Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Publication Info: Published August 16th 2007 by Razorbill
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
The Flavor: Twilight meets Heathers
The Short Version: Ignore the obvious title and everything you think you know about vampires because this book is straight-up delightful with a side of kick-ass.
The Characters: Rose Hathaway is our heroine, and she is not at all what you would expect. Sure, she is pretty, tough, loyal, and a number of other stellar qualities. But she’s also a raving bitch. One of the things I love most about Mead is that she isn’t afraid to give her heroines and heroes incredibly bad qualities—some of which might even be considered unforgivable. Rose is absolutely not above sabotaging Lissa’s fledgling relationship, spreading rumors, and judging people—but I forgive her because she also saves Lissa, stands up for herself, and goes after what she wants.
You flirted with the other guys simply for the sake of flirting. You flirted with Jesse in the hopes of getting semi-naked with him. He was a royal Moroi, and he was so hot, he should have worn a WARNING: FLAMMABLE sign. - Rose Hathaway
[Dimitri] shrugged. “She might be wild and disrespectful, but if she has potential—“
“Wild and disrespectful?” I interrupted. “Who the hell are you anyway? Outsourced help?”
“Guardian Belikov is the princess’s guardian now,” said Kirova. “Her sanctioned guardian.”
“You got cheap foreign labor to protect Lissa?”
The Dialogue: This isn’t a book with what I would call delightful conversation. But everything out of Rose’s mouth is hilarious and full of sass.
“Hey Mason, wipe the drool off your face. If you’re going to think about me naked, do it on your own time.”
I had a standing arrangement with God: I’d agree to believe in him—barely—so long as he let me sleep in on Sundays. - Rose Hathaway
“I get in that kind of situation all the time, Comrade. It’s not a big deal.” Anger replaced my fear. I didn’t like being treated like a child.
“Stop calling me that. You don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
“Sure I do. I had to do a report on Russia and the R.S.S.R. last year.”
The story actually takes place in a high school, and it really does have all the drama-rama you could ever want. But in addition to the high school backdrop, Mead has also created fascinating political, cultural, and social systems. And as always, she does a great job of making you feel as if you are living in the world she has created.
Extra Credit: I give big props when an author isn’t afraid to go there. Lissa has severe emotional issues. Rose and Dimitri have a romantic affair while he is her high school teacher. Rose may struggle with a type of drug addiction. And sex is an ever present issue—who’s having it, who wants to have it, who’s not having it.
With that said, this book might be on the mature end of the YA spectrum. But I love that Mead addresses and tackles these issues, instead of just brushing past them.
Parting thoughts: I put off reading this book forever. I knew that if I read it, I would love it. And then I would have to read all 6 books plus all of the books in the Bloodlines series. Well, let me tell you. I did love it. And I did read all those books. It took me 2 weeks, but I’ve now read all eleven books set in this world.
It was totally worth it. Don’t make the same mistake I did. You shouldn’t wait. You will love them. So, go. Start now.