A Love triangle of unspeakable horror... Elena: searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan. Stefan: haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion. Damon: driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him. The terrifying story of two vampire brothers... read more
A young teenage girl named Elena has just returned from summer in Paris (a vacation to help her deal with the death of her mother and father, killed in a car crash). She lives in Fell's Church, VA, with her aunt and younger sister. She writes in a diary throughout the book and it reveals that,... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
A young teenage girl named Elena has just returned from summer in Paris (a vacation to help her deal with the death of her mother and father, killed in a car crash). She lives in Fell's Church, VA, with her aunt and younger sister. She writes in a diary throughout the book and it reveals that, though she was very popular and outgoing before the death of her parents, she is now a scared and lonely young woman. As she leaves to start the first day of school, she is alarmed but a gigantic crow that seems to undress her with its beady eyes.
In the school parking lot, she meets up with her two best friends, quiet Meredith and red-haired Bonnie. Bonnie has recently discovered her ancestry was Druid and is showing off her new powers. She predicts a tall, dark stranger will come into Elena's life. As he drives up in a black porche, Elena notices the new student named Stefan, who seems to be a little different than most of the others. He is much more refined and very good looking! Elena is very popular and is always used to getting any guy she has her eye on, but this isn't the case with Stefan. Despite using all her wily ways, he repeatedly shuns her. Furthermore, one of her former good friends, Caroline, vows to take Elena's place as the queen of their high school. Elena's ex-boyfriend, football-player Matt, befriends Stefan, who joins the football team and tries to assimilate. When the story focuses on Stefan, he keeps reminiscing about someone called Katerina.
After a particularly nasty shutdown by Stefan, Elena goes to her parent's grave. Bonnie and Meredith find her there and console her. They make a blood pact to do whatever it takes to get Stefan to be with Elena. While they are walking out of the woods surrounding the graveyard, they feel as though they are being followed. Another voice seems to speak through Bonnie and warns that something waits out there for Elena. Terrified, the three girls flee the graveyard.
At the school dance Stefan shows up with Caroline and this infuriates Elena. She leaves the dance with a wild crowd and ends up drinking in the graveyard. Tyler (a beefy, stupid football player with roaming hands) tries to force her to have sex with him. When Elena's life is put in danger, Stefan's real caring for Elena is revealed during his rescue attempt. It isn't that he despises Elena, he is actually in love with her and is resisting his urges to be close to her because he doesn't want to hurt her.
Meredith and Bonnie leave the dance to search for Elena and find one of the party people from the graveyard, Vicki, wandering bloody and wild-eyed wearing nothing but a torn slip. She raves about eyes in the darkness as they take her home. When Stefan learns of this, he pulls away from Elena. The various deadly attacks that are happening around the town are accompanied by Stefan's blackouts while he is in the same area, and so he concludes that he must be blacking out and killing people. When Elena goes to visit Vicki, she screams that Elena is evil. Elena and her friends are kicked out by Vicki's angry mother.
While planning for the school Haunted House with Bonnie and Meredith, the lights go out. Elena is left alone in the gym. A dark stranger introduces himself to Elena and courts her, seeming both sarcastically apathetic and romantically wonderful at the same time. He almost kisses her and she leaves the gym in search of her friends. That night, the girls have a sleepover party. Bonnie convinces Elena to do a ritual inviting the image of her future husband to come into the house for 'dinner'. When Bonnie's dog starts wildly barking outside, they leave Elena alone to check it out. The dark stranger returns and recites poetry at her. He tries to kiss her again and she angrily kicks him out. Bonnie's dog is found with its throat torn out. Later, she discovers that her diary has been stolen.
Bonnie's psychic powers allow her to tap into frightening power in the town of Fell's Church, warning Elena of impending doom.
For Halloween, Elena dresses in an Italian Renaissance dress and Stefan dresses like (ha, ha) a vampire. They are in the Haunted House when Stefan blacks out. He wakes to find another dead body. Tyler accuses Stefan of being the murderer and a mob forms to find him. Elena leaves to find Stefan and sees his room at the boarding house torn apart. She follows the trail of destruction to the roof and discovers Stefan, fully vamped out. She ends up falling off of the roof in terror and he saves her. That night, Elena hears the tragic tale of Stefan's past and learns that he is a vampire.
FLASHBACK: During the Renaissance in Italy, he once loved a girl named Katherine and vowed to marry her, until his older brother, Damon stepped in and became a object of passion for Katherine as well. The two brothers were furious with each other, while Katherine merely strung them both along. Katherine soon revealed her true nature, she was a vampire intent on turning both Stefan and Damon to be her "joyous companions forever". She came to both of them in the middle of the night and fed them her blood. When the brothers found out Katherine's mixed affections, they killed each other in a jealous rage -- thus sealing their doom to walk the earth as un-dead vampires. When they woke inside of their tomb, they discover that Katherine has killed herself and go their separate ways.
When Stefan finishes the story of his past, Elena asks him if he committed the murder earlier that night. He reveals his memory loss and confusion of the past few weeks. She comes to the conclusion that the mysterious stranger who has been haunting her is Stefan's brother, Damon, who is in town killing people and trying to trick Stefan into thinking he was a monster. Elena and Stefan exchange blood in a very sexy, romantic moment. After taking Elena home, Stefan goes to the woods to find Damon. They argue and fight and Damon flies away in crow-form after nearly draining Stefan of blood. The next day, Elena is terrified when Stefan is absent from school. She leaves in the middle of class and goes to the graveyard. There, the weather quickly turns snowy and stormy. The novel ends with her screaming Damon's name into the wind.
“Some instinct older than civilization was telling her to run, to flee.”
“Elena,” he said, “you are incredible. You twist people around your little finger, and I don’t even think you even know you’re doing it. And now you’re going to ask me to do something to help you ambush Stefan, and I’m such a dumb sucker I might even agree to do it.”Matt
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