Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Review - Anna Dressed in Blood

I'll admit that the last time I read a young adult book told primarily from a guy's point of view was likely back when the Harry Potter books were still new.  I'm not sure if I've ever read a young adult book written in first person where the main character was a guy - unless that "never released, never finished" book written from Edward's POV counts...and I don't think it does.  So, it took me a little while to get into the rhythm of this book, but I'm really glad I did.

It's deliciously creepy.

More than a little gory (really, some of those scenes in the middle portion of the book kept me up at night).

And the main character made me wonder if the Winchester brothers had a younger sibling they didn't know about....

I really loved the story.  Cas' voice was cynical, a little sarcastic, and a touch gritty.  He's spent more of his life interacting with the undead (following in his father's footsteps) than being a normal high school student, and it shows.  When he's forced to make friends in his new town, he'd be much happier just out dealing with ghosts somewhere - but he needs them when he encounters a ghost like he's never met before.

When he meets Anna, he may have just met his match.

I highly recommend this book for fans of things that go bump in the night.

5 out of 5 dog treats

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Deep Thoughts About TVD - Episode 408

"Tell her to live life without you and never think of you again - to stop caring about you.

And then leave her...."  Witch in New Orleans

The sire bond is a sticky situation.

In one episode, we learned that sire bonds only form when the human was in love with the vampire before he/she turned (which, I'll admit, I'd already guessed).  We also learned that there is a cure, but it comes at quite a cost.

The vampire has to tell his sired vampire to live without him/her....to stop thinking about the "master" vampire, and then the "master" has to leave.

All the while knowing that the sired vampire is truly in love with his/her master.

So I can stop with the awkward him/her stuff, I'm going to take it to a more basic level.  Let's discuss the implications for Damon and Elena.

Damon already knew about sired vampires - we saw that way back when Tyler's bond to Klaus formed.  He was aware of sire bonds because he'd sired another vampire.  (What does that say about Damon that this "one in a million" occurrence had happened more than once?)

I'm fairly sure that Charlotte was a plot device - simply sired so that Stefan could witness (and to a lesser extent, Damon) the lengths of Charlotte's devotion.  While both brothers were horrified that Charlotte had spent the last 40 years counting bricks, I'm pretty sure it meant different things to the two brothers.

Damon was hit by guilt, since he left after assuming the witch did what she said and had broken the sire bond.  He didn't realize that Charlotte was waiting for him to return.

I'm pretty certain that Stefan saw a different picture.  He focused on the extreme devotion Charlotte had for Damon.  She was so intent on wanting to please Damon that she'd waited on the same street corner for 40 years.  Stefan doesn't want to see Elena bound by that type of devotion - especially since (in my opinion), that's how he's rationalizing Elena's feelings for him changing to such a degree since she turned.

So, as the brothers leave New Orleans, Damon's task is clear.  He has to free Elena.  He has to tell her to stop caring about him - and leave.  Stefan's convinced that Damon will do it because Damon can't be selfish with Elena.

But dealing with Elena's bond isn't as simple as Charlotte's.

Because he knows that Elena loved him while she was still human.  She had to truly be in love with him before she turned for this to even become an issue.  Becoming a vampire has given her the strength to look past all the criticism and condemnation from the rest of her "friends" and admit that she loves Damon.  And now, to break that bond, he has to do the very thing he wants to avoid - he has to take away her choice to love him.

He promised never to leave her, but that's exactly what he has to do in order to break the bond.

So where does that leave him?

At some point, he's going to have to look into those deep brown eyes, the ones brimming with tears at the thought of losing him, and he's going to have to break the bond.


Because they can't stay in this honeymoon phase forever. 

Damon and Elena can never be allowed to be this happy - and, honestly, have you ever seen either of them happier than at the opening of this episode (and I'm not just talking about the time in bed, I'm also addressing the "getting Elena ready for school" moments).  Or at least they can't be this happy until the show's over or takes a substantially different direction.

Because Damon will never completely believe it's real for Elena.

We heard him admit it to her.  He wants to know that everything she feels for him is real - otherwise, he would have compelled her a long time ago.  Right now, he refused to break the sire bond because it's the right thing to do for her (to keep her from the confusion and grief evident on Charlotte's face), but at some point...that little hint of doubt that Elena doesn't really love him this much has to go away.

Because someone's probably going to use it against them.

I predict at some point, he's going to have to break the bond in order to save her.  He loves her so much that he's going to have to let her go, no matter the amount of pain it will cause both of them.

The ultimate test will come when we watch to see if Elena will be able to overcome her "master's" orders to forget him and prove that her love for him is real.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thinking Deep Thoughts about Episode 407

Must be Friday.  I'm thinking deep thoughts about TVD again - sadly, this interferes with the chapter I'm working on, so I'm going to go ahead and get these out of the way.

This was a complicated episode with too many players (not Matt - he can stay forever) and too many plots running through 42 minutes, so I'm not even going to attempt an analysis of the whole thing.  Instead, I'm focusing on two points.

Let's go.

I'm not starting with the obvious topic because, honestly, one short scene impacted me more than any other section of the episode.  Shall we discuss Stefan and Elena's conversation about Jeremy?

Do you even know the real Elena?
The episode opened with Damon making a simple request to Stefan - leave Jeremy out of his "find a cure" plan.  Look for another Hunter, but keep Elena's little brother safe.  Why?  Because Damon understands Elena.  She would never want to save herself at the expense of Jeremy's mental stability.

And what did Stefan do?

He deliberately brought a vampire (maybe more than one - I kind of blurred over that section in my brain because it was painful) to Jeremy in order to make the map grow, simply to find the cure for Elena.

Watching Elena's face as she processed that information....seeing the horror dawn on her was one of the most emotionally resonant scenes in the episode.  Stefan sacrificed Jeremy to bring back "his" Elena - the one he could love.

In this moment, the full horror of who Stefan really is became clear to her.  Early in the series, he referred to himself as a monster.  He was right.  He was so consumed by desire and greed to bring his Elena back that he was willing to destroy the person who meant more to Elena than anyone in the world.  And I think Elena realized she'd never really met the real Stefan.  That's why it was so easy for her to fall into bed with Damon later in the episode.  All this time she'd been faithfully clinging to someone who didn't really exist, and Stefan's actions with Jeremy destroyed the faith she'd always had in him.

