Synopsis of the novel Vampire Diaries - The Struggle
Picking up where The Awakening left off, Elena confronts Damon about Stefan's disappearance. But when Elena stands firm on her rejection of Damon's romantic advances, Damon refuses to help her find Stefan. Elena is miserable and she is willing to do anything to find Stefan at any cost. Elena must turn to her best friends, Bonnie McCullough and Meredith Sulez. Bonnie, who is believed to have psychic powers, uses magic to track down Stefan. The girls discover Stefan trapped in the bottom of a well, close to death. After Stefan's rescue, Elena offers him her blood to recover. Because of the belief that he perpetrated the horrific 'animal' attacks, Stefan still faces hostility in the town.
And as the town's monumental anniversary, 'Founder's Day' approaches, Elena reaches her breaking point. Elena's adversary, Caroline Forbes, has stolen Elena's diary. Elena confesses all her secrets to her diary, and its contents can be read as evidence that Stefan is a violent criminal. Worried about Stefan's mental and physical well-being, Elena enlists the help of her friends to retrieve the diary. Bonnie, Meredith and Elena try to break into Caroline's house to find the diary but there is no success.
In a mad attempt to escape, she discovers Damon lurking in the shadows of the Forbes house. Damon offers to help Elena's cause - if Elena gives him blood in return. Elena refuses. Damon gives her a terrifying ultimatum. She must choose between Damon feeding off of her (Elena), or her baby sister, Margaret. Elena decides to sacrifice herself. Damon and Elena do a blood exchange. Soon after, Elena tells Stefan about the diary. Stefan tells Elena that even if Caroline reveals the contents of Elena's diary to the whole town, because of his love for Elena, Stefan will stay.
On Founder's Day, Elena and her friends try their best to steal Elena's diary, but their attempts are futile. However, when Caroline tries to read the diary, it is discovered that Damon has switched out Elena's diary for Caroline's own. Damon smugly accepts Elena's thanks, but his satisfaction quickly turns to anger when he hears about Elena's engagement to Stefan. Not only does Elena endure dissatisfaction from Damon but she also endures dissatisfaction from her Aunt Judith.
Frustrated by their reactions, Elena storms off. Elena angrily drives to Stefan's residence, but when she finally gets there, Stefan isn't home, and there is something malevolent about the weather. It is vicious and brutal, and it wants Elena dead. She feels there is something lurking in the dark. She jumps into the car and tries to cross running water, as she thinks this will keep her safe. The bridge then breaks and she drives into the water. She then drowns in the car, and becomes a vampire when Damon and Stefan are fighting each other.