Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Release Date: August 16th, 2007
Razorbill, 332 Pages
Source: Gifted from Sash
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Vampire Academy #1
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
I’m pretty sure I have the best blogmate and friend in the entire world. Sash sent me the ENTIRE Vampire Academy series in hard copy and they are currently gracing the shelves of my packed bookcase. She knew I would like this series, and she was absolutely right.
Rose is a snarky, smart-mouthed, hard-headed, half-vampire BFF to a vampire princess, Lissa. Rose is definitely my kind of character and she knows how to take care of herself and the people she loves. She’ gorgeous, street-smart and tough–not to mention an outrageous wild side.
The storyline is really great, and Mead uses flashbacks of what has already occurred to keep you guessing and to help fill you in at the right moment without giving too much away. I was actually really surprised to see who the villain turned out to be–and I also enjoyed learning the history and customs of this vampiric society. It is really different from a lot of other books/series about vampires that I have read, which is refreshing, because after a while. The same myths and superstitions associated with them become tiresome. You either left with loving them because they’re “sexy and dangerous” or you just think they’re disgusting sunlight-hating bloodsuckers. The author really paints a picture of a society that is almost completely hidden from mortals and allows for hybrids and technically zombie vampires (and if you know me, you know I love zombies!).
If you’re looking for a steamy YA vampire series to get into–I can guarantee you’ll enjoy this one. It’s well-written, the main characters are colorful, witty, and stunning–and the action–and forbidden/taboo romance–is never-ending. It’s definitely something you can sink your teeth in to (vampire humor intended).