I struggle to see how Stefan and Elena could reunite after his actions with Jeremy.

Yes, Damon killed Jeremy in the premiere of season two, but he was acting on blind rage - not that it really excuses his actions.  Stefan's actions are different.  He planned what he was going to do.  He thought it out.  He was deliberate.  He knew what he wanted, and nothing was going to deter him from his plan...even Elena's love for her brother.

The Elephant in the Room
Come on y'all, this is my YA-friendly blog, so just get your minds out of the gutter.  I'm talking about the sire bond.

Or as I like to call it - Caroline's Screaming Banshee Moment.  (Really, that's how I referred to it in a text to my husband.)

I've read the interview with Julie Plec.  (I also read an interview a few years ago where she said we wouldn't see Katherine till late season two or early season three...and that was about a day before Katherine arrived in Mystic Falls.)

Y'all know how much I disliked The Five, but by golly, I'm thankful for it now because we're about to revisit a few scenes.

Anyone remember the first victim Damon pointed out to Elena?  Cute, blonde, had a picture of her little sister (or her niece - something like that) on her cell phone.  Yes?  Y'all with me?  What happened to the young lady?


Damon told Elena to feed on her and she didn't because she didn't want to.  Yep, sounds just like someone who has to do her "master's" will to me.

When explaining the sire bond to Caroline, Tyler says that it makes you want to please the person who sired you.  You do what they want because you believe its the right thing to do.  So...about that....

After Elena has learned to successfully feed, she's pretty effectively slut-shamed by Bonnie for enjoying the process of feeding.  When Damon and Bonnie face off about Damon's attempts to turn Elena into someone like him, he responds that Elena already is.  And then what happens?

Damon takes Elena home where Elena admits that Damon's right.  It would be easier to just enjoy the feed - accept the fact that she's a vampire now and she's changed.  With tears in her eyes, she looks at him and admits that she can't.  Because she doesn't want to be like him.

Yep, sounds just like an unbreakable sire bond to me.

I'll admit it.  I'm confused after this episode.  (And I'm angry that the scene showing Damon and Elena's first time was intercut with the "lightbulb" moment for the Stefan/Caroline brain trust.)  Throughout the season, we've seen just as many instances where Elena's gone against Damon's wishes as the times that she's agreed with him.

I think this whole "sire bond" thing is a ploy for Stefan to twist the knife into Damon's psyche.  Elena's in love with Damon.  She has been for a while.  Klaus knows it - and that's what he was referring to when he was flirting with Caroline.

My final opinion on this episode is still to be decided.  I need to know where they're going with this sire thing since it confuses me.  If Elena were sired to Damon, I'm pretty sure she would have picked up the cell phone to call Stefan the minute Damon asked her to, and she definitely would have apologized to Stefan for misinterpreting his motivations for lying to her - because Damon wanted her to forgive his little brother.

Thanks for taking the time to read.  Feel free to leave a comment or two.  I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

So About that Novel You've Been Working On....

Why not take the opportunity to enter it in a contest and get some feedback?

***Permission to forward granted.***

***Forwarding to all writers groups, loops, etc., requested and much appreciated.***

What: Great Expectations Writing Contest
Who: Unpublished authors (and authors not previously published in that genre)
Why: Because entering a writing competition like Great Expectations can be a great thing for you, your writing, and your career.

Great Expectations encourages inspiration, learning, improvement, discipline, experience, and publishing. 


A writing competition with different categories can encourage you to polish that story you've always wanted to write. Great Expectations offers you a chance to enter the first twenty-five pages of your manuscript in the following romance categories:

• Contemporary Series
• Erotic Romance
• Historical
• Inspirational Contemporary
• Mainstream with Romantic Elements
• Romantic Suspense
• Single Title
• Specialized (Futuristic/Fantasy/Time Travel/Paranormal)
• Young Adult


Every entry will be evaluated by at least five first round judges and scored. Feedback is often provided by those judges. Finalists will then be reviewed by professional editors from a variety of publishing houses. Previous entrants to Great Expectations have found the feedback invaluable to improving their manuscripts.


Writers who apply what they learn from the feedback have the chance to polish their manuscripts for future competitions and submissions. Imagine the chance to know what in your first twenty-five pages really resonated with the judges and where they had questions. Too often, writers don't have access to this kind of information. You have a chance to improve the quality of your writing, your submissions, and your story just by entering.


Like all competitions, Great Expectations has some hard and fast deadlines. From early bird entries to the very last day you can enter. To take advantage of the other benefits, you have to meet those deadlines. Discipline helps writers become more focused not only on their story, but also their method.


Experience is the best teacher. Whether you are a first time pre-published author, a veteran of writing competitions, or an author looking to experience a new genre, Great Expectations can help you achieve experience in that area with valuable feedback, contacts, and learning.


Many finalists in the Great Expectations contest (and even some who didn't final) used the experience, the learning, and the feedback to turn their entries into polished full submissions and publication. Final judges may request full manuscripts during the judging process as well, so just by entering you have the chance to make it to the short-list of authors an editor wants to see more from.

The only question you should have left is, why aren't you entering Great Expectations?

Enter today.

Friday, November 16, 2012

We Have a Lot to Talk About - Commentary on TVD Ep 406

Sometimes this show's easy to recap - here's a list of what I liked...here are some things I didn't...wow, wasn't this scene great!  This week's episode wasn't so easy - not because I didn't like it - by all means, I thought it was an amazingly strong episode.  But, a lot of what I liked about it came from other episodes.

So, this week, I'll be going with more of a "fireside chat" first today, and later I'll come back with a more thorough review.   Hope you don't mind.  Buckle your seatbelts, because we have a lot to talk about.

First up, while the fast pace of the show lends itself to exhaustion (and multiple rewatches to understand exactly what all happened in a single episode, I think that the sheer volume of things we learn each week can sometimes hinder us from seeing the big picture.  This week, I'm focusing on stringing some threads together that started....well, back in season 3.

Let's talk about Stefan and Elena's break-up.  First off, I'm still annoyed that Stefan got to come across as a saint for tolerating the changes in Elena until it just proved to be too much for him.  But, in the long run, it's likely better that the blame falls on him or Elena would alienate a large portion of the fandom.  Still...I think Elena had a lot of reasons why Stefan was no longer right for her - not just the fact that Damon suddenly makes her heart go pitter patter.

