Every Thursday, I have decided to try and post a ‘throwback Thursday’ piece where I will review some of my all-time favourite books/series. The books I will be reviewing are close to my heart, and have shaped my whole reading culture. The books in this segment will be ones I have read when I was a teenager which I turn to time and time again and will never get sick of reading. I hope you enjoy reading and let me know in the comments what you think!
Vampire Academy (Book 1) - Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy
Genre: Paranormal (YA)
Release Date: 16 August 2007
Publisher: Penguin Books
I have just finished reading this series of books for about the hundredth time, so it’s no surprise that the first book I will be reviewing is ‘Vampire Academy’ by Richelle Mead, the first book in her international best-selling series.
I read the first book when I was fifteen-years-old after my friend recommended them to me. I was still caught up the in the whole vampire hype which graced my school reading years and thought nothing would ever compare to ‘Twilight’. So, to say I was hesitant to read these books was an understatement.
I am so glad I did.
Stephenie Meyer has nothing on Richelle Mead. Edward and Bella who? For me, it will always be Rose and Dimitri.
The first book centres around Rose Hathaway, a dhampir novice who is in training to become guardian to her best friend Lissa, a Moroi princess and vampire. Rose has sworn to protect Lissa from the evils at bay, including the deadly Strigoi, the fiercest vampires around who never die and feed off Moroi blood.
Without giving too much away, Rose and Lissa have experienced two years of freedom, after escaping St Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and guardians to be. Now, after being caught and dragged back, Rose must help Lissa navigate their dangerous world and protect her at all costs, whilst also resisting her extremely hot guardian mentor. Who said high school would be easy?
Rose is the perfect heroine. She is bad-ass, outspoken, fierce, loyal and I loved how unapologetic and confident she was. I love how she fiercely protects her best friend Lissa. Her one liners are great and I would laugh out loud reading them (which I never do when reading a book).
I must have gone through every emotion Rose went through in this book. I laughed when she laughed and cried when she cried. My heart broke at times, as it has been drilled into her that the Moroi always comes first, and just once I wanted her to think about herself.
Dimitri Belikov still is, and will always be, my all-time favourite character. No question about it. I loved him when I first read the books, and after recently re-reading the series for about the hundredth time, I love him still. Is possible to love him even more? He has all the qualities you want to see in a hero: he is bad-ass, strong, funny and loyal. As a romantic lead, he is everything you could ask for and more. He isn’t controlling or arrogant like so many male romantic leads can be, and instead is loyal, trustworthy and loves Rose for exactly who she is, flaws and all and doesn’t try to change her. Even with the seven-year age gap, he always treats her like his equal. It’s such a nice change.
Vampire Academy is one of the best YA books in the paranormal genre that I have ever read. Along with a great storyline, they have kickass female characters and you are always left wanting more. My fifteen-year-old self would definitely have rated this a 5/5 stars and my twenty-two-year-old self would, well, I would give it 6/5 stars if that’s even possible.