Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead | 3 Stars

ONLY A TRUE BEST FRIEND CAN PROTECT YOU FROM YOURIMMORTAL 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 hellbent 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…

I didn’t hate it.

But I hated Rose. She was such a walking contradiction most of the time; confident in her looks, if all the times she’s talking about  how “hot” guys think she is, and generally how up her own ass she is. She’s hypocritical in judging how other girls throw themselves at boys, and Rose will hump anything that moves if he’s hot enough.

I also felt like the writing was a bit… pedantic, if I’m being honest. A lot of the time I thought I was reading a poorly written fanfiction about vampires, but nope. It was simple, and maybe that’s because of when it was published, I don’t know, but the dialogue alone felt unrealistic to me. 

The only character I kind of cared about was Christian. I loved his no-bullshit attitude, how he was so far removed from the high school drama, didn’t care about what anyone thought of him or his shamed family. And I loved how fiercely protective of Lissa he was.

I hated the Dimitri and Rose relationship. While I’m glad that Dimitri put a stop to it by rationally telling Rose that, instead of putting his body on the line for Lissa, his charge, he’d end up protecting her, leaving Lissa unprotected. Knowing most YA like I think I do, pretty sure that’s not the last of them as a couple, and that’s part of why I don’t know if I want continue on with this series.

I guess I understand better why she’s as allegedly reckless as she claims to be, being “shadow-kissed” and all, but honestly? A lot of the reasoning behind characters’ actions and reactions fell flat. Especially when it came to Mia.

Why does every fucking “mean girl” have to be the token slut? Like, she’s got so much shit thrown at her family-wise, and all she wants to do is fit in like any normal teenager, but Rose’s bitchy attitude toward her actually just made me feel sympathetic towards Mia. Sure, some of the things she brought on herself, but Rose instigated a lot of their confrontations.

And Dimitri. I don’t know what to say about Dimitri. One second he’s aloof, stoic, and then five chapters later he’s smiling and laughing and flirting with Rose. His mood swings were giving me whiplash. 

Which brings to reason #346 of why I dislike her character: she’s supposed to be this badass guardian, but the second she realizes how “hot” Dimitri is, she turned into the kind of girl she seems to despise. She’s all fluttery stomach, and tingling skin, unable to speak because all of a sudden she’s got cottonmouth. She has Mason, a friend who has a crush on her, paying her compliments and helping her out of complicated situations, being just a genuinely nice fucking guy, and she shits all over that because she doesn’t want to be treated “like a girl?” 

Yeah, no. I’m not buying it. And I definitely didn’t buy the reason behind this apparent “attraction” Rose had with Dimitri. Something about their jobs as guardians, or whatever, but it sounded stupid then, and thinking back on it… it’s still stupid. 

So. I didn’t hate it. There were some parts that I liked, like Lissa’s powers and finally understanding what all they were, as well as learning their history. I liked that there were two different types of vampires, Moroi and Strigoi, the former being “alive,” and the latter being the stuff of nightmares, the “undead.”
The world-building kind of fell flat for me, too. The blurb on the back of the book talked about the Strigoi “always being close,” but I don’t think one was actually seen until the end, and even that battle was sloppily cleaned up with nice bow. With Dimitri coming to Rose’s rescue as if she’s a damsel in distress (that she’s made clear throughout this book that she’s not), and because it’s Dimitri, SAID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

But all in all, it was a solid three stars for me. I don’t know if that’s enough for me to continue on with Shadow Kiss, but I guess we’ll see. I’m curious to know how badly the movie turned out, though. It’s free OnDemand, so who knows, maybe I’ll be a masochist and watch it later…

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