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.
Published by: Razorbill (August 16, 2007)
Genre: YA paranormal + romance
My rating for Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1):I first read Vampire Academy around 2009 and had the urge to reread it! So since I stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish it, I figured why not write a review too? :)
I enjoyed Vampire Academy just as much as I did four years ago if not more because this time around I was highly anticipating my favorite aspect of the series: Dimitri Belikov. Dimitri is the most badass, makes-your-heart-stutter love interests ever! I love him beyond comprehension and I loved him even more as I started the series again! I internally squealed every time I read Dimitri's name, which ended up not being that often because the first book doesn't contain much romance; that was a disappointment, but I KNOW what happens throughout the rest of the series and I cannot help but internally squeal at that!!
The main character though, Rose Hathaway, is probably the strongest leading woman I've ever read and I love her so much as well! She doesn't put up with crap and that often lands her into trouble, but she's so determined and fierce when there's something she wants that I cannot help but admire who she is. She has awesome comebacks and smart remarks and actually, the writing itself is witty. I'm not very witty or quick-on-my-feet so that's something I really admire about Richelle Mead's writing. Rose is observant, which grows even more throughout the series; she sees through people and society and that's refreshing to see a character see things for who they are and not just how she wants to think. Rose also has a soft side that comes out when she's with her bestie, Lissa, or Dimitri. As I said, LOVE her!
As I said, there wasn't much romance in this book, but it had a lot of other strong elements. There was vampire-lore, action, suspense, social and political issues within the vampire society, school drama with boys, girls, and cliques, friendship, and I've always admired the character development! Sometimes I don't care so much about the side characters in books, but the side characters in this series all hold a great purpose and I can feel that as I read. I'm not bored reading scenes where there are only side characters involved because they're entertaining. I love the dynamics of the vampire society and I recently found out that Richelle Mead did extensive research on Romanian folklore and mythology to create the vampires in her book!
Some things that might bother readers? There are more than a few times when Rose flashes back to something that happened previously and some may find those parts boring. You may even miss the transition from present to past if you aren't reading carefully enough. But I found all those scenes pertinent to the story so they didn't bother me. I don't have much about this book (or series) to complain about! It has lots of strong qualities!
Recommended to readers who like: strong female lead character, paranormal, vampires, magic, good mix of action and romance.
Sexual content: medium (references and an "almost" situation, but next to no description).
**Did you know that Vampire Academy is being made into a movie? Filming started on May 28, 2013 and it's expected to release on February 14, 2014!
Learn more about Richelle Mead and her books (she writes adult and young adult fiction) HERE.