So, what's this? you are thinking. It's summer school, with two of my favorite bloggers! I'm rereading the entire Vampire Academy series while those two experience it for the first time EVER. omg I know. Except I think Jen has read the first few books, so it's all good (not really.) (except I shouldn't even be mad at them because I am a hypocrite! I first read Vampire Academy last year. February to be exact. Oh yes. Late to the party!)
Since this is the first homework assignment, it's probably a good idea to start with the FIRST book, aye?
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
August 16, 2007
Young Adult | Paranormal
Vampire Academy #1
Oh, Rose, I have missed you so much! And Dimitri, you too! *group hug*
I absolutely love this series. I think Vampire Academy is a great set-up to a very epic series, introducing Rose and Lissa, and of course Dimitri. I also really love the chemistry between Rose and Dimitri and how it escalates in this book.
I looked down at my destroyed hands as he worked. "This is only the start, isn't it?"
"Me. Turning into Alberta. Her . . . and all the other female guardians. They're all leathery and stuff. Fighting and training and always being outdoors—they aren't pretty anymore." I paused. "This . . . this life. It destroys them. Their looks, I mean."
He hesitated for a moment and looked up from my hands. Those warm brown eyes surveyed me, and something tightened in my chest. Damn it I had to stop feeling this way around him. "It won't happen to you. You're too . . ." He groped for the right word, and I mentally substituted all sorts of possibilities. Goddesslike. Scorchingly sexy. Giving up, he simply said, "It won't happen to you."
He turned his attention back to my hands. Did he . . . did he think I was pretty? I never doubted the reaction I caused among guys my own age, but with him, I didn't know. The tightening in my chest increased.
- p 181/182
[ . . . later on in the scene]
"I don't want to cut my hair," I explained.
He looked puzzled. "You don't have to cut your hair. It's not required."
"All the other guardian women do. They show off their tattoos."
Unexpectedly, he released my hands and leaned forward. Slowly, he reached out and held a lock of my hair, twisting it around one finger thoughtfully. I froze, and for a moment there was nothing going on in the world except him touching my hair. He let my hair go, looking a little surprised—and embarrassed—at what he'd done.
"Don't cut it," he said gruffly.
Somehow, I remembered how to talk again. "But no one'll see my tattoos if I don't."
He moved toward the doorway, a small smile playing over his lips. "Wear it up."
- p. 186/187
The central line in this story is the romance; Rose's and Dimitri's. Lissa's and Christian's. I love that. As someone who writes stories where romance is the main thing, it makes me smile that a HUGE series did it, too. But it's not just romance. Rose and Dimitri can kick some serious ass and Rose shows how badass she is starting in the third book.
I love the actual story for the first book. That summary up there? Basically the summary for the entire series, but it works for the first book, too. It's about the girls easing back into the academy world; it's about Rose and Dimitri, and them learning to be guardian partners for when Rose graduates and becomes Lissa's guardian. And of course, whoever is sending dead animals to Lissa. It's hard to explain that, and every time I try to, I spoil parts of it. So I'm going to leave it at someone is sending dead animals to Lissa, but why? WHY INDEED, PEOPLE.
I love the characters. They are all so real to me, and you know I love it when the characters are real. And Mason. My dear sweet Mason:
"Hey Mason, wipe the drool off your face. If you're going to think about me naked, do it on your own time."
A few snorts and snickers broke the awed silence, and Mason Ashford snapped out of his haze, giving me a lopsided smile. With red hair that stuck up everywhere and a smattering of freckles, he was nice-looking, though not exactly hot. He was also one of the funniest guys I knew. We'd been good friends back in the day.
"This is my time. Hathaway. I'm leading today's session."
"Oh yeah?" I retorted. "Huh. Well, I guess this is a good time to think about me naked, then."
"It's always a good time to think about you naked," added someone nearby, breaking the tension further. Eddie Castile. Another friend of mine.
- p. 28
For those who have read Bloodlines, you know that Eddie shows up in the first book (I've yet to read the second book, but I bet he does then too!) I also had to use that passage in my review because HOLLA, it makes me laugh every time I read it. I had to highlight it in the book, too! Any book that gets me laughing is a good book in my book. (heh.)
The only reason why I'm not giving this book five stars is because of the writing style; dude, Rose frequently zones out to explain a few things about the world, and she does explain a whole lot in the first four/five chapters that later on are explained in the book, but more of "showed" and not "explained." Which, for you writers out there, is kinda bad. I'd rather be shown something about the world than told it in the beginning of the book, you know? Especially if you tell the readers, and then show the readers; that's just repetitive and not necessary.
But overall, Richelle Mead does such a fantastic job setting up the world of Moroi and Strigoi and Dhampires and all I want to do now is read the second book. I'm refraining until this weekend, though! Since next Wednesday it's summer school check-in. O____O Again.
Also, I didn't realize this until someone pointed it out (I forgot who, sorry!), but doesn't the model on the cover look like Angelina Jolie?!