2 Ways to Read the Vampire Diaries Books in Order by L.J. Smith

The world of this popular vampire series is vast and expansive so you’ll want to plan to read all the Vampire Diaries books in order.

The Vampire Diaries is about Elena Gilbert, a high school student. Soon, she finds herself caught between Damon Salvatore and Stefan Salvatore, two brothers. This may sound like a high school romance, or a love triangle, with all the twists and turns young teens experience through their teens.

However, readers soon discover that the brothers are centuries-old vampires. Vampire Diaries is perfect for those who love to read a lot and want to explore a compelling narrative that combines romance, drama, horror, and of course, vampires. 

Vampire Diaries Books in Order by Series

The best way to read the Vampire Diaries books in order is by series. This is because there are 5 different series, all with many books that published around the same time. To keep the story together, you should read one series at a time.

  1. The Awakening (1991)
  2. The Struggle (1991)
  3. The Fury (1991)
  4. Dark Reunion (1991)

The Return Books

  1. Nightfall (2009)
  2. Shadow Souls (2010)
  3. Midnight (2011)

Stefan’s Diaries Books

  1. Origins (2010)
  2. Bloodlust (2011)
  3. The Craving (2011)
  4. The Ripper (2011)
  5. The Asylum (2012)
  6. The Compelled (2012)

The Hunters Books

  1. Phantom (2011)
  2. Moonsong (2012)
  3. Destiny Rising (2012)

The Salvation Books

  1. Unseen (2013)
  2. Unspoken (2013)
  3. Unmasked (2014)

Vampire Diaries Books in Order of Publication

While I’d strongly recommend you the Vampire Diaries books in order by series, I did want to offer this alternative reading method.

Why offer this suggestion?

Because some readers like to enjoy the world of their favorite series in the same way that original fans read them. L.J. Smith produced many books within the same year, but always a few months apart.

So while original fans might have been willing to take anything they can get by hopping from one series the another, you may want to think twice about it. But if you’ve already read all of the Vampire books in order by series, then perhaps this will be a nice way to spice things up for a re-read.

  1. The Awakening (1991)
  2. The Struggle (1991)
  3. The Fury (1991)
  4. Dark Reunion (1991)
  5. Nightfall (2009)
  6. Shadow Souls (2010)
  7. Origins (2010)
  8. Bloodlust (2011)
  9. Midnight (2011)
  10. The Craving (2011)
  11. Phantom (2011)
  12. The Ripper (2011)
  13. The Asylum (2012)
  14. Moonsong (2012)
  15. The Compelled (2012)
  16. Destiny Rising (2012)
  17. Unseen (2013)
  18. Unspoken (2013)
  19. Unmasked (2014)

Vampire Diaries Books Summary

The Awakening Vampire Diaries books in order

The Awakening (1991)

Elena is the high school gold girl that boys and girls love to be with. Elena always gets what her heart desires. Stefan is haunted by guilt about his past, but Damon, a dark and dangerous vampire brother, also makes him feel helpless. Soon Elena finds herself caught between two vampire brothers and in great danger.

The Struggle

The Struggle (1991)

Elena soon realizes that being in love is not the most dangerous thing, but being desired by two vampires. Damon continues his search for Elena’s heart, even though Stefan cannot suppress his instinctive thirst. Elena must risk her life to save one of her immortal suitors when a dark twist occurs.

The Fury

The Fury (1991)

Elena is trying to adjust to the fact that she gave her life to save Stefan. This act transformed her into what she once feared and still wants. The hunters are hunted when a vampire hunter arrives to rid the town of its immortal plague. Damon, Stefan, Elena, and Damon will have to work together to find the mysterious origin of Fell’s Church’s new evil. Elena is the one who pays the ultimate price.

Dark Reunion

Dark Reunion (1991)

Elena’s friends summon Elena with an Ouija board. Unfortunately, they are all in danger. She warns them, but she’s unable to save them from the terrible consequences Fell’s Church is preparing. Nevertheless, Elena might have another chance to live the life she gave for Stefan if fate intervenes.

