Monday, December 16, 2013 19:54

Review 222. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy.

345627 Title: Vampire Academy.
Author: Richelle Mead.
Pages: 332.
Published: August 16th 2007 by Razorbill
Sort: Part one of ‘Vampire Academy.’

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.
Rating

I finally started this series for two reasons. Judith recommended this series a couple of times and we might go and watch the movie with our bookclub. While this isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, I thought it was very enjoyable.


I liked how the world was build. There was enough information to understand the hierarchy without having an information dump. There are bad vampires, Strigoi, good vampires, Moroi and the ones in between: half-human, half-vampire, also Dhampirs. They are the sworn protectors (or Guardians) from the Moroi vampires. Rose and Lissa have something that is even more special, because they are connected. Rose is a Dhamphir and can feel Lissa’s feelings. Sometimes she’s sucked into Lissa’s head and this strong bond makes Rose the ideal protector. The girls ran away, but are brought back to St. Vladimir’s Academy after two years of freedom by Dimitri. He is now also Lissa’s protector and he gives Rose extra lessons to make up for her lost school time.But things aren’t as good as they might seem. Rose and Lissa have to suffer from horrible rumors and Lissa keeps finding dead animals in her room. Something strange is going on and when Rose starts to unravel more information about Lissa’s gifts, she starts to worry for her friends sanity. Until Lissa disappears.

I had some trouble with Rose. She is many things we all wish we could be. Strong, smart, kick-ass and loyal, but on the downside, she is sometimes a bit too arrogant, too stubborn and unsteady. It’s good to have a character that is comfortable with her looks, but she went over the top here and there:

”I knew perfectly well that there weren’t a lot of girls at this school who looked as good in a bra as I did.”

I don't think it's very admirable when a character believes she is so much better than any other girl. She always points out how she is curvy and the vampire girls aren't, but that doesn't make her any prettier. Her sarcasm is great though and I adored her friendship with Lissa. It’s clear that they are meant for each other. Lissa is unpredictable. She is described as someone who looks like a princess, but she is mentally unstable and always on the brink of depression. I liked her and I think that with the right guidance, Lissa can be a strong and good leader with many loyal followers.

Unraveling what was going on with the dead animals wasn’t too hard, but you know what? That’s not what I was expecting about this book. It’s easy, fluffy and funny – sometimes that’s all what I’m asking for. I honestly don't care about the romance at this stage. The age difference between Rose and Dimitri is something I can't overlook for now, but I do want more.

author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

78 comments:

  1. This is one of those series that just keep getting better with each new installment, so I'm reasonably sure you'll warm up to Rose in no time at all. She grows a lot, which I thought was great.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  2. I'm glad you liked it! It's one of my favorite series. I read it when I was a little younger (a few years ago), so the age difference between Rose and Dimitri spooked me a little, but I've read worse since then (7 years is better than 500 years, haha). And yes, Rose is a bit too arrogant and sure of herself sometimes, but she gets better in the next books.

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  3. Yeah, I have to agree with Maja, it gets better as it goes on. Vampire Academy is probably one of my favorite series of all time and I reallllly hope they don't ruin the movie. The previews seem really cheesy. I know what you mean about the age difference, but I guess it didn't bother me that much because that's how far apart my parents are, haha. Nice review!

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    1. It's not really the amount, but more that she is 16/17 (what was it again?) and he 22. It doesn't seem right. If she was 22 and he was 28 I wouldn't mind so much.

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  4. I liked Vampire Academy enough to want to continue reading the series. I had the same issues with Rose. She was too arrogant and annoying sometimes. Not my favorite character, clearly, but maybe she'll change in the next books. I haven't got the chance to read the next ones, although they are patiently waiting for me on my bookshelf. I'm planning to, though.

    Oana @All Fantasy Worlds

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  5. I keep hearing good things about this one but haven't picked it up. You've made me want to though. I love sarcastic characters.

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    1. Rose sure is great in the sarcasm department.

