Forgotten Fridays: Vampire Academy

Posted July 18, 2014 by Kara in book review, forgotten fridays, Kara, Lyn / 6 Comments

forgotten fridaysWelcome to Forgotten Fridays. This mission of this feature is, twice a month, to review books that are more than a year old. And we review them TOGETHER! Most reviews have minor spoilers because it is hard to block them out in a back and forth dialogue about a book. So keep that in mind when reading, though we do try to not mention anything that would ruin a book for anyone.

This week we have Pixie joining us!  This is one of her favorite series, so even though she had to leave the chat early, we’re still excited to share her point of view, too!


Forgotten Fridays: Vampire AcademyVampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Published by Razorbill on August 16th, 2007
Genres: paranormal, young adult
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon

The story that kicked off the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series is NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE! 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.


Bekka:  Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really excited to talk about this book.

Lyn: I have to admit, it was better than I thought.  There were just a few things that bothered me, but overall, it was promising.

Pixie: It’s always been a bit of a funny first book to a series for me. The first time I’d read it, I almost didn’t want to continue the series. A little cheesy.

Kara: I mostly liked it. Ultimately, I had a few issues *coughs* the writing and the infodumping. But as far as the story itself, I liked it. Also liked the vampire mythology and thought it was unique.

Bekka:  THE WRITING.  So painful at times.  It could have used some tightening, especially in the weird way the author phrased things, like “I arrived at the cafeteria.”

Lyn: I had issues with the world building. Why would the stronger vampires not take over the weak, non-breeding vamps? Did I miss something?

Pixie: I always wondered about that with the vamps, too, Lyn. But I’m with Kara on really enjoying the mythology.

Lyn: It was a different take. Kara, you are right about the info dumping. I felt sort of lost most of the time. Confusion was a large part of the story for me.

Bekka:  Totally agree. There were times, especially during the explanation of the breeding system that it all went right over my head and I just kinda had to roll with it.

Lyn: I agree, Bekka. My brain was on overload at times.  I know it sounds like I am knocking the book.  I did really like Rose quite a bit.

Kara: Yes, I LOVED Rose. For the most part. There were a couple of times where I was a little irritated by her recklessness and found it to be a bit much, but I really did like the evolution of her character and her devotion to protecting Lissa.

Lyn: It was really nice to read about a strong-bonded girl-girl relationship.I found that so refreshing, and I miss that in YA fiction at times. I loved the theme of friendship and loyalty.

Pixie: Rose is probably one of my favorite female characters of all-time. And I love the bond her and Lissa share because we don’t get to see many best friend relationships in books.

Bekka:  Rose made this book for me, all the way.  I don’t really understand what it is, because I feel like if you put all of her characteristics together (physically attractive, funny, confident, sarcastic, etc) you would come out with a “Mary Sue” type character, but it SO WORKED for Rose.

Kara: You know what I didn’t understand? The Dimitry fangirling. Maybe he gets better in later installments, but I thought his character was supremely flat. I don’t understand the big deal and wondered the whole time while I was reading when he would get more of a personality. I just didn’t see anything unique to swoon over.

Lyn: I….fangirled. I love the whole stoic, ice-cold male prototype. I like to try to win over my book crushes. I think it might be a personality thing. I didn’t like how he shamed Rose about her sexuality, but I just really felt attracted to his character.

Bekka:  I fangirled over the relationship, but not necessarily the character.  I loved Rose’s crush on him and her unabashed flirting that sometimes crossed the line into Totally Hitting on Him territory.

Kara: Okay, maybe it was my issues with the writing because I found all of this flat. I do believe this was the author’s first YA book, right? Maybe that’s it. I just feel like everything was all on the surface and I didn’t connect with a lot of it, including the relationship. Just when I would start to get into it, she would summarize or infodump and yank me out of the story. There was SO MUCH summarizing. It was brutal for me. Especially towards the end. Major telling instead of showing. The amateur quality just stuck out at me.

Bekka:  Amateur is exactly the word I would use to describe the writing, which is a shame because I think the story underneath is awesome.

Kara: Yeah, SO awesome. I agree. But the writing quality declined, and now I wonder if her adult book was the same or she wrote on a more amateur level because she doesn’t think teens need it. O_o

Lyn: I really want to read Gameboard of the Gods and see if her writing has grown. It feels like something the author wrote at the start of her career (which, I see, is true). She has a very detailed mythology in her story, and I would love to see if the writing matches the world building.

Kara: I have not heard good things from others about that book. A lot of people I follow either DNFed or didn’t like it because they found it boring. If you read it, I would be interested for sure to know how you felt. As for this one, I am rating it 3 stars. Normally this would mean I am probably not going to continue on, but in this case, I think it might get better a book or two into it, plus the mythology has me intrigued.

