The Vampire Diaries and Twilight really bring different things to the culture of young adult vampire stories
Sex is one of the differences that are easily compared between both shows. Specifically, who’s having it and who isn’t. In the first three novels of Twilight, there is no sex between the protagonist, Bella, and her vampire boyfriend, Edward, though it’s implied that some of the other vampires are far more open to sex. Bella, who wants sex and tries to seduce Edward into it, is presented as wildly out of line, a hysterical girl who doesn’t know what’s best for her and must be brought to heel by Edward’s far superior and controlling ideas about marriage and sex. The fourth novel of the series, Breaking Dawn, fittingly breaks the “no-sex for Bella and Edward” rule, though only within the confines of marriage.
I prefer the more realistic portrayal of teens in The Vampire Diaries, which has teens who have sex and teens that don’t, instead of the obsessively-sexless world of Twilight. Although in vampire diaries like in Twilight both male vampires are afraid to get too close to the ones they love in case they “lose control”
If Twilight is a vampire story with the sex removed, it is also a vampire story with the violence removed. Though violence does occur, in the books it is told at a remove: Bella is always being told about what happened, not actually seeing it and experiencing it for herself, because, of course, girls are far too delicate for anything bloody and dangerous and painful. This is particularly noticeable in the books, because the two movies so far have done the best they could at showing the violence which is only alluded to in the books. Of course, this is made possible because the movies aren’t so tightly focused on Bella’s point of view and can show us things she...