Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: August 16th, 2007
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.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I think most of my readers know by now that I am a teacher but I also work part time in a bookstore, so I am constantly seeing books. This is a book I have passed on the shelves literally hundreds of times, but I have never picked it up. I am on the bandwagon of people who like Twilight and I was not sure what I would think of another vampire story. I tried once with the House of Night series and I am sorry to say they were just not for me. I know a lot of people really like them, I could just not get behind Zoey and so the books were not appealing to me. Because of this failure I became hesitant to pick up another vampire series since I did not want a repeat performance of House of Night. I am however a firm believer in the old saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” so I wanted to try out this series for myself and see what I thought. I finally picked the book up and dove in.
Surprisingly, I found that I was sucked in right away, even though Rose is blunt, aggressive and tough, she is still likable. I loved her attitude towards life and her fierce determination to protect her friends. It was refreshing to see a main character who is female, and is not totally helpless and relying on others to come to her rescue. Rose is perfectly capable of taking care of herself and most of the time, she would probably prefer it that way. Her number one priority is watching after her best friend Lissa, who is kind, gentle and is a little hesitant in life. They actually sum up their personalities in their own words when Rose says “That’s because you’re the cautious one, and I’m the reckless one.” And while Rose is reckless she would never put Lissa in harm’s way purposefully and is always keeping watch over her. Sometimes it felt almost as if Rose was a mother looking after her daughter then two best friends hanging out. I liked that nurturing quality in Rose.
The two friends are the main focus of the story, but there are a couple of distractions thrown into the story in the form of Dimitri and Christian. Dimitri being Rose’s older, Russian mentor, teaching her how to defend Lissa and other guardian secrets. And Christan, the loner, who’s parents were Strigoi which help put a permanent brand of “outsider” on Christians forehead. The two boys come in and out of the girls lives causing some problems and helping in unexpected moments. I do like the romantic element in the story, but I also like that it is not the main focus. I loved watching the friendship between Rose and Lissa grow and develop into an almost unshakable bond that will always connect them. They also learn through each other, Rose is learning responsibility and maturity and Lissa is learning to find her own voice and discover who she is.
If you are looking for a new YA series to get hooked on, I suggest this one. I have already bought the other books in the series and can’t wait to get a chance to read them! Check back tomorrow because I will have some more information up about the author of this awesome series Richelle Mead!