Who did she call?  When Elena was at one of her low points (because there really were a lot of them in this episode), she called Damon for help.  He's always been there to help her with Jeremy - we've seen his interaction with Elena's little brother all the way back in season one when she needed to make Jeremy forget about Vicki.

This time was different, though.

She chose him over Stefan.  She didn't want Stefan to be there - at all.  She wanted Damon there at the house when the hallucinations forced her to do something she'd NEVER do.  Just the day before, Jeremy had told her that he knew she'd never hurt him, and now he was lying dead on the floor.  And Elena called Damon.

I thought he'd understand.  In episode 401, Elena tried to confide something in Stefan - the animal blood made her sick - and he blew her off.  I was totally appalled at how little attention has been paid to that moment, until I realized that was the final time she'd confided in him.  From that point on, whenever she needed help, she's gone to Damon.
- She confessed her problems keeping animal blood down to him.
- When she was sick in the basement of the church, she called Damon for help.
- After she'd killed her brother, she called Damon.


She doesn't trust Stefan any longer.  Stefan even commented it on their porch discussion, and it wasn't just that Damon was able to get through to Elena when she was at her most confused....when Jeremy, Matt, and April were being held hostage in the Grill, Stefan told Elena that she just had to trust him.  He couldn't explain what was happening, but he'd never asked her to do anything that was more important than trusting him right then and there.

And she didn't.

I killed him because you told me to.  For Stefan, I think the nail was in the coffin when Elena stood next to Connor's body and said that she'd killed Connor because Damon told her to.  She wasn't blaming Damon for her actions - she admitted to Connor that she killed him because she was angry that he'd staked her.  Her words showed just how deeply she trusted Damon - and didn't trust Stefan.  After Stefan had begged her...pleaded with her to just trust him...she couldn't.  Something had changed along the way, and as the three of them stood over Connor's body, their relationships would never be the same.

So we're back on the Gilbert porch...the place of so many spectacular relationship scenes for this show. It was on this porch that Damon had his first hero moment.  Stefan and Elena broke up.  Damon and Elena kissed for the first time.  It was also where we learned that Elena could be like Katherine.  And Elena lost all the sense of self she'd developed over season three as she begged with Stefan to show that he cared for her again.

Stefan needs to talk.  Elena's feelings for Damon are becoming stronger - she's trusting Damon instead of Stefan.  Damon is connecting with her in a way that Stefan can't.  When she was possessed by Connor's spirit, she could still see Damon, but with Stefan...she only saw her tormentor.  I think Stefan's lying to himself a little bit here.  His issue isn't simply that he can't overlook Elena's love for Damon any longer - it's that he no longer loves her enough to do it.  Damon's question cut deep last week - did Stefan want the cure for Elena, or did he want the cure because Stefan couldn't love Elena as a vampire?  "Katherine" asked Elena the same question while they were locked in Klaus' room.
Stefan loved human Elena enough to overlook her love for Damon.  He doesn't feel the same way about vampire Elena....and that's okay.  Elena's been changing too.

Elena's feelings for Damon have been magnified since she turned.  Why not her feelings for Stefan?  Honestly, I don't think they've been the same since he left with Klaus.  They reunited and seemed happy (even though we haven't seen them between the sheets), but they never really dealt with the issues that came from Stefan's "I'm a jerk" phase or the time he tried to drive her off Wickery Bridge.  She stayed at his side because that's what she was supposed to do....she chose him that night because it's what her friends expected her to do...but I think somewhere deep down, she knows she hasn't really loved him for a very long time.  She just hasn't been able to admit it.  She's wanted to, but something in their relationship broke - and Damon had already snuck up on her to fill the void left by Stefan.

So where do we go from here?  I don't think Damon and Elena have an easy road ahead of them.  Elena's already rejected him a number of times.  Damon's still trying to mend fences between Stefan and Elena.  I hope that Damon and Elena are able to take the risk and give themselves a chance....I guess only time will tell, though.

Hope you enjoyed it!  I'd love some comments.  I'd like to discuss how you perceive their break-up.

I'll be back with an actual review of 406 - probably sometime Saturday.  Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tag! You're it!

I've been tagged by Molly Kate Gray.  You can read about her WIP here.

I'm excited to be part of the game.  I'd love the chance to share a little about my current work in progress.

What is the title of your book?
The working title is currently Playing by the Rules.

Where did the idea for the book come from?
The first chapter opens as Ava is traveling on an airplane to go stay with her aunt for an uncertain amount of time.  Her flight is more than a little bumpy.  I started writing this story on a flight that could probably have set a record for "most turbulent flight" as a way of distracting myself.

What genre does your book fall under?
Playing by the Rules is a young adult romance (with a hint of paranormal).

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Dream casting is so much fun.  I think I'd go with Emma Stone to play Ava.  I'm a bit undecided on Tanner.  A young version of Alex Pettyfer would work, but I'm not finding exactly the right person for him.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Moving from San Diego to a tiny east Texas town would be difficult enough, but Ava Thatcher also has a secret...one that Tanner accidentally finds out.

Will your book be self-published or agented?
At present, I'm not agented.  However, I will be seeking representation for this story.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
This story has earned its "work in progress" title.  I'm about 2/3 finished with it right now, and I started writing it in August.

What other books within your genre would you compare your WIP to?
I think you could easily say my books fall in line with The Bodyfinder series (by Kimberly Derting) or the Wake, Fade, and Gone trilogy by Lisa McMann.

Who or what inspired this book?
A bumpy plane ride, my fondness for all things paranormal, and a visit to California all played an equal role in this story's birth.

What else about your book might pique the readers interest?
I think the dynamic between Scarlett (Ava's cousin) and Ava is really a fun element to the story.  I'm trying to keep this as a "light" paranormal, so even those who don't typically enjoy the books with black covers should enjoy this one.

