things she loved before: cheerleading and gossiping with her best friends Caroline and Bonnie, don’t hold quite the same importance as they did before her parents died. To make matters worse Elena’s little brother Jeremy is getting deeper and deeper into trouble: doing drugs, abandoning all pretense of school and hanging out with some seriously bad eggs.

Elena finds solace in the mysterious new kid, Stefan Salvatore. What she doesn’t know is that Stefan came back to Mystic Falls, the place of his rebirth, to get to know Elena better, he was immediately drawn to her striking resemblance of Katherine, his maker. Despite his best efforts Stefan’s very wild and dangerous vampire brother, Damon, follows him back to town leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake. Damon blames Stefan for Katherine’s demise and has vowed to get revenge upon him by destroying everything he loves. Elena finds herself more frequently drawn to Stefan and his brash honesty, though her relationship with Damon continues. Which brother will win the fight for Elena’s heart?

Critical Evaluation

The female leads in The Vampire Diaries are pretty devoid of personality, existing only so far as they compare to the male counterpart that they’ve attached themselves too. The strongest female character in the show is Bonnie, who is of color, and I fear may be playing the role of the stereotypical “strong and/or sassy black woman”. Elena’s guardian, her aunt Jenna, has the potential to be a positive role model, but she too is quickly packed into several less than ideal relationships, giving her an air of desperation. All of that said there is something strangely compelling about the characters in this television series. It may be that the two make vampires serve purely as eye candy and the viewer keeps watching to catch another glance of Damon’s brooding stare or laugh at Stefan’s pathetic moodiness, but whatever it is it has kept the show on the air for four seasons and is a fun watch for anyone with a penchant for the supernatural.

Author Information

Julie Plec is one of the show’s main writers and producers. She is well known for her work across the horror genre, acting as an executive producer for The Vampire Diaries, a co-producer for Scream 3Cursed, and an associate producer for Scream and Teaching Mrs. Tingle. She’s also written a number of episodes for KyleXY.

Genre

Horror, Television, Vampires, High School

Curriculum Ties

n/a

Reading Level/Interest Age 

14+

Challenge Issues

This is a horror show with two vampires as main characters, it’s gory, sometimes violent and sexual, and has depictions of murder, witchcraft, underage drinking and all kinds of taboo topics. It is bound to offend someone.

A strong collection development policy can help protect the library from these kinds of challenges. We believe that if an item is being circulated, that is to say that our users are checking out the item in question that it should continued to be enjoyed by our users. We strongly oppose censorship and protect our users right to privacy, as outlined in the ALA Library Bill of Rights. Forms for reconsideration are available, and all final decisions are made by the library director after review by the board.

Reason for inclusion

This is a high circulating item at my library. I include it in this selection because it is a campy horror show that teens (and I) like. Definitely not highbrow, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Peeps

Westerfeld, S. (2005). Peeps. New York: RazorBill. Print.

Reader’s Annotation

Vampirism is a disease and some of those infected are parasite positive, while others are simply carriers. Cal is a carrier and his job is to hunt down the parasite positive, or peeps, for rehabilitation. In this fast paced biological thriller Cal is hunting down a major infestation of contaminates that threaten the whole human population of New York and the world.

Plot Summary

Imagine a world where vampirism is sort of like an STD. This is world Cal lives in, and he’s been infected. Instead of being a blood hungry fiend though, he just needs a lot of rare meat and can’t swap any bodily fluids with anyone else, ever. Cal tries not to dwell on his sorry state by spending his time hunting the peeps he’s infected with the virus and bringing them into custody so that they won’t spread the virus to other innocent victims.

Things begin to get more intense when Cal discovers a huge nest of infected rats underneath the apartment building that is the last known address of his maker. To complicate matters there’s this girl who he has feelings for and he afraid he may have infected her. Meanwhile he’s getting closer and closer to unravelling the mystery of how the desire travels and also his maker.

Critical Evaluation

Peeps is a fast paced biological thrilled that’s kind of icky, if you want the long and short of it. At the beginning of each chapter Cal explains, in detail, the life cycle of a new parasite. Skip those portions of you’re easily grossed out. That said, the scientific descriptions of the parasites is part of what makes this really good biological thriller. I’m not a science-buff by any stretch of the imagination, and Westerfeld does an excellent job of writing the science-y parts of the novel with enough humor that even folks like mean won’t balk. Westerfeld also does language really well, that is to say that the dialogue in Peeps is really fast paced and witty, so that even if you’re bored to tears by the science talk you won’t mind hanging around for the rest of the story.

Author Information

Scott Westerfeld is the author of eighteen novels. He’s written 13 YA novels and 5 adult novels. He is probably best known for his YA series The Leviathan a steampunk re-boot of WWII and The Uglies which takes place in a world where plastic surgery is required when you hit age 16.

Scott was born in Texas and currently lives in New York City and Sydney. He received a BA from Vassar in philosophy and likes Mexican and Thai food.

Genre

Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Vampirism, Biological Thriller Horror, Male Lead

Curriculum Ties

science, biology

Booktalk Ideas

Reading Level/Interest Age 

17+

Challenge Issues

This book has got sex and violence in it and is recommended for older young adults. As always we support each users right to read and their privacy. Selection of appropriate material is between the reader, her parent or gardian, and the book. We support the ALA Library Bill of Rights and discourage censorship.

Reason for inclusion

Male lead.

References

Westerfeld, S. (2012). About the author. Scott Westerfeld. Retrieved from: http://scottwesterfeld.com/