Title: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy revolves around Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir, two girls who have run way from St Vladimir’s Academy. Rose is a half-blooded vampire, and shares a rare psychic bond with Lissa, who is a full-blooded vampire princess.
When they are dragged back to the academy and have to readjust to high school life after two years away from it, Rose is forced to take up extra training sessions to make up for those she has lost, and her tutor, Dimitri, believes that she will make a good guardian because of the psychic bond. But, once Lissa becomes depressed and learns of her own rare ability, it becomes much harder for Rose to protect her, and all of her skills are challenged.
Vampire Academy started out fairly okay. There was nothing spectacular about it, but I read it fairly quickly so it didn’t seem to bad. At the time I was reading this, I was worried about my Goodreads Reading Challenge so I didn’t mind seeming to be able to eat up the book in a day.
But, alas, I would not enjoy reading it as much as I had hoped.
Vampire Academy sounds like a good novel – some of the plot points may have been done to death in YA, but there were enough original key elements to keep it interesting. I loved the idea of having Strigoi and Moroi.
The failing for me, was the characters, and the fact that the more I went on, the worse the book seemed. Trying to describe the plot to a friend ended up influencing my reaction, since when I explained it, I realised how flimsy and shallow everything was.
I don’t think there was one single redeeming character, since the one I thought was actually pretty okay ended up being a murderer. The slut-shaming in this book was atrocious, but so is the behaviour of the characters. Literally, Rose goes off with a boy she doesn’t even like that much just because she is need of attention. Not only does she use him for her own personal gain, she is surprised when it comes back to bite her. I, for one, was very not-surprised since it is a novel set in a high school, vampires or no.
Which brings me on to my next point: petty high school drama. Why does every single novel set in a high school include some kind of infuriatingly shallow and petty ‘enemy’ type character? The popular girl, who steals someones boyfriend, does not also need to be catty, and the main characters do not need to react in the same manner.
However, through all the misgivings, I can confess that if I had read the book two or three years ago (when I loved Twilight) then I probably would have loved this book also. I can see why others would like it too, but it contains too many tropes and little characterization for my liking.