Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Young-Adult, Parnormal, Romance
Publication date: November 2013
Pages: 332 (Paperback)
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
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
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.