Thanks for letting me play.  Now you can go visit Emm Cole's page.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNoWriMo Plans

So, like so many other writers or hopeful-writers, I'm making my yearly attempt at NaNoWriMo this year.  That word is enough to throw fear into the heart of my computer...and make me wonder what odd illness will strike one of my children this time - because I haven't had a NaNo yet without some drama on the health-front.
This isn’t my first attempt.  I’ve even “won” more than once.  I'm mixing it up a little, and even adding to the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month.  I'm working on two distinct stories.  While I’m hoping to complete my first draft of my YA novel I started back in August, I’m also beginning a new project from scratch (which, to be honest, is the basic intent of NaNo).
Some Nights (the contemporary romance) explores Ella Miller’s arrival in a town she visited while growing up.  When she inherits her aunt’s house, she discovers that fresh starts aren’t easy to come by, and she has more baggage than just her cat in tow.  Thankfully, there’s a helpful handyman named Jake McPherson who’s looking for a fresh start of his own – he just doesn’t know it yet.
For the first time, I’m bringing in some of my experiences as a first grade teacher into a novel.  I’m staying in my comfort zone of writing about a fictionalized version of a small Texas town that I love.
So far, the outline of the story has:
- 1 pretty sexy first grade teacher
- 4 blue eyed brothers
- 1 deadbeat cousin
- 1 jealous ex-fiance
- an assemblage of townspeople who are pretty much like people I’ve met in the towns I’ve lived in…but I might have taken a few liberties to make them a little more fun
- 2 cats

My YA story is still a little harder to describe.  Also a romance, but with a paranormal twist, Ava Thatcher has to leave her home in San Diego and go live with her aunt in a small east Texas town two days before her senior year begins.  This story contains:
- a jealous cousin
- a landlocked lifeguard
- a teen heartthrob who's already dated all the girls in the senior class
- a secret that Ava isn't allowed to tell

So, are you up to the challenge of participating in NaNo?  Tell me a little about your story.  We can do this!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ten Things about TVD: The Five

Ok.  So....welcome to what will likely be the last TVD recap/reaction post you'll see on this site.  I have to say that I'm really disappointed.  I've always felt I was more of a show fan, and "shipping" was just a fun side activity.

But then we had tonight's episode.

1 - If my book's cover copy was as misleading as the promotion for this week's episode, I doubt any of my readers would ever trust me enough to buy a book again.  Over and over, we heard teases of how "steamy" and "fun" the scene between Damon and Elena would be.  The promo talked about Damon teaching Elena...and he did.  But then judgement from Bonnie and the lingering comments from Stefan took their toll and what we watched was simply a plot line that could have been recycled from any number of earlier episodes.

2 - Once again, we see Stefan being put in a situation where he's mirroring a scene that was very popular when Damon did a similar activity.  Stefan's trying to show Elena how to survive an attack from a hunter.  (Hmmm....hints of finding a way to a vampire's heart anyone?  Damon did it better.)  Even after Elena explains (thank you, writers) that she literally can't consume blood that isn't fresh - Stefan's still making sure she feels as badly about feeding from people as possible - giving her an epic guilt trip while the pair fails at appearing sexy and romantic.

3.  Sorry Elena, continuing in the pattern of "wrong assumptions about your fellow vampires," Elena comments that Caroline can't teach her how to feed because she's "too controlled."  Caroline hasn't established control either.  She feeds from blood bags.  We have no way of knowing if she could control herself feeding from people or not.

4.  Did I mention Stefan giving Elena grief over feeding from people....when it's the only way she can eat?  That's like telling a baby to feel bad about needing milk from a bottle.

5.  I'm going on record here.  I didn't like the vast majority of the Damon/Elena interaction during the dance.  BUT - I loved Elena going after "roofie dude."  She might have felt badly about feeding on a co-ed with a little sister, but surely there are enough jerks in the world that she'd be happily fed for quite a while.

6.  I didn't like the dance scene.  Elena and Damon were too out of it.  Yes, we were supposed to be seeing that Elena was having fun, but having THAT much fun was going to push her right over the edge, especially when they have Bonnie in tow to provide judgement at a moment's notice.

7.  Have I mentioned that Stefan made Elena feel guilty about the only way she eat?

8.  Bonnie.  She was in the episode.  That's enough for me.  Y'all know how I feel about Bonnie.  She was at her ultimate-most-judgy here.

9.  Exactly how many times are we going to watch Rebekah get staked?  Yes, I saw the tears in both Stefan's and Klaus' eyes.  But the writers have gone to this plot line one too many times.  I didn't feel anything when Rebekah dropped into Klaus' arms.

10.  Damon was right.  The only way Elena's going to survive being a vampire is by not letting the guilt get to her.  For that, she needs to embrace the fact that she's not just like Damon - she's like Katherine.  She has the Petrova fire.  Now she's a vampire.  If she allows the guilt to weigh on her each time she feeds, then she'll turn into Stefan - a mindless Ripper who doesn't care who or what she kills.  She was happy at that party (arguably, maybe a little too happy).  She was proud of being able to feed on someone, leave them standing, and compel him to leave without remembering what happened.  All of that self-assurance disappeared in an instant with one look in Bonnie's direction.

And one more thing.....

I called this whole "let's turn Elena human again" thing.  I said it way back in the middle of season three.  While I love spunky-vampire Elena, the Elena we met at the end of tonight's episode was no better than the lackluster human Elena we've seen in countless other episodes.

Stefan's at his best when he's not with Elena (he actually was kind of amusing with Rebekah and Klaus).

Elena's at her best when Stefan's at least a half-hour's drive away - the next state is probably better.

But sadly, I don't know if we're going to ever see these two at their best.  The show just seems to be recycling old storylines, giving them just enough of a twist that they can call them "new" while trying to find ways for Stefan to overshadow Damon.

It's getting boring and tired - and that's really sad for me since this season got off to such a great start, at least where episode 402 was concerned.

On a 1 to 10 scale - this one probably deserves to be ranked in the negatives.  I'll settle with giving it a 1.

I'd love to see a few comments on this post.  I'd happily chat with y'all.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ten Things about TVD - The Rager

This recap will probably be one of the shortest on record.  I just don't have too much to say about this episode.  Some parts were good...some parts were laughably bad (I'm looking at you - motorcycle scene)...and some parts just felt like a bridge to get to later episodes in the season.  I'm a writer.  I know that sometimes "filler" happens, and this seemed like an episode that was simply meant to introduce us to the various plots that will be winding through the rest of season four.

So.....let's chat.

Two Brothers - Two Kitchens - Same Topic

"It'll feel really good for about ten seconds and then after that tens and thousands of vampires all over the world will start to die.  Every vampire she ever turned will die.  See rage is a really powerful feeling.  But guilt...take it from me....it'll destroy you." - Stefan

"What have I done?" - Elena
"Nothing you should be ashamed of.  You are a vampire now.  You just have to learn the right way to be one."

