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Review of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead | What YA Reading?

January 5th, 2012

Vampire Academy

by Richelle Mead

Ana's Rating


Readers Rating

VN:RO [1.9.11_1134]
Rating: 2.5/5 (2 votes cast)

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Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires– the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger… and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

 

Look around you, young adults. What YA book is the biggest, hottest, top selling on the market right now? Easy. The Hunger Games.

Why do you think this series is so famous? The awesome Greek mythology inspiration? No. The oh-so-YA love triangle? Nope. The mass murder and gory graphics? Nada. It’s quite simple, actually.

Katniss is a badass.

No, really. She is master of the bow and arrow, courageous enough to volunteer for the Games, and kicks some serious behind. It’s all about the behind kicking these days, I’m telling you.

And Katniss is great at what she does.

But if you thought Katniss was badass…

You haven’t met Rose Hathaway.

Based on Romanian mythology (Romanian! Now that’s original.), Vampire Academy is an action-packed, witty, and addictive read. Mead balances serious mental health issues, vampire hierarchy and hot half-vampires with charm and sarcasm.

Here’s one anecdote that I found especially hilarious…

Lissa and I had been best friends ever since kindergarten, when our teacher had paired us together for writing lessons. Forcing five-year-olds to spell Vasilisa Dragomir and Rosemarie Hathaway was beyond cruel, and we’d– or rather, I’d— responded appropriately. I’d chucked my book at our teacher and called her a fascist bastard. I hadn’t known what those words meant, but I’d known how to hit a moving target.

Lissa and I had been inseparable ever since.

I am not ashamed to say that I laughed for, oh, about 3 minutes straight when I read this for the first time.

Next, let’s talk about the world building. Here are the basics: There are two types of vampires; Moroi and Strigoi. Moroi are mortal and the good guys. They have a hierarchy; a queen, princes, princesses. Lissa, being the eldest only member of her family, is a Moroi princess. Strigoi are almost immortal and completely evil. There are also half-vampires; Dhampirs. Rose is one of the few female Dhampirs; most half-vampire women have children and become, well… stay at home moms.

I was extremely fascinated by the world building! It was all, even the not-so-pretty aspects, utterly enchanting and well-written. Say what you’d like about Richelle Mead, but she knows how to tell a story. I particularly enjoyed the vampire hierarchy; it was just so… fresh! I’ve never read another YA book involving a catty vampire queen, an evil Moroi revolutionary, and 12 royal families. This takes high school politics to a whole new level.

I’ve read some recent reviews of Vampire Academy on Goodreads. Let me clarify some things that reviewers have to say about Rose.

Rose is not a slut. Rose is wild, reckless, girl who is attempting to become more responsible and learns from her mistakes.

Rose does not crush on a certain someone for no apparent reason. Rose crushes on a certain someone for many reasons, but mainly because he understands her sense of duty.

Rose is not abusively violent. Rose is violent while defending Lissa and when provoked.

Rose is not a shrew. Okay, she is a shrew sometimes ;)

I actually wholeheartedly enjoyed Rose as a character and am excited to be exposed to more of her wit and comebacks in the next VA book.

Other characters I absolutely love include Christian and Dimitri. Christian is overly  sarcastic and a little dark. His deceptive appearance delights me; the whole “Why do I go to church? Oh, so I don’t look dangerous.”  concept was particularly amusing. His conversations with Lissa were adorable.

Dimitri is, of course, is in a whole different league of hot. He is definitely one of my top YA crushes. I posted as to why he’s my ultimate YA crush yesterday. To resume, though, he recognize’s Rose’s strength; he knows that she can kick ass and respects that. Of course, his swoon-worthy looks do help. A little. ;)

I loved Mead’s approach to depression. She somehow manages to convey how much this illness is scary and serious, but how loyalty sometimes get in the way of realizing just how serious it is.

Just a couple of issues;

1) The swearing. Yes, there is quite a bit of cussing in VA. This is one of these deal or don’t read it in the first place situations.

2) The ending. It just seemed to come a little too quickly; the pacing changed dramatically and it put me a little off. Don’t get me wrong; the ending was action-packed and addictive, just like the rest of the book, it just had a fast onset.

So… I am going to defy all the Vampire Academy haters out there and give it 4.9/5 stars. Quite possibly one of the best YA vamp books. Go Rose!

I’ll keep you posted,

Vampire Academy, 2.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Vampire Academy

  1. Grace says:

    One of my favorite books, everrr!

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