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  6. I have a ton of love for this series, but I can say with all confidence, that Rose and I would NOT get along. Despite that, I think I love the way it doesn't take itself too seriously, which is what I hate about most vampire books.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. Yes, it's true that the lack of seriousness is fun :)

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  7. Rose is someone who quickly grew on me. But I loved her sarcasm from the start, too! I really enjoyed this series as a whole and there is a lot of character growth from everyone, too. I hope you love the rest if you get to read it! :)

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    1. I keep hearing about the great character development, so I can't wait to see it!

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  8. I really loved the series and I am sorry you didn't enjoy it more. Honestly, it's one of the few vampire books I've ever truly enjoyed so it's really special for me. Hopefully Rose will grow on you and if she doesn't, well there is always Dmitri. :P Although hopefully the age difference won't bother you as their relationship develops. :)

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    1. I think it's very enjoyable, but just not the best. Perhaps that is going to change later!

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  9. Aw. Great review Mel. <3 I'm glad you didn't hate it, but sorry you didn't love it either :) I'm still not sure if I'm going to read these books. I do own them all in some gorgeous red paperback. Sigh. But yeah, I do think a lot of things will annoy me too. Omg. That quote. Yeah. I do not approve! That is a pretty bitchy thing of her to think. Sigh. Anyway. Thank you for sharing. <3

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    1. It's just something fun and fluffy, so when you are in the mood, I'd recommend picking them up!

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  10. haha I get how Rose can sometimes be a bit annoying, but I still love her! Her sarcasm is amazing! I wish you would have enjoyed this book much more though! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  11. I can always use some easy fluffy and funny!

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    1. I think we all have moods where we need those type of books :D

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  12. Thehehehe. By the end of the series you don't even notice the age difference. Also, when I first read it like.. 5-6 years ago, I wasn't really disturbed by Rose bragging about her beatuy and curves and skills, but now that I think about it as many reviewers who were a bit late to this party have pointed it out--I see that and it kind of makes me a bit wtf. However, she is a brat in the first one, will continue to be in book 2 and then? She REALLY grows. It takes time though. I really admire her loyalty and strength though. Oh, and you said that Lissa could be a great leader? Heh =) Glad you have faith in her the way I didn't at first. Lovely review, Mel! I hope you come to enjoy the rest of the series a little more :)

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    1. Character growth is a good sign! And yes, I thinks he will. Can't wait to see if I'm right :p

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  13. I think the good thing about this series is that it is so light and easy to read that you can just switch off your brain for a while and relax. Good one to read after a heavy book! There are some definite issues with the book but looking forward to seeing how the series progresses.

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  14. Gah, I still need to read this one. I think I bought the first book of this series like months and months ago, but never got around to reading beyond the first 5 pages as it felt like the writing was amateur, at least, compared to her more recent adult sci-fi work. Still, the movie is coming, and I'm pretty much obliged to read it now. Haha. You bring up a lot of good points I'll have to take note of in the future. I have very thin patience and tolerance, so having these advance warnings is appreciated :D Great review!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

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    1. Yeah, the writing isn't too special, but I guess that makes the book even more easy and fluffy!

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  15. I read this first book a few months back too, whilst I was expecting something different from the paranormal genre, I still have fun reading this book. And I am still interested in finding out how this series turns out. Great review Mel! :)

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  16. Go on,read the whole series!I want to know your opinion:)
    Well,I am a huge fan of Richelle Mead and this series and I am sure you'll love the spin off more than this one.
    And if you think that Rose is a bit immature and too overconfident,don't worry.She changes a lot.
    Great review anyway, Mel.

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  17. I agree with what you said about Rose and that is exactly why I had to DNF this. That's cool that you managed to enjoy it despite that, though. :)

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    1. It wasn't so hard to overlook that minor problem for me, but I can see why you ended up DNF it!

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  18. Ah, it's so nice to read a review that isn't so praising for this book. TBH, VA is my top 1 favorite vampire series because Rose is just so kick ass. Yeah, I understand you being annoyed with her arrogance but I think I loved her more for that because it's so new to meet heroines like her: conceited, full of herself and yet very loyal to her friends.

    But I'm still happy that you still got to enjoy this one, Mel. I hope that the last 5 sequels will prove to be better reads than this one.

