Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

Goodreads Summary:
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

My Review:
Why did I wait so long to read this series? Of course I'd heard of the series, I like the author's other series. (Well, at least for the first few books)  I guess the main reason I didn't start reading this series was I didn't want to make a commitment to yet another series. But a few weeks ago, a Feature and Follow question asked something like, "Which character would you most like to see jumping out of your birthday cake?" A lot of the answers were about character(s) in this series. So, I bought the book- and buying an ebook is a major commitment for me, so I started reading it right away. The Verdict? This is one of those cases where when a lot of people like it, there's a reason that they like it- pretty much because it's really good.

Rose... Rose makes me think of this song:
I have this song on the brain because it's part of a playlist I just made for my son who just ended a relationship with a girl...who is now semi-stalking him and harassing him online. Let's call it the "Angry Breakup" Playlist, agree that this means that yet again, I'm not going up for the "Mother of the Year Award".

Back to the book...Is it just me or is the relationship between Rose and Lissa just a little creepy. I get that Rose is Lissa's bodyguard, but Rose just seems overly clingy and jealous. I guess because Lissa had to feed off of her? In any case, it's just one more issue to add to Rose's pile of emotional baggage. Which was already stacked pretty high. But it does make you feel for her and relate to her. I mean, who didn't have some issues in their high school days?

I think one of the best things about this book is the characters. I feel that Mead did a good job with even the secondary characters. Which is a real weakness for a lot of authors. I think she has a real "touch" with creating great bad characters and that she created a variety of them with different reasons and motivations. That some aren't really "bad" or evil- that the characters do things that end up being "bad" because of lack of self-esteem or weakness. In other words, there's a complexity to Mead's characters...and yet she manages to leave enough unsaid- enough mystery- about them that I want to read the next book in the series. At least for me, the most important factor in determining whether I keep reading a series is great characters. Even if there's a cliffhanger, if I don't care about the characters, then I don't really care to keep reading to find out what happens to them next.  So, this is a series I plan to keep reading- I already have the next few books in the series.

Overall  Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Genre Rating: 4 coffins

Richelle Mead's Website
Richelle Mead on Twitter
Vampire Academy's Ning site
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)


  1. Hey! Got your message on my blog. I like you're review style! I'm following along now on GFC also.
    Re: Elizabeth Berg - I've tried a few of her novels and can never make a connection to them. I always feel like the stories have such potential and then they fall flat. All that to, I can't think of any of hers that I highly recommend.
    Have a great one!
    Sarah :)

    1. That's actually sort of great about Elizabeth Berg. It's rare that the TBR pile shrinks. I may still give one of her books a chance- I'll see which one is rated highest on GR. I'll give it 30 pages to Wow me and see what happens. Sounds like this is a library only type read- not worth taking a chance on buying one of her books. Thanks.

  2. This was an addictive series! I finished them fairly quickly. Although it has its problems, it was pretty enjoyable. I really liked the way Richelle Mead did her characters and how each of them were complex.

    1. Yes, noticing some of those problems in Book 2- Frostbite. It doesn't feel as well planned as, say Harry Potter. Where I think the author already knew where they were going from book 1 and you can see how it all fits together at the end. It's still good, but I think a lot of books falter a bit in book 2.

  3. I have heard such great things about this series- but I haven't picked it up yet. Your review makes me want to start it soon!

    1. So many people seemed to love it and the spin-off series, too. (Bloodlines) I was a little concerned because I read Mead's adult series and got bored of it after a few books. Yes, the beginning ones were good, but then they just got dull and it seemed to just meander all over- like the author didn't plan out the series well. Like she wrote book 1, got a book contract for more and just picked up- kind of like she wrote herself into a corner because she didn't have the series well mapped out. (Her adult one) I think that's one of the reasons why I was reluctant to pick up Vampire Academy.

  4. I've heard that the books get better as they go along. I read Vampire Academy and thought it was okay, but I really want to pick up the rest of the series now!

    Thanks for the review!:)


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