Book Review: Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

Title: Vampire Academy

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young-Adult, Parnormal, Romance

Publication date: November 2013

Pages: 332 (Paperback)

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Synopsis:

Courtesy of Goodreads:

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, where vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be prepare for a life fraught with danger. Rose and Lissa must navigate their treacherous world and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever. But soon Rose finds herself gripped by temptation of forbidden love, leaving Lissa exposed to Strigoi attack.  Now she must choose between the best friend she lives for, and the man she can’t live without

Thoughts:

If a book (series in this case) gets high praises from a majority of people, you are inclined to have high expectations and presume it to be a great read. Nevertheless, I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to “hyped” books (not that there’s anything wrong with them) because there were some overhyped books that turned out to be excellent and entertaining reads. Therefore, I actually didn’t have high expectations when I decided to read the first book of this series. Surprisingly, it worked out well because Vampire Academy didn’t “knock my socks off”.  I didn’t exactly dislike the book, but I don’t love it either. It ended up just being an okay read.

I don’t read a lot of vampire books, the last I recall reading is Twilight (only the first book) and I didn’t like it. I think it has to due with the fact that after the success of the Twilight series, there has been too many vampire stories that nothing could really impress me or make interested in reading any of them. This book is nothing like Twilight. Ms. Mead’s take on the vampire universe is interesting with the different vampires- Moroi (magic wielding vampires), Strigoi (bad vampires), dhampirs (half-blood vampire), and the guardians. The plot is intriguing and has a lot of potential; however, the lackluster dialogue and story telling didn’t impress me as much. As I was reading I was expecting for it to get better or something to surprise me, but that didn’t happen.

As for the characters I wasn’t invested in them as much as I wanted to be. I assume that Richelle Mead was writing Rose as a clever, strong, and sassy heroine which are characteristics that I adore in my book heroines; however, I actually ended up being irritated with her at times. There is a fine line between self-confidence and conceitedness and I felt Rose was the latter most of the time. She talked about her looks and how all the guys at the academy desired her to the point of annoyance. Nonetheless, this was not what I really disliked her for. It was her attitude towards a particular person and how she assumed that he wasn’t good enough for her best friend, Lissa. I understand that she is there to protect her and I actually admire her for it, but I didn’t like the fact that she lied just to make them hate each other.  Maybe that’s just me, but if I was her I’d be a little upset. Her redeeming quality would be the fact that she is loyal to Lissa and will do anything to keep her safe. Rose is definitely a good person and someone who you would want to have as your best friend despite the fact that she can be illogical and reckless at times.  Lissa, Rose’s best friend was kind of boring and Dimitri the main love interest, was just okay. Sure he is supposedly good looking but heck, so are the majority of main heroes in young-adult books that I have read.  So far, he hasn’t impressed me yet, since there wasn’t much character development on his part in this book other than Rose being so infatuated with him and how “hot” he is.

The romance on the other hand fell flat. It felt forced since I don’t really get how Dimitri and Rose all of a sudden like each other–other than the physical aspect. I wasn’t invested in their romance whatsoever (hoping it gets better as the series progress) but as of now I don’t really care much for them. As a matter of fact I actually preferred Lissa’s and Christian’s romance more. However, I will say it is a good thing that romance isn’t the main focal point in this book.

As for the writing, it was simple and easy to read, although, the prose leaves much to be desired. I have issues when authors have this knack of telling than actually showing in books and I felt that way when reading Ms. Mead’s writing. This is probably one of the main reasons as to why I was detached with all the characters, even Rose, the narrator. The plot as previously mentioned is very intriguing and promising, as well as decently paced; however, the twists were nothing extraordinary or mind-blowing. The hints are there and can be picked on if you read carefully.

With that being said, I still recommend the book. I can understand as to why a lot of people love the books and I’d like to share similar sentiments, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest of series, hoping that it will get better from there.