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    1. It's definitely a whole new thing, but she was perhaps a bit too full of herself for my taste :)

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  19. I'm glad you still enjoyed it!! Honestly, I think the series gets better after book one if you still want to continue on in the series. I feel like the characters mature a lot more and the plot gets much more interesting and detailed! :)

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  20. Hmm, I had problems with this series too, but I actually liked Rose's arrogance, though I don't know if I would now. I thought it was refreshing after so many gorgeous girls who thought they were horrific beasts to look upon. I'm fairly certain that's dialed back in the later books. Tamed by love and all that.

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  21. Oh, Mel, I've tried this out twice, but this first book just bored me to death. My niece told me that the first book's really boring and I need to stick it out. Good for you that you did! Maybe I will try again and stick it out this time. Fantastic review!

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    1. Perhaps if I'm finished with the second one, you can decide based on my review if it sounds better! :)

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  22. I loved this series and am still loving it with the spin off :) I hope when you read book 2, you'll enjoy it more! Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  23. Rose is totally arrogant and erratic, but she grows a great deal throughout the series--I hope you like her better as the books go on! I know a lot of people still have trouble with her (and I totally know she's not perfect), but she's one of my favorite YA characters.

    I'm curious to see what you think of her and Dimitri in the later books. Also, you'll get to meet Adrian in book two. :D

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. I totally don't mind that she isn't perfect! I can't wait to see her character development :) and to meet Adrian!

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  24. I could easily see how Rose's arrogance could turn people off. I think I would have been too had it not been such a breath of fresh air. Too many YA leads have no self-esteem. Well, to be fair, I am seeing less and less of that. But at the time I read VA it felt like that was mostly what I was reading so when I got to Rose I was like FINALLY some confidence!

    Glad you liked it! The books keep getting better in my opinion.

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    1. It's definitely refreshing to see someone confident about herself :)

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  25. It seems like you liked this a bit more than I did (okay, maybe a lot more because I kind of hated it haha), but you had the same problem as me: Rose. I absolutely DESPISED her. With the fire of a thousand suns. She completely ruined the book for me and I don't even know if I want to watch the movie because of her character!

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    1. Your review was the one that make me hesitant to pick it up, haha. I remember all the quotes you used to show your hatred for Rose :p

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  26. I haven't read this one. I'm not sure if I would enjoy it, so I'm steering clear for now, at least until I clear out my TBR a bit.

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  27. This is one of those series that I feel like I'm the only one who hasn't gotten into yet so I was quite happy to see your review for the first one here hehe :) I'Ve heard that the series gets much better as it goes along though and to not judge the first one too harshly so I really like your fairness in your review, I think it will help lower my expectations a bit so I can still enjoy myself with it as you did. I agree with you that Rose sounds a bit overly-confident and vain but maybe that gets better in the next books! Anyways thanks for the wonderful review ^^

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    1. That was the reason to finally get started. I look forward to the development from the characters and the overall story.

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  28. YES I am so glad you lfinally read this book Mel! I got so addicted to this series and read all of them in one go. I hope you will enjoy, Rose is confident (I have a feeling she's using it to cover her insecurity) but she does get better. The series just gets really good from here!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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  29. This is a series that gets better (and darker) with each book. It's honestly really great. I had the same issues with Rose that you had (but loved her for the other aspects you pointed out) and she does grow over the course of the series. I have a feeling that, like me, you might enjoy Sydney, the MC in the spin off Bloodlines series, better than Rose :)

    Bec @ Ransom Reads

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    1. Darker, that sounds great to me! ;) Perhaps I'll like Sydney too, but first finishing this series before I start another one :p

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  30. I gave Vampire Academy 3 stars, too. It's the book I liked least out of the entire Vampire Academy series and I'm sure you'll like the other books more than the first, too. The writing quality definitely increases and plot and characters get stronger. Great review!

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  31. It seems like you had the same issues as me with Rose. I really couldn't find it in myself to like her at all. I found her so arrogant and cocky. Could not stomach that at all. It's why I've been hesitant to pick up the second book in the series!

