For those less familiar with the young adult vampire genre, this book serves as a great introduction. Or if you aren't a fan of "Twilight," sink your teeth into this fun new series from Richelle Read. Rebellious Rose just can't take high school seriously, but she does take her bond with her best friend Lissa to heart. Likable Lissa is the last left of her family, and Rose will do anything to keep her safe. Together they harbor secrets, and may even be keeping a few of their own from one another.
I'm not a "young adult" but this book came highly recommended. I have done the Twilight series and while I liked the books, I wasn't overly impressed. I loved the Vampire Academy series. The character development was great. The author makes you connect to the characters and really care about what is happening to them. Very impressed overall.
This particular series is the darkest YA Vampire books I've read. There are a number of cuss words, references to sex, hot and heavy scenes and the thing that hit me the hardest is that one of the characters cuts.
With that being said, I really like her take on the Vampires. She has two types, an immortal, evil kind and a mortal, good, magical type. There are also half bloods that serve as the good vampires protectors. I love the multiple layers of social classes that this element and more bring.
The other aspect of this book that I found wonderful is the characters are all vastly different. From the shy reserved teen struggling with depression, the ostracized kid whose parents made him that way, the headstrong rebellious one and many many more. Richelle creates a great and very realistic way in which all these different personalities (which do exist in today's society) mingle with one another.
This is no ordinary vampire world you're stepping into. Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, a half-vampire half-human being who is sworn to protect the lives of the Moroi, mortal vampires whose blood is especially desirable by the Strigoi, the evil immortal vampires. Rose has a unique bond with her best friend Lissa, a Moroi princess. The bond was what told her that being at Vampire Academy among the guardians and the other Moroi and dhampirs wasn't safe, and so two years ago they escaped and have been on the run ever since.
At the start of their senior year, however, Rose and Lissa get caught and it's back to the pointless social politics they go. In between classes, house arrest (as punishment for escaping), and grueling training sessions with the extremely hot Russian guardian Dimitri, however, Rose begans to sense that danger is surrounding Lissa, that she is not who she thinks she is. Lissa has a rare power that could destroy her, and only Rose can protect Lissa from herself...and others who might want to use her for their own benefits.
Now this is the kind of YA paranormal series that I like. Butt-kicking, whip-smart female protagonists; dangerously sexy and complicated love interests; cutthroat high school drama; and an elaborately imagined alternative world...what more could you ask for?
All of the characters, not just the main ones, are great. They have personality, they make biting remarks, they sharpen their claws, spread rumors, manipulate. The Academy is, in a way, like Gossip Girl for vampires: the class politics underlining this series makes it more than a just-for-paranormal-entertainment read. There's plenty to be discussed in this book, as well as plenty to be entertained about.
And speaking of entertainment. The Gossip Girl reference is accurate, more so because of the sexuality that runs through the book. Vampires themselves are already attractive creatures; throw in a couple of hot guys, smart girls, and impossible romances, and you've got drama and heartbreak enough to satisfy your cravings. Most books get their strength through either character development or plot: VAMPIRE ACADEMY does both.
This book is class drama for the paranormal set, Twilight done right (in a sexually realistic kind of way). Pick this up and you'll be sucked immediately into its enchantment. I doubt you will be disappointed.
I stumbled onto this book after reading Mead's Succubus Blues. And while, I am very loyal to Twilight, this book really embodies the spirit of what it means to be a teenager and if teenagers were vampires, well, I believe it would be in the world Mead has created. The characters come off the page and you end up caring for them so much. Mead is an extremely gifted writer. I can't wait to read the rest.