Vampire Academy is the first book in a series of six, first published in 2007, written by Richelle Mead. It is primarily a paranormal romance fantasy book that is intended for young adults, or YA as it is commonly known/called.
As the title obviously tells us, this book involves vampires in a school setting. It centres on seventeen-year-olds Rose and Lissa, a dhampir (a half-human half-vampire hybrid) and Moroi (a vampire). Rose and Lissa have a special bond, which is useful, as Rose is training to become a bodyguard for Lissa, who is a member of one of the royal Moroi families. Lissa has a special skill which is the core of this first book, and along with the (mis)adventures of high school — friends, enemies, cliques, school parties, and secret parties — is what encompasses this book. It is set in the United States despite the prevalence of Eastern/Southeastern European terms where the vampire legends are thought to have originated.
✓ 17. A book a friend recommended
✓ 36. A book set in high school
First, I have to say — YA literature shouldn’t be shunned by non-YA people. There are some good stuff there, and they are good for quick entertainment because they’re usually easy reads. I quite liked the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (The Heroes of Olympus not so much).
That said, I have to say I’m a bit lukewarm on this one. Rose is presented as being quick at verbal banter, but I find it abrasive instead of entertainingly witty. She’s loud, she’s flirty, she’s curvaceous, and it all just screams too much of ‘look at me, look at me’. I guess I never really liked those kind of people; I always find that those with a quiet gravity to their persona commands more respectable attention, and people like Rose are to be ignored as they most usually lack any substance. Her friend Lissa is quite a foil to her character: she is the thinker, and she somehow comes off as weaker. Yet she has grace, good social manners, not a bad conversationalist, and is well-liked by people and not just because of her social standing. Why a female character needs to be rough and caustic to be evidently seen as strong sounds like lack of imagination.
Another problem I have with this book — a developing love story between a teenager and a 25-year-old adult. WHY? It’s meant to be romantic, I’m sure, with the tortuous ‘I like you a lot but we can’t be together’ drama, but it’s such a recipe for disaster. I know, I know, it’s fiction (and they’re not together…yet). I guess it’s hard for me to suspend disbelief. I hope teenagers don’t look at it as something to emulate, because there is a reason, or a variety of reasons, why a grown man matches a child (and yes, call me a grandma, but teenagers are children) in their search for a fulfilling, loving relationship, and none of them sound good. Does it mean his psychological maturity does not match women his age? Does he just get off being the “mature” one in the relationship? I’m sure there’s lots more red flags that can be contributed to this argument.
Other than that…it was still quite entertaining. I much preferred Lissa, and her blossoming relationship with an ostracised member of high school society. I think I will try the next book in the series because of that, and to find out more about the Moroi and the royal families and how that politics play out.
“Love and loyalty runs deeper than blood.”
– Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy)
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Let’s have a chat!
What are your thoughts about this book, or of the series, if you’ve read all of it?
And just as a point of debate — what do you think about older teenagers having committed relationships with someone seven years older?