Nightfall Vampire Diaries books in order

Nightfall (2009)

Once condemned to a fate beyond her death, a supernatural force now pulls Elena back. She is now a vampire, and she has the power and gifts of the afterlife that make her irresistible. Elena finds herself in Fell’s Church, where she awaits temptations and evils. Her guardian vampire brothers are outmatched by a vicious creature that wants Elena to die.

Shadow Souls

Shadow Souls (2010)

Elena Gilbert’s lover, Stefan Salvatore (a vampire), has been captured by demonic spirits and is currently in Fell’s Church. Elena gives Damon her body and soul to help him find his brother Stefan. She plans to do anything to get Stefan free. But Elena will stop at nothing to free Damon also. Bonnie and Meredith investigate the evil that has overtaken Fell’s Church. They unravel terrible discoveries and soon catch up in Elena’s dangerous adventure.


Origins (2010)

Three teenagers from Mystic Falls, Virginia, enter into a passionate love triangle that will last forever. Brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore have been inseparable since they met Katherine, a beautiful, mysterious woman who changes their lives. The Salvatore siblings became rivals and began to compete for Katherine’s affection. But, Katherine, with her extravagant silk dresses, glittering gems, and sexy hair, is a vampire. She determines to make them vampires so that they can live happily together forever.


Bloodlust (2011)

Stefan Salvatore was turned into a vampire by his first love. His world and his soul were destroyed. He and Damon must now flee their hometown to avoid being found out. So they head to New Orleans in search of safety. But, unfortunately, the brothers discover that New Orleans is full of vampires and vampire hunters, making it more dangerous than they imagined. Will Stefan’s eternal existence be forever ruined?

Midnight Vampire Diaries Books in Order

Midnight (2011)

Elena saved her vampire lover, Stefan, with the help of Damon, a charming and clever man. Stefan, who has been in prison for a long time, is weak and requires more blood than Elena can provide. Damon, however, was transformed by strange magic into a human. Damon is desperate and savage and will do whatever it takes to be a vampire again. He may even travel back to hell. What happens if he takes Bonnie by accident?

Stefan and Elena rush to rescue their friend from the Dark Dimension. But, first, matt and Meredith must save their home from the evil spirits that have taken control of Fell’s Church. Children are falling prey to wicked schemes one by one. Meredith and Matt soon realize that the evil source is closer than they could have imagined.

The Craving LJ Smith

The Craving (2011)

Stefan moves to Manhattan after Damon Salvatore, his brother, betrays him. He vows never to hurt another human and wanders the streets trying to escape the chaos of the city. But, when Stefan thinks he has left behind his past, Stefan finds that he cannot escape his brother. Damon has big plans for the vampire Salvatore Brothers, regardless of whether Stefan likes it. They take New York by storm together. Their exploits make it onto the society pages. But then, an old enemy reappears–one determined to exact revenge.


Phantom (2011)

Damon was killed in the Dark Dimension just as Elena was getting closer. Phantom opens a new series called the hunter series. It brings back beloved characters and answers all of our burning questions. Will Damon be dead forever? How will Fell’s Church look now that Elena and her friends are finally able to return home? Is it as safe as the Guardians claimed? With Damon gone, will it finally be normal between Stefan and Elena again?

Elena and her friends are well aware that their lives will not be the same as before. While they may be back home, they are not the only ones who escaped from the Dark Dimension. No one knows what dark forces are after in Fell’s Church. Stefan is now responsible for protecting Fell’s Church. Damon has been taken away from Elena, and Elena has lost her powers. He also knows that he may not be strong enough to handle the task alone. It will take a miracle to save everyone, as evil feeds off their emotions and threatens the group’s destruction.

The Ripper LJ Smith

The Ripper (2011)

It is 1888, and the London air smells of blood. Stefan Salvatore believed he could escape his violent past by moving to the quiet countryside of England. But when Jack the Ripper appears, Stefan fears that darkness will always be with him. Stefan investigates and concludes that it is the work of a vampire. He learns more and more that the killer is close to him and that he cannot escape his past.

