General Summary: After being on the run for two plus years Rose and her b.f.f. Lissa are caught and get sent back to The Academy, so that Lissa can become a vampire princess and Rose can become her guardian. However, coming back to the academy might put Rose and Lissa in more danger than they realize.
This is one of those books that I wish I would’ve read sooner. I have a new series, peeps. And it’s a vampire series too imagine that.
Okay, I’ll admit it at the height of the Twilight book craze I was a bit of a vampire book whore. I read some vampire books that I wish I wouldn’t have (most infamously the House of Night books which I’m forcing myself to reread in part as a sociological study). However, I skipped over Vampire Academy. Maybe because House of Night made me shudder at vampire boarding schools. However, since I’ve decided to give that series a second chance if only to mock it, I felt it was fair to give Vampire Academy the chance it never got and I’m glad I did.
I have to say the best thing about Vampire Academy is its world. It seems sort of ridiculous at first since there’s like three types of vampires and only the crazy ones are immortals and the whole vampire community doesn’t make much sense itself, but Mead has a knack at world building and all this craziness somehow pulls itself together. I actually enjoyed the whole spirit element concept here. And usually I find spirit elements to be cliche. But it actually serves a purpose here that works.
Another thing this book had going for it was its characters. I go all fan girl on Rose in the best feature part of the review, but I also like the supporting characters particularly Lissa. This is how YA friends should be. She serves a purpose other than pimping out Rose’s romantic relationships and I have to say I was sort of crushing on her boyfriend too. And you know crushing on supporting characters, in this case Christian, definitely gives the book an extra star.
So faults. I really couldn’t get into Rose’s guy that much. I’ll talk about that more in the worst feature section of the review, but even though the chemistry was definitely there the ickiness was also there as well. Also, I wish there would’ve been a bit more action in this installment. While I understand it was the first book in the series there were times I just wanted the story to pick up a little bit.
Best Feature: Kick ass heroine. I love Rose. She’s a great character because I don’t like her all the time. And usually you’d think, oh that’s bad, but it really works here because it shows how realistic Rose is. She’s not perfect. She’s pretty much like your typical teenager. Typical teenager that can kick ass that is. And I like how she’s confident in herself. It’s nice for once having a YA MC who feels like she’s in control of her own abilities and for the most part is, even though she might have an occasional slip up.
Worst Feature: Sexual Harassment Panda. Seriously, I don’t know what it is with all these vampire boarding schools and their lack of sexual harassment policies, but I have to say the romance in this book creeped me out a little bit. And it wasn’t the fact that I found Dimitri particularly creepy more like I actually liked him and sort of want him and Rose to be together despite the ickiness. Though seven years….that’s too much even for Rose who I think is mature for her age. Maybe if he was in his early twenties I could sort of understand, but Dimitri is about my age and that’s just nasty.
Appropriateness: There’s some violence in this one, some hot and heavy kissing that almost leads to more, some talk about sexual situations, and teacher/student romance. Definitely more for the older teen set than younger teens.
Blockbuster Worthy: It’s actually being made into a movie so there’s not much for me to discuss. And I think their choices have been okay. Though it will be interesting to see how the final product is since the script is written by the guy who wrote Mean Girls.
Overall Rating: Eight out of ten stakes. I liked this one a lot. The romance was probably the biggest issue I had and that didn’t even deter me from liking this book. I think the set up was cleverly done and I’m looking forward to reading the next one. I think what this series shows is that you can take a set up that looks sort of ridiculous (vampires and boarding schools) and turn it into something that’s pretty amazing.