When you hear the title Vampire Diaries, you will likely think of the popular TV series.
Yet, this TV series was based on the popular young adult horror book series written by Lisa Jane Smith.
This series is narrated by high schooler Elena Gilbert, who falls in love with two vampire brothers.
The Vampire Diaries places you into a world full of supernatural creatures, life, death, and love.
While they may be written for young adults, anyone can enjoy these books. Overall, there are 19 books in this series for you to enjoy.
These books can be separated into their series, but there is a certain order in which to read these books in.
I have created this article to tell you the easiest order to read all 19 Vampire Diaries books in.
About Vampire Diaries
This young adult vampire horror series follows Elena Gilbert’s love story with the two vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon.
L.J. Smith was sacked after penning the first book in the Return trilogy.
This is because she entered into a work-for-hire deal with her publishing business, Alloy Entertainment.
Due to some disagreements over one of the series’ central romances, she was fired. Therefore, a ghostwriter wrote the remaining novels in the series.
The Vampire Diaries books became the inspiration for the TV series of the same name. However, the TV adaptation diverges greatly from the original books.
For the majority of the books, you can read them in publication order.
Yet, most people will read Stefan’s Diaries series, before they go on to The Hunter’s series, which were released at similar times.
All of these books follow similar themes of love and loss, friendships, and adventure. These books have become timeless classics, which are still enjoyed today.
Below find the reading order of these books.
Vampire Diaries Books In Order
Elena Gilbert usually gets what she wants, but is perplexed when Stefan shows no interest in her.
Damon, Stefan’s sinister, lethal vampire brother, has recently arrived in town. Unfortunately, danger always accompanies Damon wherever he goes.
- Strong introduction to the main three characters.
- The plot jumps around a lot.
Elena Gilbert is quickly coming to the realization that being desired by two vampires is deadly.
Damon continues to pursue Elena’s heart as Stefan battles to control his innate need. Then, in a tragic turn of events, Elena is forced to put her own life in danger.
- Fast-paced, easy to read.
- Character development is lacking.
Elena makes the ultimate sacrifice to put an end to the brothers’ ongoing conflict. She is tired of being in a love triangle with the Salvatore brothers.
- The story is well-thought-out and full of twists.
- The beginning is quite slow.
Elena rises to create a formidable vampire trio. Stefan fulfills his vow to Elena and Damon joins forces with his brother, who he once saw as his enemy.
- You can read this story from multiple viewpoints.
- The writing is suited to younger adults or teens.
Elena is brought back by a supernatural force, but now she has powers.
Her blood is irresistible to vampires. The Salvatore brothers still want her, but a bigger force may get to her first.
- Great exploration into different relationships with other characters.
- Plot development is quite slow, considering how long this book is.
Elena is driven to put her life in Damon’s hands. They must travel to the Dark Dimension’s slums, where vampires and demons live freely.
Stefan is imprisoned here, and can only be freed by Elena discovering the two hidden pieces of the cell’s key.
- We get to see another side to particular characters.
- Readers felt that the plot was quite messy.
Elena Gilbert, successfully set Stefan free from the Dark Realm. Yet, Damon is now mortal and demons have invaded Elena’s hometown as a consequence.
- Interesting and page-turning plot.
- The ending is a slight disappointment for some fans.
During the Civil War, Stefan and Damon are inseparable until they encounter the beautiful Katherine.
The brothers fight for her attention until they learn she wishes to turn them into vampires.
- Great insight into the Salvatore brothers backstory.
- Damon’s perspective is ignored.
Damon and Stefan flee to New Orleans after becoming vampires. Stefan is enjoying his new abilities, yet Damon is captured by a cruel vampire hunter.
- Simple but darker plot.
- The brothers’ relationship is underdeveloped.
The Salvatore brothers move to New York, while Stefan wants to start fresh without killing to survive.
However, Damon has lost his humanity, so his brother will have to keep him safe, while another vampire hunts them down.
- Great character interactions between the brothers.
- Predictable plot.
Stefan Salvatore hasn’t seen his brother Damon in twenty years. Although, when he hears of killings, he suspects that this is the work of his brother.
- Fast-paced and very entertaining.
- This book is a set-up for the next installment.
Stefan and Damon have never been very trusting people.
However, they now need to work together to destroy Samuel, a vengeful vampire from Katherine’s past, if they want to save their lives.
- Lots of action to enjoy.
- Cliffhanger feels unnecessary.
Stefan is desperate to save Damon before it’s too late. To save his brother, Stefan establishes a tentative partnership with a coven of witches.
However, they soon discover that Samuel’s plan is much more sinister than they could have ever anticipated.
- Fantastic conclusion to the series.
- Inconsistent pacing.
Elena thought her life would go back to normal. Now a new threat targets Elena, but this time there is just one Salvatore brother to protect her.
- Characters are enjoyable to read.
- The plot feels rushed in some areas.
Elena and her pals are eager to enroll at Dalcrest College. However, as students begin to disappear, every new acquaintance becomes a potential foe.
After discovering a long-kept secret, Elena realizes evil has followed her from Fell’s Church.
- Bonnie is much more developed.
- Chemistry between the main characters is missing.
Elena struggles between staying faithful to Stefan while protecting Damon’s soul.
She learns more about what it is to be a Guardian, while her college is overrun with vampires trying to resurrect Klaus.
- Lots of action and mysteries.
- Not everyone has enjoyed the ending of this book.
Elena is happy with Stefan, but suddenly her Guardian senses are on high alert. Soon, she is battling the Old One, who constantly gets away from her.
- Great character development.
- The plot feels messy in places.
Elena’s world is turned upside down, and now she wants revenge.
Elena and Damon go in search of Jack’s weakness, but even they cannot deny their connection is stronger than ever.
- Lots of character growth.
- Damon and Elena’s relationship lacks depth.
The Guardians are giving Elena Gilbert a second chance.
Elena will be allowed to live if she can go back to her senior year of high school, where she initially met Damon and Stefan.
She must show that she can coexist with them without causing either of them to kill.
- Great conclusion to the whole series.
- A lot of fans wished there was an epilogue to see where the characters ended up, as they felt the story stopped quite abruptly.
The Vampire Diaries is a beloved book series, where you can follow the story of Elena Gilbert and the two Salvatore brothers. These books are full of action, mystery, and a love triangle.
With this book series, it is best to read the books in publication order, following each series as mentioned above. I hope this article has made it clearer, in the order to read these books in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Read Vampire Diaries In Order?
It is easier to read the Vampire Diaries in publication order, as mentioned above.
How Old Should You Be To Read The Vampire Diaries?
The Vampire Diaries were written for anyone from the ages of 15 and up. Due to mature themes and gruesome scenes.
How Many Books Are Part Of Vampire Diaries?
There are 19 books in total, split into 5 series.