Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 6, 2013 | 15 Comments

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle MeadVampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Published by Razorbill (8.17.2007)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback, 332 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

2.5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

I was sure going into this one that I was going to enjoy it. EVERYONE loved it (seemed like it, anyway). Sadly, I was wrong. Again. *sigh* It seems like I’m always the black sheep when it comes to books with a lot of hype.
Don’t get me wrong, this book wasn’t terrible. I gave it 2.5 – which for me is somewhere in between ‘it was ok’ and ‘I liked it.’ Because although I mostly just felt ‘meh’ about this book, there were some times when I kind of liked it.

My main problem? Rose. I couldn’t stand her. She was way too full of herself, constantly pointing out how great her body was, how big her ta-tas were, how good she looked in x outfit. She was condescending, vain, and acted like she was the greatest thing since sliced bread. ‘I knew perfectly well that there weren’t a lot of girls in this school who looked as good in a bra as I did.’ If I had to hear ONE MORE TIME about how she was coveted for being the ONLY curvy girl around because all the Moroi were ‘flat chested,’ I was going to throw the book at a wall. Her shallowness was astounding! She thinks she’s hot stuff (in her words, ‘goddess-like’ and ‘scorchingly sexy’….gag me with a spoon), and flaunts it.

“So don’t you have any respect? […] You make yourself look cheap.”

Well said, Dmitri. Well said.
Rose was also petty and selfish. She used people to get what she wanted and didn’t care about anyone’s feelings but her own and Lissa’s (which were kind of her own, since she could literally feel them). She spread false rumors about someone just to seek revenge and hurt that person as bad as they hurt her. Oh, and did I mention she’s hypocritical? She sneered at ‘blood whores’ for being addicted to getting bitten and called them dirty; yet she took pleasure from getting bitten herself, and got jealous when Lissa fed off of other people. Just because you don’t admit you’re addicted to it doesn’t make you any better than the people that do. She was too focused on everyone else’s flaws to deal with her own, and she seriously grated on my nerves.
I feel like the author was shooting for badass, but she shot the arrow a bit too high and landed in bitchy territory. And there was NO character development. She didn’t get any better.

My second problem was that I couldn’t muster up any feeling for the characters. It’s not really that they didn’t have their own personalities – they did, and they stood apart for one another – they just fell flat for me. I didn’t like any of them. I didn’t hate any of them. Even Mia, the vindictive bitch of the story. She was nasty, and I just didn’t care enough to hate her. This is major for me, as I usually do hate the rude characters. Nope, nothing. Lissa: nice, sweet….vanilla. Mason: nice, sweet….meek. Natalie: nice, sweet….vapid. Dmitri was alright, I suppose. But I didn’t care about him as a love interest.

There was a twist toward the end (I figured it out only a few pages before it was revealed, so it wasn’t that predictable), but I didn’t feel the shock I should have. I wasn’t surprised. And the ending felt anticlimactic and rushed. I was left thinking, That’s it?

There was too much high school drama for me. Who’s backstabbing who, who’s sleeping with who, rumors and rivalries and the ‘he said,’ ‘she said’s. Being fake to gain popularity, getting back at someone you don’t like. Ugh. I would have liked a lot more action and more vampires. I actually forgot they were vamps sometimes.

All in all, I just didn’t give a crap about this book, and it was forgettable for me. I did really like the concept of Moroi vamps vs. Strigoi vamps, and the element abilities were cool. Rose and Lissa’s bond was fascinating. The concept was good, I just didn’t care for the delivery. I may try book 2 someday, to see if it improves. Maybe.

Side note: I don’t usually talk about covers, just give them a rating. But I feel the need to say that the more I looked at this cover, the more I hated it. The gate design and lettering looks cool, but that’s as far as it goes. The girl’s face bugs the crap out of me! With her Angelina-esque squinty eyes, too big lips, and over-plucked eyebrows, I don’t think she’s pretty. And her nose bothers me. I kinda wanted to tape a piece of blank paper of the cover so I didn’t have to look at it anymore.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 2.5/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Characters: 1/5
World-building: 3/5
Pace: 3/5
Cover: 1/5
Overall rating: 2.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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15 responses to “Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

  1. Inky

    I’m never gonna read this book. I’ve never cared to and after reading this I’m pretty sure I’d hate it. Haha. And that might escalate badly. I’d probably want to slap Rose in the face. She sounds exactly like the kind of character I don’t like. Not to mention I’ve never been super into Vamps….Hmm. Haha. I do have to agree on the cover. It’s never really interested me. Just blegh. Ah well. I’ll never pick these ones up. I just don’t have the time to read a whole NEW series. Haha. Fabulous review though Jessi! *glomps*

  2. Well, I feel EXACTLY THE SAME AS YOU DO, ABOUT THIS BOOK. And yet I gave it 4 stars….I think I was “pushed” by all the hype, and the fact that all my friends loved it..+the fact that I was gifted this boo, so I felt unconfortable giving it lower than 4..
    I HATED Rose! She was soooo full of herself. There was no character developement with any of the characters.
    And all that talking about sex, and who slept with who, made the book bad.
    Loved your review, and the fact that we have kind of same tastes when it comes to books! :D

  3. Auwtsch! You know, I was really looking forward to this book. Everybody was so gushing over it, Dimitri is someone they all seem to crush on.. But Rose sounds horrible! I can’t stand such girls.. Oh my, thanks for the warning. I will try them out, but I’m happy that I got this series for free now. Great, honest review Jessi!

  4. Livvy @Nerdy Book Review

    It’s a shame you didn’t enjoy this one because I’ve only heard good things about the book. The main character does sound like a bitch and too shallow for my taste though.
    Great review! :)

  5. It’s been a while since I read this one but I remember enjoying it well enough. I read book 2 but haven’t gotten back to it yet so I guess it didn’t blow me away completely. LOL Dimitri was definitely my favorite of them all. Sorry it didn’t really work for ya!

    The cover on this one is a bit… creepy? Mine had a different version thankfully.

    herding cats & burning soup

  6. Megan R

    I haven’t read this one and almost bought it, but now I’m glad I didn’t. Rose sounds annoying enough to make me want to throw the book at something.

  7. Johanna Thiemann

    I’m so glad someone else finally feels the same about Rose. I always couldn’t stand her either. Yet, I still listened to the first 4 books because I do like Richelle Mead as an author and always enjoy her world-building.

  8. haha I love your reviews!!! My problem with the cover is that Rose looks evil, if that’s suppose to be Rose. She also looks like a bitch, which was true. This book was way too much high school drama and not enough vampire action. Sadly to say a lot of high school boarding school are like this. The author took the paranormal popularity and stuck them into Gossip Girl.I read 4 books into it before I just gave up and no longer gave a crap about what happens to the characters.

    Ning @ DABR

    • Oh yikes, I definitely don’t want to continue with the series then! This one ticked me off enough. I’ve heard a lot of complaints that the series fizzled out after a few books. I shall steer clear! And did you read Bloodlines? I’ve been trying to figure out if that’s worth reading for someone who didn’t like VA…

      • nope I didn’t bother. I didn’t care for this story so I just wasn’t interested in this world anymore. I just read the blurb actually and it looks like they’re going back to boarding school, so I’m steering clear lol

        • Ah okay. I’ve heard great things about it and it looks good, but I heard good things about this one too haha. I may try it when there’s nothing better to read….

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