Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy > Paranormal
Synopsis: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger… .Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
Would I recommend? Fun read if you’re into vampires and teen drama!
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
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Actual rating: 3.5
I posted a question on my Tumblr blog, asking what book I should read, because despite having 36071 unread books on my bookshelf, I still can never figure out what to read next. Every single person told me to read Vampire Academy; someone even sent me a message saying that it will change my life. I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about this series. I haven’t seen the movie. I didn’t know anything about the plot going into it except that it involved vampires and, uh, an academy. As well as two people named Rose and Dmitri who everybody seems to ship.
I wouldn’t say I was disappointed by the book. I didn’t have very high expectations because I’m not too big on vampire books, or paranormal books in general. It was a light, fun, enjoyable read. If it hadn’t been for my finals that forced me to put down this book for a little over five days in between reading it, I might have even given it a high rating. When I finally did get a chance to read it, I ate it up within a few hours. It was high-paced and action-packed. I even found myself chuckling at some points. I liked it enough to want to continue on with the series (and I have heard that the books get better), but I don’t expect much more than just a fun time.
I thought the world Richelle Mead crafted was very creative. The entire premise with the Moroi (good vampires) and the Strigoi (bad vampires) was super interesting. The relationship between the dhampirs (guardians to the Moroi) and the Moroi themselves was also something I’ve never encountered before in vampire lore, so it was refreshing. Put that into a contemporary academy setting and you get a nice, fun story.
Richelle Mead did a great job with her plot twists. I didn’t see them coming, and there were several different ones scattered throughout the book. They kept me on the edge of my seat and never once was the book dull.
While I wasn’t a huge fan of the teen angst and drama within the book, I did think it was a nicely balanced. The overarching fantasy plot would’ve been a little too much, and to avoid that, Mead diffused it with some drama. I wasn’t a big fan of the subtle slut-shaming that was going on, but what can you do? Also, there were a little too many tears for me to handle. For some reason, I don’t like weepiness in books?
The direction the novel took at the end caught my attention, and I’m looking forward to where the series goes in later books.
While all the characters had very distinct personalities and very distinct voices, I didn’t feel connected to them at all; thus, I wasn’t invested in them. I thought Rose was great; she was feisty and sarcastic. She was confident, carried herself with grace and didn’t take any crap from anyone. But I didn’t relate to her at all. Lissa was a weaker character in comparison- of course, that may be because we got to see her from Rose’s eyes. She was a little too mild for my taste.
I did like the antagonists. I didn’t see them coming, and it was an interesting plot twist, although I’m a little miffed about how Mead dealt with this antagonist. It felt a little anticlimactic.
I think, at the moment, the character that has me most interested is Christian. I found his backstory the most intriguing out of all the other characters, and I hope I’ll get to see more of him in coming books.
I’m not sure what I can say about Mead’s writing style. I definitely think that it has the addictive quality, because it flows fast and very freely. Part of the reason this book was entertaining was because of how simple Mead’s writing style was (not that simplicity is ever a bad thing.) But it didn’t stand out; I wouldn’t be able to distinguish her writing from a bunch of others’ if I had to. She has the tendency to blatantly state things, which sometimes makes me frustrated because I feel like the author is undermining his/her reader’s intelligence. But that might just be me!
Overall, I thought this book should be taken for what it is – entertainment. I enjoyed it, and I’ll be continuing on to the next book, but I’m not totally invested in it.