Last week we had two scenes involving feeding, a tree, and Elena vomiting blood.  This week we have Elena out of control in a kitchen.  Both brothers talked her down off the proverbial wall, but I was really intrigued by their choice of words.

I've been surprised at how much this season has seemed to focus on highlighting the difference between the brothers.  While we know they disagree on diet, these two scenes also brings the contrast in the way they've accepted their very nature into sharper focus.

Now I know the severity of the issue Elena was facing was different in the two discussions.  Had Elena staked Rebekah, countless vampires around the world would have dropped dead.  But if Elena had killed Matt, I don't think she ever would have recovered from it.  She would have killed the very person she gave her life to protect.  While that didn't happen...I keep coming back to how each brother's choice of wording displays how he has accepted his nature.

Stefan equates being a vampire with guilt.  He's come back to that phrase over and over this season.  She needs to learn the bunny diet to free her from the guilt of if she hurts someone.  She would never get over the guilt of killing someone.  He's trying to protect her from the guilt that would result in her turning off her emotions.

Contrast that with Damon's reaction to arriving in the Gilbert kitchen just in time to keep Elena from killing Matt (more on that later...).  He instantly reassures her that she's done nothing to be ashamed of.  She's a vampire.  She has to accept the fact that she's a predator now, and that means she needs guidance.  Guidance Damon can provide but Stefan can't.

"I'm good at it because of you." - Caroline

Most of y'all who chat with me on Twitter know that Caroline has begun to annoy me over the past couple of seasons.  Her transition was too easy (yes, I remember she killed someone), but she learned control way too easily...unless it really isn't that hard to learn control and Stefan's the aberration.

Now more than being "super baby vamp," her insistence that Stefan is all things good and perfect has begun to grate on me.  Because he's not.

-Stefan is the ripper.
-He's the guy who fed Elena his blood and threatened to drive her off Wickery Bridge to get revenge on Klaus.
-He's the one who drove his girlfriend to tears for lying to him about her difficulty with animal blood, even though she DID try to tell him and he just didn't want to hear it.

Stefan is NOT perfect, and Caroline can stop trying to pretend that he is.

Sorry.  Breathing in...breathing out...I feel better now, but I had to say it.

Stefan's attempts to have Caroline follow in the way of animal-diet-dom didn't work.  The ONLY reason that Caroline's had an easy transition is because she's a neurotic control freak who can consume blood bags.  Elena doesn't have that option.  Elena needs to consume human blood, fresh from the vein, and she has to learn control.

Stefan can't teach her how to control herself while feeding from a human because he never mastered that skill himself.

Baby Vamp Probably Needs a Babysitter

When we last checked in with Elena, she was adamantly against feeding on people because she couldn't face the prospect of killing anyone; but the need grew too great in the church and she had to give in.

And now we open the episode with Matt and Elena meeting up for a little "behind the school feeding?"  Unless Elena's trying to hide the fact that she's still feeding on people (namely Matt), I don't understand why she doesn't have some type of vampire babysitter.

Oh wait -

Stefan doesn't have the necessary control.  We have no reason to believe that Caroline or Tyler have developed that level of control either since they both have adopted the blood bag diet.  So, who does that leave them with?

Stefan's insistence that Damon stay away from Elena almost proved to have fatal results.  If Elena has to feed on living humans (and I'm assuming they've tried other sources), no one should have trusted her ability to control herself, especially when Stefan was very aware of her heightened rage throughout the day.

The Whole Fresh Blood Situation

Sorry this commentary is so disjointed.  That's kind of how I felt about the episode.  I don't understand where Elena stands on the need for human blood.  I'd originally assumed that she'd be able to go back on the bagged stuff at least after she'd had a proper feeding from Matt.  (That's what we've seen with Caroline and Tyler.)  But it seems that Elena still can't tolerate other sources - or there would be no need for Damon to teach her control.

But why can't Elena tolerate other sources?  Katherine can.  We've seen her go to the Salvatore supply of blood bags.  She shared a drink of something with Isobel.  Is her digestive system just less picky because she's older?

I'm really concerned that we're going to discover it's some type of balance of nature thing.  The witches are good at making their witchcraft complicated  - to break the binding spell, they needed a doppleganger, a werewolf, moonstone, and a vampire.  I imagine there's some type of safety protocol in place that means that the doppleganger line can't end.  Katherine had a child before she turned.  I imagine there's a high likelihood that we're going to discover that Tatia also had a child - hence the creation of the whole doppleganger bloodline.  Elena hasn't.  The Petrova line ended when Rebekah caused Matt to drive them over that bridge.

I think Damon was likely right when he said something about Elena's doppleganger blood was causing her to resist the transition.  As much as I like vampire Elena, and I know that I've said it before, but I think we'll see Elena at least having the choice to become human again...and that's why Klaus saved her when she had the werewolf "venom" in her system.  That whole scenario was to lay the groundwork to show that now that this mysterious member of The Five has arrived, Elena's doppleganger-ness is valuable again.  Whether it'll prove to be a bargaining chip or if these ultimate hunters have the ability to reverse the transition into a vampire still remains to be seen.

So, all in all, this wasn't a favorite episode of mine.  It also won't go down on my list of least-favorite episodes.  It'll soon be forgotten in the list of middle-ground episodes that are easily forgotten.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ten Things about TVD - "Memorial"

Ok, first things first...I'd originally planned on revamping ye olde recaps in a "five things I liked and five things I didn't" style, but that just won't work for this episode - mainly because I liked more than five things and only have a couple of things I didn't care for.  So, I'm going with "approximately 10 things that I wanted to talk about" as my new recap style.

Second things....I'm on a tight deadline.  I have final edits for a book due on Monday.  My time is in short supply.  While I'd love to expound almost indefinitely on the wonderfulness that made up "Memorial," that's just not happening.  Maybe I'll be able to come back and chat more about it later - that'd be cool because this episode happens to contain my new favorite scene (and no, it didn't happen in a bathroom).  For those of y'all who've known me for a while, you're aware of my love for the hospital scene at the end of The Reckoning.  Yep, this week's favorite scene blew that one out of the water.

Without further needless exposition - let's get moving.  We'll start off with what I didn't like.

Am I suddenly watching Twilight?  Was anyone else bothered by how "shiny" Elena and Stefan were as they were hunting bunnies in the woods?  Just me and my husband?  Ok.... I know they filmed this in July - in Georgia - but, wow, Elena and Stefan were kind of glisten-y here.  

