Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Okay…It’s confession time. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead came out in 2007 and I haven’t read it until now for a few reasons. First, I HATED the cover. Second, I HATED the title, ugh. It reminded me of every crappy YA book about a vampire school and I couldn’t bring myself to even pick it up and read the back to see what it was about.  HOWEVER, as you may know, Vampire Academy is being made into a movie that’s being released this month, and I am a diehard read the book before you see the movie kind of gal. So after verifying it’s at least readable with a quick Goodreads review scan, I decided to give it a shot.

345627 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.

All I can say is wow. A cover can be very deceiving. Sure this book is about a vampire high school like I predicted, but if I had known half of them were taught to kick ass and take names to protect royalty and such, I would have stood up and paid attention. I love action in my books and a kick ass heroine is a must and Rose is just that. Her bond with Lissa is intriguing and unique. I loved how we got to literally be in Lissa’s head without losing Rose’s perspective. It was so well done and the writing flowed flawlessly.

Another advantage of reading through this kind of perspective is double the romance. Rose is hot for her mentor Dimitri (Full disclosure: I AM TEAM DIMITRI.) and Lissa is falling for the cute, quiet outcast guy. I was able to fall for both of them from Rose’s perspective and I loved every minute of it. I also enjoyed how Mead played with typical high school stereotypes (jocks, outcasts etc.) but made it about vampire society. For instance, Christian wasn’t an outcast because he had black hair or was a “loser” but because of what happened to his family.

I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this book. Promptly after finishing this book, I went to my public library and raided the shelves taking the rest of the series home. (Apologies to anyone trying to check out any of Mead’s books in my area #Sorrynotsorry.) I will be devouring the rest of the series very soon. Even though I am very, very late to the bandwagon, the advantage is having the entire series available for my consumption. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this series as a whole but I am excited to go into it with a fresh pair of eyes and see for myself. For now, so far so good.

STARS: 5 out of 5

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