Discover the 20 Best Books like The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith

The Vampire Diaries has sold over three million copies worldwide and since the series adaptation was released in 2009, the franchise has become even more popular. 

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Best Books Like The Vampire Diaries (20+ Choices)

The story centers around high school girl, Elena Gilbert, who becomes wrapped up in the lives of two vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon Salvatore. The story intertwines horror, romance, and fantasy as it unravels the dark secrets and love triangles of the small town of Mystic Falls in Virginia. 

After the success of her first series, the four original works: The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury, and Dark Reunion, she has written four additional sets of novels: The Return Trilogy, Stefan’s Diaries Series (5 books), The Hunter’s Trilogy and The Salvation Trilogy. If you’ve read the original series, these consequent publications would be the first port of call if you’re looking for something similar.

If vampires, werewolves, magic, and romance spark your interest, this is the perfect series to sink your teeth into. But if you’ve already read and enjoyed the entire The Vampire Diaries series, here are 20 other books that’ll grab your attention.

The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer

Twilight (The Twilight Saga)

Although this series of novels has received a varied reception, there’s no doubt that the Twilight series was super popular after the release of the first film in 2008. 

Stephanie Meyer’s series has been grabbed by many new readers since the success of the film series and remains one of the most popular teen vampire stories ever told. 

There are many similarities between the Twilight series and The Vampire Diaries, the most obvious of which is their focus on human-vampire romance. Like The Vampire Diaries, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight also includes werewolves and magic, not to mention the two protagonists, Edward and Bella are very similar to Stefan and Elena. 

Although perhaps targeted at a younger audience, the Twilight series is bound to give you the same thrill as The Vampire Diaries. 

Pros: Well-rated and very similar to The Vampire Diaries.

Cons: Aimed at a younger audience.

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition

In this well-rated novel series, Richelle Mead interpolates mortal and immortal vampires into the classic high school setting that both Meyer and Smith used. 

Her protagonist, Lissa Dragomir is a mortal vampire with the ability to use the earth’s magic. This rare gift means she must be protected from the Strigoi, the immortal, powerful vampires who see Lissa as a threat. 

While many teen novels use a high school setting as a communal spot, a place of safety or security, Mead uses her academy as a prison. Lissa and her best friend are sent back to St. Vladimir’s Academy for royal vampires and their guardians. But the Strigoi surround the academy and while she remains there, she’s constantly being monitored by her enemies.

This 6 book series has now been adapted into a TV show (as of September 2022) and so, the books are likely to become more popular in the upcoming year.

Pros: Her use of the mortal/immortal hierarchy sets it apart from other high school vampire stories.

Cons: Some reviewers have critiqued the writing style.

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (1) (The Mortal Instruments)

This 6 book series features vampires but does not center around the vampire lifestyle. Instead, it follows a group of shadow hunters, who are dedicated to getting rid of demons on earth.

They are usually invisible to the human eye, that is until Clary Fray witnesses them murdering a boy in a club in New York City. Confused, afraid, and unaware, Clary seeks answers from shadow hunter and bad boy Jace, who helps her find out more about herself and her family history.

Pros: Highly rated and popular since the film adaptation was released in 2013.

Cons: Many readers have criticized the predictability of Clare’s writing.

House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristen Cast

Marked (House of Night, Book 1)

After she is marked by a vampire tracker, Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and encompasses the powers of all five elements: Air, Water, Fire, Earth, and Spirit. 

She was marked by the vampire goddess Nyx and must go to a special boarding school to tolerate the transition. But when she discovers that her powers are being misused by those around her, she must find out for herself what her destiny is and how she should use her powers. 

Pros: Provides the same high school/vampire setting as Smith’s series.

Cons: The books have been critiqued for poor character development.

Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz

Blue Bloods

While the 1620 Mayflower boat carried the famous figures that would build modern America, it also unknowingly carried vampires. Upon arrival, these vampires assimilated into society and gained wealth, influence, and power. These ‘Blue Bloods’ swore to keep their immortal identities hidden, which they did for centuries.

However, now, in New York City, secrets begin to emerge as loner Schuyler Van Alen begins to crave raw food, notices a pattern of blue veins appear on her arms, and experiences ancient flashbacks.

When a popular girl is found dead and drained of blood, Schuyler doesn’t know what to think – but she knows she must find out more about the Blue Bloods and the secrets they’re keeping.

Pros: Provides detail about vampire history.

Cons: Slow burner.

The Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine

Glass Houses

Claire Danvers is tired of her dormmates and finds a room in an old house off-campus. Her new friends are sketchy and quiet but loyal to her when she begins uncovering the secrets of Morganville, Texas. 