The Asylum

The Asylum (2012)

Stefan Salvatore and his brother Damon were driven to Europe searching for a new start. But, unfortunately, Samuel, a cunning and wealthy vampire, has other plans. He first destroyed Stefan’s peaceful existence, and now he is framing Damon in the most horrific murders London has ever witnessed.

Stefan and Damon unite against their common enemy. These brothers get shocked when they discover that Samuel’s rage is rooted in their past, where they were entangled with the woman who changed their lives forever. Katherine’s memory haunts the brothers and they find alliance difficult to maintain. Will they be able to overcome their rivalry and defeat Samuel before he takes his final revenge?

Moonsong Vampire Diaries books in order

Moonsong (2012)

Elena and her friends are excited to escape the Dark Dimension horrors. But, they can’t wait for their first day at Dalcrest College, the gorgeous campus covered in ivy where Elena’s parents met. Elena is enjoying a better life with Stefan, and she has her best friends Meredith and Matt to help her. She knows this will be her best year yet. Damon is genuinely different and seems to be getting along well with everyone.

Elena has not forgotten her past, even though she is moving away from Fell’s Church. Every new friend becomes a potential enemy when students begin to disappear from campus. Soon panic sets in, and friends have to fight for each other.

Elena discovers a long-hidden truth that shocks her profoundly and makes her realize that tragedy is possible. But, will Elena be able to escape her fate? Will it be Stefan, Damon, or both?

The Compelled

The Compelled (2012)

Damon and Stefan thought they were evil. However, Samuel, the vicious vampire bent on revenging Katherine’s death and destroying the Salvatore brothers, is a far superior figure.

Damon and Stefan, both reeling from Samuel’s latest attack, find support in the most unlikely places: a secret coven made up of witches. They discover Samuel’s plot is far more sinister than they could have ever imagined. They have to stop Samuel before he gains control of vampires and humans. Samuel will seize control of London if they fail to stop him.

Destiny Rising

Destiny Rising (2012)

Elena Gilbert was not an average teenager. After falling for Damon Salvatore and Stefan Salvatore, she was transformed into a vampire and returned to the living to save Stefan. Elena is now in college and faces a new terrifying danger. She also discovers her destiny.

Unseen LJ Smith

Unseen (2013)

Stefan risks his life to end the evil Old Ones after Elena’s blood has shown to have lethal qualities. Elena almost dies in a car accident, but she realizes that the Old One, who is most dangerous, is determined to destroy her. Moreover, he might even be strong enough to accomplish it.

Unspoken LJ Smith

Unspoken (2013)

Everything has changed since Elena met her true love, Stefan, through the heart. Stefan gets hunted down by a scientist who created a new genetically-engineered vampires race to take over the paranormal world. Damon, a scientist, determined to eliminate all natural vampires on Earth, is Damon’s next target. It’s a race against the clock to discover the kryptonite for these strange creatures before they harm Elena and her family.

Unmasked Vampire Diaries books in order

Unmasked (2014)

Damon and Elena have killed Jack Daltry, a ruthless scientist, and creator of the vampires. Now Elena is in mortal peril. The Guardians offer her one chance to save Damon and herself. She must travel back in time to the past before she met the Salvatore Brothers and when everything began.

Elena must stop Damon and Stefan’s obsession with Elena from causing more destruction than they already have. She doesn’t even know Damon, the Damon she met years ago. He doesn’t even know her. He’s dangerous. Can she bear to make a life for herself where Damon and Stefan are not?

Final Thoughts on Vampire Diaries

All in all, the Vampire Diaries books are intriguing and fun to read. The Vampire Diaries is a series of books that have sold over 100 million copies worldwide. It follows the lives, loves, and tribulations of Elena Gilbert, Stefan Salvatore, Damon Salvatore, and Katherine Pierce.

If you’re looking for a series that will keep your attention throughout, the Vampire Diaries should be on your list! Which way do you plan to read the Vampire Diaries books in order?

Looking for more books in order?

Check out this list of the Twilight Series in Order.

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