Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: YA paranormal
Length: 332 pages
Published by: Penguin
Source: my friend kindly loaned this out from the local library for me! I went a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t find it, so when she spotted it she nabbed it for me. Friends are pretty rad.
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.
I was extremely dubious about this book. There were a few reasons for this.
1) The title. I mean, I’m not a fan of paranormal in general, and this just seemed really…um, tacky, I guess?
2) The vampires. Because I am ridiculously biased against vampires, apparently. What’d they ever do to me? Who knows. Maybe I have repressed my memories of being bitten by a vampire…
3) The blurb. Any blurb that has the phrase “forbidden romance” makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit.
BUT WAIT. This review is not negative. Indeed, it is positive. To counteract these three reasons I didn’t want to read the book, here’s a few reasons you DEFINITELY SHOULD.
(how about that! Emily is surprised! Hallelujah!)
Oh, and I’m using a GIF from Mythbusters for a very profound and meaningful reason: I’m busting the myth that VA is shite. Because it’s not. At all. Let me count the ways.
1) Rose and Lissa. Now I know why everyone put this book on their “top ten friendship books” list. Because they are freakin’ awesome friends. Rose is so loyal towards Lissa, and protective, and just…I loved their friendship so much. Especially since it’s something that I’d like to see in more YA books.
2) Rose. Rose deserves her own category because she is one of my favourite protagonists for this year. She’s snarky, sure, but she also has a softer side that I really liked. But okay, fine, I mostly liked the snark. Snark is a great word.
3) The plot. It moved a little slowly in places, but it was CREEPY, and creepy is GOOD (in my world, anyway). It made me shudder and not just because it’s cold. Although it is pretty cold. But mostly because of the creepiness. The world-building was incorporated really well into the plot, and after about a chapter of it being confusing, I found myself fully entranced in the world Richelle Mead has created.
4) Not too paranormal-y. This may sound confusing. I get that. But too often, paranormal books come across as really cheesy, and they focus too much on romance, and just…gah. This was one of the reasons I was reluctant to pick this book up. But it wasn’t! I think partly because of Rose, this book was quite grounded, with a nice mix of high school drama, friendship, Dimitri and some cool vampire voodoo.
5) Dimitri. That is all.
6) Mental health. I was surprised that mental health was mentioned here! Lissa has depression and it’s not just used as a plot device! Hurrah! I really liked this aspect.
7) The author has the same last name as me. I mean, that’s just cool. If I ever publish a book that means it’ll be next to Vampire Academy…no pressure or anything.
8) Pretty much everyone in the universe told me to read it. Seriously. At least 6.7 billion people told me to. Wow, I thought peer pressure was just about drugs, not reading vampire books…
All in all…
There you go. Despite 3 reasons I didn’t want to read it, there are 8 reasons you should DEFINITELY read it. And I’ve heard that the books only get better from now…
Rating: 4/5 Stars