Author Crissy Calhoun’s latest installment in her Love You To Death: The Unofficial Companion to The Vampire Diaries is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, October 1, 2013. This time the author is joined by fellow author Heather Vee (A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls), co-owner of Vampire-Diaries.Net. Besides authoring these companion books, Calhoun also writes The Vampire Diaries reviews for V-D.net. If you are a fan of those reviews, than this book should feel pretty familiar as it contains many of the elements that make Crissy’s reviews so popular.
This book reviews each episode and offers insight into them by commenting on the themes within the episode and as they affect the season as a whole. Like the others, the season 4 guide picks out compelling moments from each episode, details who’s in the know and the significance of any pop culture references used during the course of the episode. Crissy and Vee also break down the rules of TVD’s supernatural universe, give mini history lessons, discuss continuity with previous episodes and seasons, mention “Foggy” moments that don’t quite make sense, and provide questions they were left with after viewing the episodes.
As the book title suggests, this “Companion” book is just that – a way to enhance the episodes you’ve seen. However, if you are not a regular viewer of the series and think you can get in the know by reading the guide, you’re probably wrong. Crissy and Vee are reviewing the episodes, not recapping them. There’s a difference. While I don’t believe reading the books if you’ve never seen the episodes is a “bad” thing, I do believe you won’t get a complete picture on what The Vampire Diaries universe is really like. My favorite way to read these books is to watch an episode, and then read Crissy and Vee’s reviews afterwards. Though this is they way the authors themselves suggest that you read the books, you can also just pick it up and read after you’ve marathoned the season. In fact, that’s what I did with Season 4. Overall, I say this book is a must-have for any TVD fan, and works as a great reference book. Aside from the reviews, Crissy and Vee also give a timeline for all the episodes and the events that have happened or been mentioned on the series thus far. On a show with a convoluted history like this one, the timeline is invaluable.
Aside from the Timeline, my favorite parts of the book are the questions, the interviews with the show’s cast and crew, and the musical list for each episode. As a fan of the series myself, I’m always theorizing each episode. What I love the most is how Calhoun and Vee come up with very insightful questions and theories in the episode reviews. For instance, “What will Jeremy’s, “Oops, I’m not dead” explanation be? and why did Silas tell Stefan, “It doesn’t matter, does it” after he reveals Bonnie has died. Not only did co-creator Julie Plec provide the foreword for the book, but the book also contains interviews with executive producer Caroline Dries, write Jose Molina (Sleepy Hollow), and more! If you would like to relive season 4, or brush up on what happened before The Vampire Diaries season 5 premiere this Thursday, then be sure to pick up your copy of Love You to Death this Tuesday.