Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Young Adult/Urban Fantasy

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.

“Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies.” 

Finally I have read the much-discussed, widely loved and appreciated Vampire Academy. It kept popping up in my face from Goodreads circles.

The story is easy to follow, with layers that are cleverly unique. It did remind me a little of Harry Potter because of the academy but that's about all it borrowed from that famous tale. Refreshing change from the common emo fare that's cursing much YA these days. Pace wise there's plenty happening even if it's not non-stop action. At times there is minor lag but as the internal monologue remains interesting, this can be excused. There is a romantic interest brewing but it's in the background and not really plot relevant.

Rose is a determined and strong heroine but not too obnoxiously so. Sometimes she was near the line of being too much but was mainly pulled back by the author at the right times. She is certainly not my favorite kind of character to read about as she's a bit too headstrong sometimes and almost brattish, and the story is told through her eyes.

She is protecting Lissa, who seem almost sugary-sweet at first but starts eventually revealing more hidden traits. Lissa is the more interesting character really, as she makes you hold your breath with wonder sometimes. Dimitri didn't do much for me - I liked him well enough but didn't get grabbed by their obstacles much. He's not a bad character, just doesn't seem like anything special to me.

Peppered with romance, some suspense, mystery, twists and surprises, Vampire Academy shines because of its uniquely styled story structure, but is slightly weakened by the characterization.

I will be reading the second sometime to see how the story continues - I dig Mead's groovy writing styles, some of the humor, the bizarreness of the mystery, and the possibility of all sorts of disasters in the future with the framework that's been established. Worth a read? Yep, if you're a YA fan, this is worth your time (and will make it speed by!)

Also Read and Reviewed For:

   Book Quotes:

“The only thing better than imagining Dimitri carrying me in his arms was imagining him shirtless while carrying me in his arms.” 

 “A ghostly smile flickered across his face. "If you weren't so psychotic, you'd be fun to hang around."

"Funny, I feel that way about you too." He didn't say anything else, but the smile grew, and he walked away.”