    Great review :)

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  32. The second book doesn't start too bad :D

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  33. I like that you said this is "easy, fluffy, and funny'! I guess I'll have to give it a shot - I hear so much about it. Great review, Mel! :)

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  34. I still have to read Vampire Academy, I feel so behind on all the popular books! Anyway, I think Rose seems like she'd annoy me but for a nice fluffy read, I can overlook it. I'll definitely give it a chance sometime in the future, thanks for sharing and awesome review! :)

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    1. Just go in knowing this book doesn't take itself to serious and you're good to go :D

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  35. VA for me was, well, not exactly the most favorable books I came across. I couldn't stand Rose and the relationship between Rose and Dimitri was a no-no for me. Glad you enjoyed it anyway!

    Seriously Books

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  36. I'm glad you want more. It does get better. I'm not really a huge fan of VA, but I love the spin-off Bloodlines a whole lot better. ;) Awesome review! xD

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  37. I need to read this before the movie comes out! Great review!

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  38. Awesome review but I'm a massive fan of VA!! Also the spin-off Bloodlines is amazing as well :P

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  39. I found Rose's arrogance entertaining. I didn't really take her seriously when she brags about how better she is than other people and when she does, I just humor her. This is why Rose doesn't bother me at all. Plus I admire her confidence and how kick-ass she could be.
    Great review Mel! :D

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    1. I think I must let go of that 'seriousness' I often expect in books. That would make it easier to endure Rose!

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  40. I literally just finished reading this one! I am excited to see where this series is going, the good thing is we wont have to wait for any of the books to be released! I found that Rose was very entertaining but I agree that some of her qualities did annoyed me a Little. I still loved her though! Fanatic review Mel <3

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  41. I finally started this series for two reasons. Judith recommended this series a couple of times and we might go and watch the movie with our bookclub. -- SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH FUN. And such a good idea too! Also have you written before about how you met your bookclub? I feel like you have but I can't seem to remember, and a part of me really wants to join a bookclub.

    "I liked how the world was build. There was enough information to understand the hierarchy without having an information dump." -- True! And it's decently big so there's a justification for the spin-off series and the hijinks and drama that happen later.

    ”I knew perfectly well that there weren’t a lot of girls at this school who looked as good in a bra as I did.”

    I don't think it's very admirable when a character believes she is so much better than any other girl. She always points out how she is curvy and the vampire girls aren't, but that doesn't make her any prettier. -- Interesting! I've seen a lot of people point out that quote, but I think I read over it at the time. I suppose I'd say that I don't think she's necessarily saying she's better than the rest; she just thinks her boobs are her asset? So to me that was never too bothersome, but I can see how you could read it as her sounding like she thinks she's prettier than everyone, especially since Rose does get a bit arrogant at times. (If you continue with the series, that gets better!)

    "That’s not what I was expecting about this book. It’s easy, fluffy and funny – sometimes that’s all what I’m asking for. I honestly don't care about the romance at this stage. The age difference between Rose and Dimitri is something I can't overlook for now, but I do want more." -- oooh, really? Is it the age difference or the maturity difference for you? Because Rose in VA doesn't really 100% match with Dimitri but does over time whereas the age thing will always be there o.o. But I do agree with you that this book was just enjoyable, and the romance wasn't as compelling as it gets to be later...

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    1. I don't think I have! But you see, there are a couple of other Dutch bloggers I got to meet, so one day we came up with the idea of going to a bookfair together :) and from there things developed into forming a bookclub! So much fun.

      I guess I read it in another way, yes. To me, it felt like stabbing at the fact that she has boobs and the vampires doesn't - and having boobs doesn't make you prettier than someone without curves. It's just different :)

      I don't mind the age difference, but more their ages. I can't really remember, but it was something like 16 and 20? If it was 20 and 24 I wouldn't mind, but it just seems like a big difference in how they look at life.

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  42. The thing with this series is that I don't think it's perfect - far from it, actually. There are things that didn't work for me and that I would comment more on, except that it was the feels that made this book for me. Rose is definitely arrogant, but I liked reading about a character like that for a change. She grows a lot throughout the series, which is great. This book does get better with every book, and if you like Lissa, you won't be disappointed. :)

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