Bekka:  I’m gonna rate it a 3.5.  I just really loved Rose, I don’t know.  As for the rest of the series? Hell yes, I am continuing. I kind of want to drop everything and just read read read Vampire Academy.

Lyn: 3 stars. I want to continue because I invested in the UK version of the books. The covers are to DIE for. Dearly Departed Pixie said she rated it 3.5.

Kara: We are reading Jellicoe Road next which is Lyn’s pick and I don’t know about you guys, but I am excited. I have wanted to read this FOREVER but could not find the time.

Lyn: I DNFed the first time around, but Jessie convinces me to push through and read it. I am thrilled to give it another shot.

Bekka:  Same. I made it about twenty pages in, but it was soooo confusing. But everyone is NUTS for this book so I am going to give it a real shot this time.

Kara: I hope it doesn’t go the way of Going Bovine for me. LOL. Okay, are we finished?

Lyn: Yes, good, done, in the can.





6 responses to “Forgotten Fridays: Vampire Academy

  1. I love your conversational reviews, ladies! They make the review into a whole new experience, really. I loved the VA, mostly because of the different storyline, and also the mythology. Some things become better explained in the books further along, so hopefully, you’ll be able to stick with it all the way through 😉
    I had read her Succubus Blues series before this one, and I really enjoyed the first few books, but not the later ones.
    Gameboard of the Gods… I hope you’ll enjoy that one, Lyn! There is norse mythology 😉 I liked The Immortal Crown better.
    Have a great weekend ladies 🙂
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #41 –My Profile

  2. This was a cool, it reminded me of the day I found TVA. I was all done with the Twilight Saga (I read the entire series about 1 month after the 1st movie was released) & was wandering through Stop & Shop & this book captured my eye. I bought the first 2 in the series & from there was a HUGE fan.
    Dimitri..Hmmmm…Love/Hate. I thought he was flying the “douche bag” flag a bit too much in the beginning.
    I could see why a gal would be attracted to him, but his cold, aloof personality turned me off. Ugh. He treated a young lady/teen (Rose was not even a legal adult yet & for all her lethal training, was still a teen girl at heart) kinda crappy imo.
    As the series progresses we learn more about him, but still…was he desirable because he was the more attractive option out of few available? was he TRULY the best for her? its not like she was in a normal situation where she could “play the field”.
    She was not into breeding more “dhampires” like herself, or being considered a “blood doll” or the other derogatory term they called them, so the “Morai” were off limits..
    I know I should probably duck cuz Dimitri “shippers” are most definitely throwing rocks at me by now..lolz

    I will say as the series progresses he DOES redeem himself.

    What I love about this series -VS- The House of Night by PC & Kristen Cast is this series knew when to bow out gracefully. HON keeps going and going..Even long term, hard core, fans are like “enough already!”
    TVA ended perfectly & the spin off isnt too shabby.

    Sorry for the rant against poor Dimitri..lolz..It may not of been entirely favorable, but I was glad to finally get that off my chest! lolz
    Fran recently posted…Luminous 3 Minute Peel by Real ChemistryMy Profile

  3. This is one book I really want to read because everyone else has and seems to love it! So it’s actually kind of surprising that you guys felt only okay about it, though of course understable, based on your chat-review.

    I’m not quite sure what to think of the cheesiness, honestly! I didn’t expect that to be in here, since this is supposedly a really good vampire book compared to Twilight, so the cheese puts me off a little. And ugh for info-dumping. We’re not in school, authors, geez! xD It doesn’t only make the reader confused, but also slows down the pace of the book, based on my experiences with info-dumping.

    But Rose sounds awesome! I saw the movie trailer for VA and thought that Zoey Deutch looked pretty badass. And yup, we definitely don’t see that much girl-and-girl friendships these days, it’s more boy-and-girl relationships, which I have nothing against, but it’s getting old. Girls don’t only care about boys, you know? Sigh.

    Maybe the writing will improve in the next few books, though? Crossing fingers here, because flat writing and I don’t go well together at all. And about Gameboard of the Gods: It had SUCH an intriguing premise, but I DNF’d it because it was just sooo boring. And the main characters were… ew. (Hint: sex the first time they meet.) I get that they are adults, so maybe I went into the book with the wrong mentality, but still. Who knows, I might give it another try because I know a couple of people who absolutely enjoyed it.

    Anyways, great chat-review, ladies! I’m glad that all of you were able to enjoy Vampire Academy overall. Looking forward to your thoughts on the rest of the series! 🙂
    Megan (Adrift on Vulcan) recently posted…Losing Faith in the YA Mystery Genre: The Killing Woods, Lucy ChristopherMy Profile

    • Lyn

      You are certainly always welcome to join us!

      This one was worth the read, and it was actually entertaining and a quick read, so take a chance on it. Bekka is continuing, and more than likely we’ll finish the series over time together!
      Lyn recently posted…More Survey FunMy Profile

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