Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
Release Date: 16th August 2007
Publisher: Razorbill 
Format: eBook
Pages: 183
Rating: 4.5/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2014 RC, 2014 SSC and 2014 EBC

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"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."

This was not at all what I was expecting, and I mean that in the most positive of ways. I guess with the most prominent vampire-based book that I've ever read being the Twilight series, I really wasn't prepared for everything this threw at me. Strong female characters? Magic? A cracking mystery? So much snark and sass? I was not prepared for this.

I went into this expecting one thing, and what I got was completely different. And I absolutely loved it. Most of this book was a massive surprise for me. The plot, the character's, the back story, this world - all of it was much better than I expected. I knew this was a well-loved series, and the reason I finally decided to give this a go was because of the movie adaptation. But I really wasn't expecting that I'd be one of the people singing it's praises. 

I can even pinpoint for you what I loved so much about this book - it's ability to surprise me. As I've already said quite a bit, I wasn't expecting anything that happened in this book (except for maybe the romances, I could see those coming from a mile away). And I think I got so distracted by how unexpected this book was that I was truly surprised by the plot twist at the end. It hadn't even crossed my mind, and recently I've found that I almost always guess the twist at the end, so this was a pleasant surprise. 

Aside from it's ability to really keep me guessing, I loved almost everything else about this book. Especially our two main characters, Rose and Lissa. Rose is just so so sassy and snarky, and I honestly haven't read a character like her in a while. And Lissa is the polar opposite, which in itself is interesting to read. Add onto this that fact that everything about Lissa's story (which is mainly what our plot is focused on) is so tragic, strange, and mysterious, and you've got yourself two perfect leads. Where Lissa is weak, Rose is strong, and vice versa. The two of them together make for one powerful duo, which I'm sure will be explored in subsequent novels.

But even though I loved the plot twists that actually managed to surprise me, and our two heroine leads, I was never completely blown away by this book. This is so close to a 5.0 out of 5.0, but it's not quite there. That being said, I'm so excited to continue on with this series, and I really recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is definitely not the vampire story you'd expect. 

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