Watching the tears stream down Elena's cheeks after she fed on the deer was just heart-wrenching.  You could see how this was killing her, even if she didn't actually kill the deer.  Less than appealing taste aside - in a lot of ways, Elena feeding from blood bags would have to be a less emotional introduction to vampire life.  For the second time, she's crying as she feeds.  This section of the scene practically killed me.

And then we moved into the bad porn zone.  Really, I mean, I write romance for a living.  (Hmmm...don't often talk about that on this blog - I normally keep it YA around here, but it's true.)  I don't know if it was something about the delivery....or the almost pervy old man hitting on a teenager quality to Stefan's voice here....but I literally had to cover my head with a pillow during this scene.  When he asked her to describe just what she was feeling....well, I was about ready to go find a toilet myself.  Just ew!

And now Elena's vomiting, and not too quietly, I might add.  For all the "super-vampire senses" we see later in the show (especially the amazing sequence of long-distance conversation during the memorial service), I question whether Stefan is really so oblivious as to what's happening here that he decides to...

Pop open some champagne!  We're back at the boardinghouse since, apparently, Jeremy hasn't invited his sister into the house yet.  Elena's trying to sneak in a call to Caroline about her "adjustment issues" but Caroline doesn't pick up.  Elena pockets her phone as Stefan appears in the room with champagne glasses and a bottle from her birth year.  Apparently, they're going to celebrate her first feed.  Not only is he stomping all over her emotions - seriously, dude, did you not see the fact she was crying as she fed, but when she summoned the courage to look him in the eye and tell him that the animal blood made her sick, he totally blows it off.  He's so intent on celebrating that he doesn't hear the fact that she's trying to tell him that things aren't ok.  More on this later.

Loading paper lanterns in a truck - just a typical day in Mystic Falls.  Jeremy and Matt are getting in some community service hours, guess when you miss as much school as these guys do, you can always use some extra credit.  In the course of the conversation, Jeremy's comments imply that he hasn't actually spoken with Elena since she became a vampire.  Even if she's trying to protect him, he comes across as less than sympathetic to his sister's plight.  Little Bro needs to take some lessons from Uncle John - human or vampire, we're still talking about the girl raised as his sister.

Spending some quality time with the abusive boyfriend.  I've never hoped so desperately that Damon wasn't at the boardinghouse than during this scene.  In a recent interview, Ian joked about Damon having to listen as Stefan and Elena are "getting it on" somewhere in the boardinghouse, but I think this scene would have been even more painful for him to overhear.  I've never been so troubled by a scene on TVD as I was watching this one.  I've had more than one discussion with a circle of friends as to how closely Stefan's behavior mirrors abuse, and this scene shows that side of him once again.

Not only does he turn Elena's difficulty feeding into something about him, he accuses her of not telling him she was having trouble - which is an outright lie.  She did tell him.  Earlier that day, she looked him in the eye and said the blood made her sick.  He wasn't listening, and that's not her fault.  Does he not remember that he's talking to Elena?  If you look up selfless martyr in the dictionary, her picture would be there.  Of course she's going to try to keep him from seeing her pain since he was so obviously happy about her first "successful" feed.  Elena's never wanted to cause Stefan pain or guilt - that's her basic MO.

As he continues to berate her, he brings up the fact that he's mad that she went to Damon....and why wouldn't she?  When he was off tearing up people up and down the East coast, who was at Elena's side helping hold her together?  When Stefan was compelled by Klaus to turn into the world's biggest jerk of a former-boyfriend, Damon was the one who taught Elena how to fight back.  Damon and Elena have bonded as a result of Stefan's behavior - and there's nothing that Stefan can do about it.

Elena was frightened and starving.  She needed someone who would listen to her and help - not break out the bubbly.  Watching her beg and plead for Stefan's forgiveness was troubling on a variety of levels.

Let's light 'em up.  After one of the most infuriating scenes I've ever witnessed on TVD, Stefan decides to play the nice guy again by inviting a group of friends to an intimate memorial service since, I guess, the townsfolk decided not to use the lanterns after someone tried to kill the mayor's son at the church.  While I like the spirit behind this scene - and the fact that we were able to reflect back on the losses the characters have faced....we had a few glaring omissions in the "these people died" listings.  Now, I know that listing everyone who's died in Mystic Falls would take up an episode all on its own, but no one mentioned Isobel or Uncle John (although, the case could be made that they were who Elena meant by "my parents"), and Caroline actually died as well.  Most striking to me, though, was the fact that Stefan led with Lexie - never mentioning Elena - and neither did Jeremy.  Elena had to light her candle for herself, which, I guess was kind of symbolic as she gave up her human self.....but still.

Now that the uncomfortable stuff's out of the way, let's talk about what I liked about the episode.  Thankfully, this good stuff far outweighed the bad - in my opinion at least.

That seat's taken.  Whether he's voicing it or not, Damon's having trouble dealing with the loss of Alaric.  Keeping the seat at the bar vacant speaks volumes for his current state of mind.

But he doesn't get to drink in peace for long.  Sheriff Forbes comes by to ask if he knows anything about the explosion that killed the council members.  The fact that she takes him at his word says something for their relationship.  Damon might kill people, but he'll also own up to doing it.

Before he has time to finish his drink, someone else appears - also wanting to know if Damon had anything to do with the explosion, but I strongly suspect her line of questioning was just an excuse to talk with Damon.  Elena's having trouble with the bunny diet.  Damon somewhat jokingly asks her to pick out a "flavor" from among the other patrons at the grill.

Now, a lot has been said about this next scene.  I've heard comments that Elena cheated on Stefan...Damon took advantage of Elena....and the like.  For all the "Stefan respects Elena's choices" chatter that's gone on since the S3 finale, I'd like to take a moment to really point out one of the facts that often goes unmentioned about this scene.

Damon respected Elena's choice not to feed on a living, breathing person.

Had he chosen to go the "Stefan route" of feeding an unwilling party, I'm certain that Elena would not have been able to resist it if Damon had grabbed a random dude and dragged him into the bathroom with them for a vampire-style-threesome.  But he didn't.

Yes, vampire-on-vampire feeding is personal.  But the fact is...Damon's working with what he has on hand - literally.  Elena doesn't want to feed on human blood, and she obviously doesn't want Stefan to know about her problem or she wouldn't be there talking with him.  So he does what he does best, tackles the situation head-on, even if there's some clean-up involved later.

