Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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.

 First Look: ***** I wasn't sure what to think of this, since I've always steered clear of anything involving vampires.  But my friend recommended it to me, and it didn't look too romantic, so I picked it up.
Setting: ***** I could have used a little more detail here.  The Academy is almost Hogwarts-ish, but I never really got a feel for it.

Characters:
*****They were okay.  Not super great, but not bad.  I feel like there's so much that's probably going to be expanded in the later books.  Richelle Mead can't be accused of a lack of strong female characters!

Plot: *****There wasn't too much romance for me, which is good.  It was exciting, but I lost touch with what the actual central problem was more than once.  Again, this seemed to me like the vampire version of Harry Potter.  The social structure and teachers especially created that feeling.  
Cliché-ness: *****It's hard for me to say, since I haven't read any vampire books.  I don't know if it's possible for any YA vampire book to be original anymore. 

Writing: There were a few times when I got really confused about who's point of view it was from, and the flashbacks seemed sudden and made me more confused.

Likes: I liked the fact that the vampires weren't creepy (or at least, no more creepy than the humans).  

Not-so-great: There were a lot of important bits of info that the MC knew, but she never bothered to share that with us until a lot later, in an attempt to create suspense.  That always bothers me, because I think that the reader should always know what the MC knows.  No more, no less.  And Rose needs some help...she's my health teacher's nightmare in more ways than one (hint: not nutrition).

Total Score: *****
It was interesting.  Not something I'd reread, but I'd recommend it for paranormal fans.  Most series usually fit into one of three categories for me: Category 1 is made up of the sequels I request from the library and sit there in anticipation, checking daily to see whether they're in.  Category 2 are the sequels that I'll pick up, if I happen to see them at the library.  Category 3 are the sequels I never bother to read.  This would be a Category 2.  

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