Monday, April 1, 2013

[Book Review] Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Summary (on Goodreads): 
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

A couple of months ago (or maybe a year by now) I met Richelle Mead at a book signing hosted by my favorite book store, Blue Willow Bookshop. The people there are super nice and take really good care of their customers. Even if it’s almost an hour drive from where I live, I go to as many of their book signings as I can. The event wasn’t at the shop due to her popularity, but instead at some other place with a bigger venue. While I was a bit upset that only three books would be able to be signed, I understand why once I saw the packed house. 

After the event, like many of my signed books, they went back on the shelf. Not for lack of interest in the series, but because of lack of time and other books I had lined up to read. 

Fast forward some time, I heard the books were being made into movies. I had in mind I would read the first book right before the movie came out. However, the second Zoey Deutch got cast as the lead, I knew I would end up reading the books way before hand. Now I just mind have to read all six of them before the movie comes out, but the first book was just that good.  

Plot: Other than there’s vampires and other sorts of human looking, but not quite humans creatures in the book, I didn’t know much about the series. I was curious as to why the name of the first movie was being changed into “Blood Sisters.” A couple of pages in, I knew why. Then as the pages went on, even more so, I understood why Blood Sisters was a great title for the movie. 

The storyline was very fast moving. I can’t recall a chapter (or even page) that I wasn’t into. Mead kept me (as I’m sure her other readers) interested.   

Characters: Rose differs from a lot of other female protagonist in books. While a lot of times the girl is portrayed as this innocent fragile girl at the beginning, Rose is this kick butt, say what she wants type of character. She’s goes head first without thinking. Sometimes that lands her in trouble, but I guess that’s some of the fun of the book. 

Relationships: I loved loved loved Rose and Lissa’s relationship. Their relationship wasn’t just friendship, but more like sisterhood. They looked out for each other at any cost. I felt like it was a very strong theme for the first book (and hopefully for the entire series), if not the strongest theme.  

Romance: I’ve already gushed about the rest of the book. Now I feel like I’m obsessing about it. (Ok, maybe a little) The romance really worked with the storyline. It wasn’t too much, but it wasn’t lacking. There was two main relationships (or maybe more depending on who you like) in the book. I won’t giveaway who and who, but it becomes pretty obvious after a while. Both of them I liked. 

Creative way of writing: There’s a reason why this series is so popular. Mead breaks several of the rules that I’ve seen in other YA novels. But in a good way. She didn’t follow that guideline that tends to make characters boring and story lines bland. While at the same time she wasn’t too outside the box where it made things unbelievable. 

If you are like me and already have the books at your reach, but have not picked them up, I beg you to reconsider. This is a series you do not want to miss out on. 

5 out of 5 stars for Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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