On another note I saw the trailer for the film adaptation of the first book and can I just say AWFUL and I’m definitely not interested in watching it.

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29 thoughts on “Book Review: Vampire Academy

  1. Your take is very interesting! If I had to pick, I would probably give this book 3.9, so I definitely see where you’re coming from. If you want an even better YA vampire book, I suggest you try The Immortal Rules! It is the first in a trilogy, and I have found it to be the best vampire series yet. Good luck and happy reading!
    -Amy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I gave it 3/5 stars too, but I’ve heard by so many that the series picks up after book 2! So even though I didn’t care much for the first book, I look forward to reading the next one. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha I remember recommending this series to my friend and she looked at me after she read Vampire Academy and said “I didn’t really find it that impressive” and I was so shocked! I read VA when I was in high school when I was just getting into YA paranormal books so I think I was easily impressed by it; because looking back now, I can agree it isn’t anything too special (though I still love it!).

    HOWEVER, as everyone else has said, it gets a lot better! The plot improves and gets more complicated (not as predictable or cliché) and the world building only gets stronger. VA really just serves as introduction to the world and I don’t think it is a fair representation of what the rest of the series is like (which is why I think the movie flopped).

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    1. I understand as to why the first book may not be mind-blowing since like you said it just basically serves as an introduction. I think I wasn’t that impressed because I may have been expecting more of an action packed book which doesn’t really happen until towards the end. But I will definitely continue the series! 🙂

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  4. I read the VA series back in 2010 and really enjoyed them! I thought the mythology was quite interesting. They’re very easy to read and addictive. The series does get better, so I hope you carry on reading it 🙂 I’ve seen the film and yes, it was pretty awful! Thats why it wasn’t scheduled for a second film.

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    1. I agree with the fact that it’s an easy read and really fast-paced, too so I’ll definitely read the rest of the books. Oh it’s a good thing I will never watch it then. When I saw the trailer it looked more like a comedy–though I never found the book to be comedic. And the characters is definitely not how I pictured them!

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  5. Oh, I hope you continue the series! I gave VA 3 stars as well, though I grew to really enjoy this series later on. Great review! I agree with a lot of your points.

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  6. I agree with what both Analee and Tiffany mentioned. The idea of the three types of vampires is what really had me hooked to this series. Plus, since the writing is so simple they’re incredibly fast page-turners (at least they were for me). Then again, I really like ya paranormal and maybe my standards are just low, haha. I think I rated this 3 stars on Goodreads as well. The books do get better as the series continues… but they also kind of get less appealing towards the later books (bell curve series, haha). But I do hope you continue just because you have the rest of the books!

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    1. Haha they definitely are fast paced. I read it in one sitting and this is probably due to the fact like you mentioned simple writing. The whole vampire twist is really what is going to keep me invested in the books. And of course I have the entire series. I would hate for them to be unread. 🙂

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    1. As of now I just don’t feel connected with Rose’s character and have a love/hate for her. Hopefully I’ll end up fully end up liking her as the story progresses.

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  7. I agree with what Analee said, it was an interesting take on the YA/vamp phenom. I think by the end of book two I was hooked and had to finish the whole series. Thinking back on it, I was much more invested in the secondary characters than Rose or Lissa.

    Glad your curiosity is piqued and you’ll finish the series. Looking forward to those reviews. 🙂

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    1. I agree. Richelle Mead’s take on vampire is interesting and is definitely what keeps me curious in reading the rest of the books. I’m definitely optimistic about these books and I hope it doesn’t disappoint in the end. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I definitely see where you’re coming from! Rose definitely got on my nerves in this book, and the main reason I really liked this book was because of the unique twist on vampires. However, the books do get much better (in my opinion) as the series goes on, so I hope you stick around to continue! Great review, Erika! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Annalee!! I’ve heard that the first two books weren’t as great but as you keep reading it does get better.
      And yes I own the entire series so I will definitely read the rest. 🙂 ❤

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