What follows is arguably one of the hottest scenes I've seen on this show.  Damon's face as Elena feeds from him shows just how intensely personal this type of blood exchange is.  (And, yes, I'm a book junkie...I know exactly what this means from a book POV.)  Judging from the amount of Damon's blood that Elena later revisits, they were in the bathroom for more than just a quickie.

And there was so much blood.  Elena learns that vampire blood won't stay down at a very inopportune time.  (Major props to Nina Dobrev for this scene.  That was some VERY realistic vomiting.  If I had trouble keeping my dinner down watching it, I can't imagine how unappetizing it must have been to film.  Standing ovation here.)

After she pretty much coats every bathroom surface in Damon's blood, she's trapped.  Not only is the tiny room crimson, she has blood all over her dress.  So, who does she call when she's desperate?

Damon.  He arrives, fresh dress in hand, just in the nick of time to face off with the newest vampire hunter in town.  Y'all, and when Elena was on the phone - scared of who was on the other side of the door...he ran.  Damon Salvatore ran when he heard the panic in her voice.

Whoa, this is getting long....I'll try to wrap it up.

Now they have super-vampire hearing.  It's been a bit of a nitpick of mine that the vampire senses tend to get a little overlooked on this show.  Can anyone say Klaus in Chicago?  I'm going to say they were reserving those super-senses to make this scene all the more spectacular.


Has there ever been a cooler demonstration of team work than when the blood begins to drip from the ceiling and attracts all the vampires' attention?  Watching and listening as Damon takes charge of the situation and issues warnings to all the vampires without raising his voice was all kinds of awesome.  Later, he refers to himself as the babysitter.  Based on his actions in this scene, I can see why.

And Tyler....  You know, I really don't like Tyler, and I think that's a carryover from the books.  But I loved watching him respond to what was happening around him too.  I tend to forget that he's also part vampire, so watching him be included in "the team" was really pretty cool.  However, the standout moment in the memorial sequence has to go to -

Matt.  He was so amazing here that he gets a header all of his own.  Last week he'd been warned that he needed to show he was worthy of saving, and during the service he definitely proved it.  After searching for a way to help Elena, or at least show his gratitude, he stepped in when she was most desperate.

In a moment that was a nice nod to the books, Matt offers to let Elena feed from him so she won't expose herself - or the others to the vampire hunter.  Between her hair and his jacket, no one will realize he's not a former boyfriend trying to comfort the girl he grew up with.  In a rare act of heroism for a character typically relegated to "set dressing" territory, he stepped in and provided Elena with something she desperately needed.

(And please excuse my short trip into "book junkie" land.  I know that there's been question about why Elena would be rejecting all blood short of human blood - straight from the vein when we've seen Katherine...also a doppleganger...drink from a bottle and pull out a "Capri-sun."  In my own little TVD world, it's to give a further nod to the books.  When Elena is initially transitioning, she didn't consume enough of either brothers' blood to fully make the change.  And honestly, back in TV-world, did it seem like Elena really consumed much deputy blood?  Damon realizes Elena's weak, possibly dying, unless she gets enough HUMAN blood to make her strong enough to complete the change.  So, Stefan and Damon take her to Matt - someone they know would be willing to do anything to keep her alive.  I like to think that this has been Elena's problem.  She drank enough to keep her alive - but not really enough to allow her to fully transition.  Now, my theory may be totally blown out of the water by next week's episode, but it lets the blood consumption issue make more sense to me.)

I miss you too, Buddy.  This scene is almost too painful to revisit.  Damon is lonely.  He's lost both his best friend as well as the girl he loves, although he'll never turn his back on her if she needs him.  The lone "adult" left to supervise a group of "children," he confesses to Alaric that he should just leave.  But he can't.  While I don't think he'd ever doubt Stefan's love for Elena (even when it's twisted and cruel), Damon also doesn't trust Stefan to make the best decisions as he's trying to help Elena through this transition.  So he's stuck - without anyone who really understands him, and watching him voice his grief to Alaric's gravestone is painful, made even more so when the camera angle widens and we see Alaric sitting alongside him.  While I've seen people say they wish Jeremy had been there to tell Damon that Alaric hadn't left him - this moment was too personal for anyone else to witness.  I'm glad it was kept just between Alaric and Damon.

What is it with trees?  In somewhat of a mirror of the opening sequence, the "in front of the church" scene has bumped the hospital scene from The Reckoning as my favorite Damon and Elena scene in the series.  Whether the writers were intentional or not - this scene shows how differently the two brothers interact with Elena.

Each scene involves a Salvatore, an attempt at feeding Elena, and vomit.

Stefan attempted to keep Elena on the straight and narrow bunny diet, and he just stood there in shock as she ran away and got sick.  Honestly, they were in the heat of a "passionate" moment, what exactly did he think she was doing when she sped away?  I don't know how she explained her need to run - but the fact that Stefan didn't know she'd gotten sick shows just how willing he is to blindly pretend that everything's ok.

Damon has just come to Elena's rescue.  It's easy to see how desperate she's gotten.  Once convinced that she had to follow Stefan's guidance, she's obviously talked with Damon about the blood bag - since she practically announces that Damon brought it to the entirety of Mystic Falls.  Unable to deny her hunger any longer, she tears into the "juice box" and swallows - only to have the blood immediately come back up.  Let's take a moment to really appreciate Damon's actions here.  http://dkburrow.tumblr.com/post/33984383101/maybe-im-better-off-dead

When Elena can't even hold the bagged blood down, there is an instant of real fear on his face.  I don't think Damon realized just how bad things had gotten for Elena.  She's starving - not because she's trying to keep an unnatural diet - but because she literally can't eat.  He instantly pulls it together, though.  As he wipes the bloody vomit off her chin with his bare hands (and really, y'all, I'm a mom, and I've never done that for my own kids), he reassures her that she's going to be fine.  She looks back at him with the most vulnerability that I've ever seen on Elena's face and says that maybe it would be better off if she were dead.  As he clings onto her, he's practically hypnotizing her with the intensity of his next statement.  No, it would not be better if she died, and he doesn't want her to even think about dying.  He gently pushes her hair behind her ear, and his unwavering love for her is seeping from every one of his pores.  He is focused on calming her down - reassuring her that she will be alright.  Yes, she's having trouble transitioning. Why?  He can only guess at the reasons, but he's intent that she will not die...not if he has anything to do with it.  Damon speculates that she'll be alright if she drinks from a vein, but she hesitates again, and he doesn't force the issue.  Elena's state of mind is in a precarious place right now, and he's not going to do anything to upset her further.