These secrets emerge after dark, in search of fresh blood. Will she stomach the terrors she’s discovered? Or will she fall like everyone else?

Pros: Great character development.

Cons: Explicit language included.

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Evernight (Evernight, 1)

After starting at a new gothic boarding school, Bianca soon realizes she doesn’t fit in. The students are rich, smart, and perfect. Except one. 

When she meets Lucas, there’s an instant connection and Bianca will do everything she can to be with him. But Lucas has dark secrets that will prevent them from being with each other and make Bianca question everything about her life.

Pros: Follows the ‘star-crossed paranormal lovers’ theme.

Cons: Some characters are unlikeable.

Vampire Kisses Series by Ellen Schreiber

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Raven is a 16-year-old, vampire-obsessed goth, who has never fit in with the rest of her town. However, when new inhabitants move into the strange and supposedly haunted mansion on Benson Hill, she’s curious.

Rumors begin to circulate about the new family being vampires, but Raven is determined to prove them wrong. What she fails to predict, however, is the charm and attraction to Alexander Sterling, one of these mysterious inhabitants. She becomes infatuated and desperate to uncover the truth.

Pros: Well-written.

Cons: Many found Raven’s character ‘annoying’.

The Secret Circle Series by L.J. Smith and Aubrey Clarke

The Secret Circle: The Complete Collection: The Initiation and The Captive Part I, The Captive Part II and The Power, The Divide, The Hunt, The Temptation

Created by the author of The Vampire Diaries, this series follows Cassie, who has recently relocated and longs for her old life. But when she falls for Adam, she must decide whether to resist him or face his dark secrets to get what she wants. 

Pros: Very similar to The Vampire Diaries

Cons: L.J. Smith only writes the first 3 books.

The Gates of Myth and Power Series by K.M. Shea 

The King's Captive: Magiford Supernatural City (Gate of Myth and Power Book 1)

Again, set in a world of werewolves, vampires, and magic, this series takes a comedic and satirical approach to the myth of Hades and Persephone.

It’s full of humor, wit, and romance and tackles the relationships, problems, and secrets between supernatural species.

Pros: A different and funny take on supernatural stories.

Cons: Some have claimed it’s ‘anticlimactic’.

Crave by Tracy Wolff

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Grace has lost both her parents and is forced to join a new school in Alaska. Although her uncle is the headmaster, she doesn’t feel like she fits in and the school soon turns out to be different than what she expected. 

Pondering whether these students are Gods or monsters, Grace is forced to navigate the supernatural as a mortal. Although handsome vampire Jaxon Vega seems mysterious and intriguing, he has a long line of dark secrets. 

Is she a romantic interest? Or the bait?

Pros: Engaging and gripping.

Cons: Many criticize the writing style.

Of Shadow and Moonlight by Luna Laurier

Of Shadow and Moonlight

Merging vampires, monsters, magic, dark secrets, greek mythology, and romance, this book is an engaging, twisting read bound to keep you on your toes.

Cassie is fated to die young, but Damien turns her world around in the nick of time. He shows her the hidden magic that lies within her and exposes her to a whole world of monsters and gods. Cassie must face her secrets and embrace the dark history she has been hiding.

Pros: Strong character development.

Cons: Readers criticized ‘juvenile’ writing.

Magical Midlife Madness by K.F. Breene

Magical Midlife Madness (Leveling Up Book 1)

After her husband leaves and her son heads for college, Jessie moves to a small town she visited when she was younger. As a caretaker of the ‘Ivy House’, Jessie explores the creepy hallways and uncovers secrets that have remained hidden from the town for years.

Pros: 7 books to enjoy as part of this series.

Cons: Slow burner.

Fangs by Sarah Andersen 

Fangs

This choice is a little different. It’s a graphic novel that toys with the vampire genre, but through satire and comedy, takes a new approach.

Elsie is a 300-year-old vampire who has never found love until she finds Jimmy, a charming werewolf willing to fill the role. They enjoy horror movies, and fine dining, uncover each other’s unusual habits and prove that opposites really do attract.

Pros: Won the Goodreads Choice Award.

Cons: Is not a standard novel like the rest recommended.

Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, Book 1)

This book follows the story of Louis, as he tells of mortal and immortal life. He tells of how he became a vampire and how he was indoctrinated into the vampire way of life.

He struggles with the conflict between humanity and vampire cravings, as we learn of his journey with innocent Claudia, whom he turns, forever trapping her as a small child. 

Pros: Gripping characters and an unpredictable story.

Cons: Some have struggled with the character’s tone.

