02 July, 2018

{ Review } Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

about the book }

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy, book 1
Published August 16, 2007 by Razorbill
Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies...

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger... and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever...


my review }

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫

I love this book.

I wasn't planning on reading Vampire Academy because I haven't thought about it in a while. But then I read Whirl, which was a blatant copy if I've ever seen—so I thought, why not?

Vampire Academy is better in every way. I mean, yeah, this book definitely has its issues, like many books published in the earlier era of YA. There's slutshaming, girl hate, far too liberal use of words like crazy or psychotic. But what VA did well that Whirl didn't was that Mead made her characters flawed and maybe unlikable at first, but also easy to root for eventually.

You have Rose: a strong, flirty, and caring main character. You see these parts of her throughout the entire book. You especially see how selfless she is for Lissa, how she would do anything for her—small things like standing up to a bully, or threatening to punch Mia. Or bigger things, like sabotaging a budding relationship or betraying one of Lissa's secrets. All of it for her good. (I mean, I do have reservations about this but I do admire it.) What's more is that Rose feels the shame, takes the blame for what her actions cause. I do hate how she hides things from Lissa—since it's for her "protection" and shit (I never buy that), but god. Rose would do anything to protect her, it makes me emo. Run mile after mile, wake up to sore muscles, the whole nine yards to be the best guardian for Lissa. Rose can be easy to hate, but to me, she's so easy to admire.

And I love Lissa too. I love how their relationship has its ups and downs, but they're still such a strong unit. I love their friendship. Rose may be the reckless one, going headfirst into a fight, but Lissa is strong and unique in her own regard. She's as loyal to Rose as Rose is to her—using her powers, despite how much it took a toll on her, to protect Rose from harsh rumors. GIVE ME A MOMENT. I just have so much love for this girl? This soft, gentle, character who would reach out to heal any animal in pain. Who wouldn't hesitate to do what she could do for Rose? Who trusts her without any hesitation? But would also call her out when necessary? I love.

This. This is the type of female friendship we should be seeing in books. Girl hate is such an ancient trope, I need it c a n c e l l e d already. Say what you will about the VA series—I can say Mead did this relationship, this wonderful friendship, right in the first book. (I'll have to see in books 2-6 lmao.)

I'd like to say that while the age gap between Dimitri and Rose make me uncomfy af, at least Dimitri is a good guy. Like, a genuinely good guy. And I'd like to add that Christian Ozera deserves love and I adore him.

There's just. So much to like about this. How the villain came off as. What the villain's motif was. Spoiler alert, I think?—but honestly, this came out over a decade ago and there's a movie, would this really bother anyone lol—but I just love how it wasn't a cliché evil thing, you know? Like. The person is doing it for their own good yeah but wow it is so much deeper than that at the same time? I'm reading too much into it, I think. I didn't expect this reread to impact me so much.

Back to so much to like: the humor! The dialogue! It felt so authentic, so unforced, that it truly made this novel.

Thank you for dealing with me with this review. I'm gonna go be emo about the rest of the series now.


buy the book }

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