The church bells chime as Damon and Elena's eyes are locked on each other.  I'm not sure what would have happened without their intrusion, but I'm pretty sure Stefan wouldn't have been happy to see it as he arrived.

One last parting thought.  I have another point to discuss, and that's about control - or lack of control as it relates to Stefan in particular.  I'll have to save it for a later time because I've already spent far too long on this "short" recap.

If you've read it, I'd appreciate a short comment or two.  Since I've taken the time to chat with y'all,  I'd love to hear what y'all have to say.  Thanks!

Friday, October 12, 2012

In Review - Episode 401 - Growing Pains

I'm going to change the format of my recaps for this season.  It's nothing about the show, I just don't have time to go into the detail I have in the past.  So, at least for now, I'm going with five things I liked, five things I didn't, and maybe a bonus comment at the end.


Things I liked:

1.  Damon was so very Damon.  Whether he was getting his snark on, saving the day, or being honest with Elena....Damon wasn't playing the whipped puppy dog we saw back in season 2, but he also wasn't leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.

2.  The pacing of the opening half of the episode.  Wow, that was intense.  Intentional or not, I couldn't help but make a parallel to the "Vampire Roundup" back when they captured the tomb vamps. These guys meant business.  They swept through the town collecting all the vamps without a second's hesitation.  I'm still not entirely clear how Damon got away, but I'm glad he did.  I'd hate for him to have had to experience point #1 of what I didn't like.

3.  Jeremy and Elena's conversation.  We've often seen Elena as the caretaker, but I enjoyed this moment between (kind of) siblings.  (Small quibble - I do question whether Jeremy could remember Vicki's transformation though.  Damon had compelled those out of him.)  In any case, he knows that Elena can't be doing as well as she's pretending.  She doesn't want to worry anyone, so she's faking being ok - and he knows it.

4.  Damon was right - and Stefan knew it.  In the opening sequence, we hear Stefan voicing his regret that he saved Matt, fully aware that Damon would have saved Elena.  Later in the episode, Stefan is once again regretting not doing as Damon would have done.  Had Elena fed early in the day, he wouldn't have come so close to losing her.

5.  Elena's transformation.  I have to hand it to Nina.  All the scenes where Elena was on the brink of losing control, especially those in the cabin with Pastor Young, were simply amazing to watch.

Things I wasn't so fond of.

1.  Elena's confession to Stefan.  In the season 3 finale, Elena was very clear that she wasn't simply trying to return home to Stefan, but now she says that's not the case.  She chose him, and that's why Matt was bringing her back to Mystic Falls.

2.  Too many overly emotional scenes between Stefan and Elena.  Yes, I knew they had to happen. Yes, I was expecting it.  But they took away from the pacing of the show.  In an episode where I didn't even mind watching Bonnie (I know, you're shocked), I think these scenes could have been shortened and it wouldn't have lessened the overall message that Elena's firmly on team Stefan.

3.  Grams had to pay the price.  When Abby overstepped her boundaries with witchcraft, the sisters took her magic.  I know it would be difficult for the show for Bonnie to lose her powers, but bringing Grams in just to be punished felt like taking the easy way out.

4.  Did someone forget to lock Elena's cage?  All through the episode, it was established that....darn, those cages were strong - not even Rebekah could get out.  Then, when Matt's life was on the line, Elena was suddenly able to escape and vamp out on Damon?  This isn't Twilight.  Baby vamps have never had super strength.

5.  Damon and Elena's conversation about the compulsion.  Because of the timing of the conversation, I know both of them had their snark levels set to high, but I just wasn't pleased with how this was presented.  Elena had been touched when she remembered the moment - you could see her fighting the urge to say something to Damon when he said that Stefan deserved her.  As it stood, none of that came through when Elena let Damon know she remembered.

And...what on earth?  I know it was visually striking, but really?  Rounding up everyone who knew about the vampires and blowing them all up was just too easy of an out.  Now everything's back to normal in Mystic Falls since the council members involved in the plan are all dead.  It was just too easy of an out.  Rather than having to navigate a Mystic Falls where people were very much against vampires, now they're all just dead.

Overall....  I didn't hate the episode.  It was a necessary evil.  We needed to see Elena transition - and locked in a cage in a barn was as good a place as any.   I enjoyed the vamp-roundup.  It provided much-needed tension when Elena's transition was really never in doubt.  But since they killed off all the anti-vamp council members, it seemed a little pointless.

I wasn't fond of how quickly and easily Elena had adjusted to her fate.  When she was on the roof with Stefan, everything was sunshine and rainbows...and this was from a young woman who desperately didn't want to be a vampire.  I'm hoping Jeremy's words about Elena's tendency to pretend things are alright is going to come into play here, and we'll discover she's putting on an act for Stefan's benefit.

The episode also set up a plot that I was hoping to see.  Damon and Klaus both have a common goal - turning Elena human again.  Damon was dead-set that she'd never have to face life as a vampire.  Klaus needs Elena's blood again.  Before the series ends, I believe Elena will have to choose whether or not she wants to stay a vampire.

On a one to ten scale - I give this a 7.  Nina outdid herself with Elena's emotional conflict.  It was nice to see a hint of S1 Damon without all the unnecessary bloodshed.  But the lengthy sentimental scenes between Stefan and Elena took away from other areas of the plot.

One last thing - I've thought quite a bit about the scene where Elena finally gets a taste of blood on her lips.  The visual of the tear running down her cheek as she tastes the blood was simply haunting.  It took me a while (two days) to figure out how we got from the girl who so violently didn't want to be a vampire...the one who was so willing to die to save her friends....to the one who chose to turn.

And then I realized the answer.


She admitted almost as much during their rooftop scene.  She wanted Stefan to have hope.  She didn't want him to feel guilty about her death - and he most certainly would have.  So, once again, showing that she's the antithesis of Katherine, she allowed herself to turn into the being didn't want to be in order to prevent Stefan from feeling guilty about her death.  Elena, martyr to the end, once again gave up her life to preserve that of some else.