Title: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: August 16th 2007
Age Group: Young Adult
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.Vampire Academy was one of those books that I kept seeing in bookstores yet had always ignored, until I got a copy for my birthday this past March. It then proceeded to gather dust in my TBR pile; I knew I was going to love it so why rush? I could just wait till right before I go see the movie next year, right? Well, last night, my fingers just itched for it and after eight straight hours of reading (I counted)... WHY THE HELL DID I WAIT THIS LONG?!
Richelle Mead's writing is simple and straight-to-the-point, nothing fancy like Laini Taylor's, but she sure knows how to tell a story. What made this book truly stand out were the characters, particularly our star BFFs, Rose and Lissa. Rose's brand of snarky badass and Lissa's quiet strength and defiance made them attitudinal opposites, but friendship was their middle ground. Another was determination; they both utilized every card they had, though not always in the most honorable manner, but hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
Even if this series hadn't amassed such a huge following, I'd still have checked it out because Richelle Mead's take on the vampire lore is definitely unique: something you could tell by reading the synopsis alone. But another thing I loved about this book was how it perfectly combined paranormal and contemporary. Rip off their fangs and these young vamps and half-vamps would just be normal teenagers who dealt with insecurities, stress, and the demands of society.
Oh, and they dealt with romance too, of course. This book was brimming with pretty boys (oh god I need the movie asap for full visuals) but I'll focus on Rose's and Lissa's loves. At first glance, Dimitri and Christian seemed completely different from each other, but they actually had a lot of things in common. The antisociality and need to protect Lissa—though Dimitri's was out of duty and Christian's was out of love—only slightly differed because of their ages, but how they stood up to Rose's firecracker attitude couldn't be more similar. Plus, they were both total badasses!
Sexy, hilarious, unpredictable, and full of mystery and action, now I know for myself why Vampire Academy is enjoying such popularity. Starting and finishing a book in one sitting is a rarity for me because of my short attention span, but this book was just so addictive that nothing succeeded in distracting me. Now excuse me while I thump myself on the head for not having copies of the next books.
MY FAVORITE PART was Mr. Nagy reading out to the whole class Rose and Lissa's notes to each other =))