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)

The first of the long 21-book series, Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Dark Lover follows Wrath, the last remaining purebred vampire on the planet and leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

When his trusted friend dies, he is forced to care for his half-blood daughter and introduce her to his world. 

Pros: Intense storyline, guaranteed to keep you engaged.

Cons: Narration changes frequently, so the plot is harder to follow.

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave: A Night Huntress Novel

Half-vampire Catherine is going after her father, the man that ruined her mother’s life. But before long she is captured by a vampire bounty hunter, Bones, and the story unravels the unlikely relationship formed between the two.

In exchange for his help trying to find her father, Catherine agrees to train with Bones until she becomes a deadly demon hunter, which will come in handy when the two are hunted down…

Pros: A fun and engaging read with 14 books in the series.

Cons: Many found the ending disappointing.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 1)

Sookie Stackhouse lives a simple life working as a cocktail waitress in Louisiana. However, when the boy of her dreams enters her life with a string of secrets and a dark past in tow, her life changes completely. 

Pros: Fantastic ratings.

Cons: Many claim the TV series is better.

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel

Anita Blake is dangerous and feared, known for re-animating the dead and killing the undead.

But when she gets involved with a series of vicious vampire killings, she is torn between helping the innocent and her temptations for the powerful vampire, Jean-Claude.

Pros: Blends psychology with fantasy.

Cons: Graphic sex scenes included.

Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires Book 1)

Merit was doing well at grad school until she was attacked by a vampire. Her life was saved by the master vampire, who turned her into a vampire and changed the course of her life.

She must learn about the paranormal world and must navigate her new identity all while trying to fit in and obey hierarchies. 

Pros: Good balance between action, romance, and fantasy.

Cons: Some claim it is clichéd. 

Vampire Diaries FAQ

In what order should I read The Vampire Diaries?

Here’s our recommended The Vampire Diaries book reading order and further down below are the publication orders too, for your reference:

1. The Awakening (1991)
2. The Struggle (1991)
3. The Fury (1991)
4. Dark Reunion (1992)
5. The Return: Nightfall (2009)
6. The Return: Shadow Souls (2010)
7. The Return: Midnight (2011)
8. The Hunters: Phantom (2012)
9. The Hunters: Moonsong (2013)
10. The Hunters: Destiny Rising (2014)

Publication Order of The Vampire Diaries Books

The Awakening (1991)
The Struggle (1991)
The Fury (1991)
Dark Reunion (1991)

Publication Order of The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries Books By: L.J. Smith and Julie Plec

Origins (2010)
Bloodlust (2011)
The Craving (2011)
The Ripper (2011)
The Asylum (2012)
The Compelled (2012)

Publication Order of The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Books

Phantom (2011)
Moonsong (2011)
Destiny Rising (2012)

Publication Order of The Vampire Diaries: The Return Books

Nightfall (2009)
Shadow Souls (2010)
Midnight (2011)

Publication Order of The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation Books

Unseen (2013)
Unspoken (2013)
Unmasked (2014)

How many original Vampire Diaries books are there?

There are twelve books in the original Vampire Diaries, i.e. the classic series by L. J. Smith.

How many Vampire Diaries books were written by L.J. Smith?

Eight books in the Vampire Diaries series were written by L. J. Smith.

What age are The Vampire Diaries books appropriate for?

Obviously, this is each parent’s decision, but we’d recommend it for readers ages 13 and up.

What happens at the end of The Vampire Diaries books?

Elena and Damon are finally together and live happily ever after, at the end of the last book in the series (The Return: Nightfall). All other central characters of the saga also find their own successes and the town of Mystic Falls is finally at peace.

What are the most popular vampire books of all time?

1. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (1976) 
2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (2005)
3. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
4. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice (1985) 
5. The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (1976-2003)
6. The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith (1991-2016)
7. The Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris (2001-2013)
8. The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead (2007-2011)
9. The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (2009)
10. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (2005)
11. The Passage by Justin Cronin (2010)
12. The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein (2002)
13. The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause (1990)
14. Vampire Hunter D by Hideyuki Kikuchi (1983)
15. The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice (1998)
16. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (1975)
17. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause (1997)
18. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (2013)
19. The Vampire Queen Series by Joey W. Hill (2003-2012)
20. The Watchers by Jon Steele (2008)

What are the most popular vampire abilities and vampire book tropes?

1. Immortal, Undying Love
2. Superhuman Strength
3. Drinking Blood
4. Sunlight and Fire Weakness
5. Ability to Turn into a Bat or Wolf
6. Distaste for and Fear of Garlic
7. Control Over Weather and Nature
8. Transforming Others into Vampires
9. Vampiric Allure
10. Vampiric Beauty

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Colton Cowie