Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vampire Academy - For Adults Only

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead $8.99  [332 pages]

The five star ratings comes with a strong caution because of an ethics violation. "Ethics?" You ask me, which is when I plant my hands firmly on my hips and snort. "Do not allow your very young daughters to read this book!" 

I bought my copy in the children's section, of the book store, after all, and Vampire Academy simply does not belong there. No 12-year-old should be reading stories that condone sex between adult teachers and impressionable young students. 

Don't get me wrong. The romance between a 24-year-old guardian, Dimitri, and 17-year-old Rose Hathaway seemed very compelling in all of its  presentation. Dimitri is hot, HOT, hot, but Rose is his STUDENT and she's a minor! (I worry this sort of book can give very young girls hope for establishing romance with teacher-predator types). Admittedly, the two are under some sort of spell when they "do it" and the teacher apologizes later. Yet the writing was so compelling, I was living vicariously through that student and seriously wanted to disrobe to show that teacher all of my stretch marks and cellulite. Readers be warned! (Things could get embarrassing)

Ethics aside, I think this is a most compelling read for adults. Rose proves extremely likeable even while flawed. She's the would-be guardian-in-training to Lissa, a rare-version of living-breathing (mortal) vampire with special gifts, and the two females form an extremely strong bond that gets Rose into numerous fist fights and other trouble. Sadly, Rose's best intentions regularly cause more harm than good; bless her adorable half-vampire self.

Mead writes brilliant dialog and the plot is extremely compelling and believable. Here's an example where Rose is considering a boy her own age, Manson, who she really likes (he utterly worships her) but she doesn't feel any chemical attraction for him; not like she feels for her instructor, whose seemingly indifferent at this point:

[page 195] "How hard would it be, I wondered, to go out with him? (Manson) He was nice, funny, and reasonably good-looking. We got along. Why did I get caught up in so many messes with other guys when I had a perfectly sweet one here who wanted me? Why couldn't I just return his feelings?

The answer? She's too mesmerized by her hunky self defense instructor and all other males pale by comparison. That's why! Fortunately, Mead also writes amusing details into the book's regular script.

[pag 193] There was so much testosterone in the air, I felt l needed a gas mask.

If it weren't for the ethics violation, I would definitely be giving this first book in the series ten out of five stars. I love all the teasers that Author Richelle Mead works into the plot, little snippets of information that keep the reader begging for more details as the bigger story unfolds. I loved this book so much I bought "Frostbite" (the next installment in this 6 book series). It's been just that wonderful to meet all the characters and to observe their individual evolutionary processes. I cannot wait to read more about Christian (Lissa's brooding boyfriend and he's so enjoyably mysterious).

Great entertaining and fast paced read!

(Reviewer's Admission: I bought this book and read it in paperback)


  1. Thanks for the honest review. I didn't know that aspect exists. Still to say you liked it... hm... I'm curious. :)

  2. Melissa ~ I liked this book because the characters were very likable. The story line was magically compelling. I kept wanting to READ (when I was doing things like sleeping, eating, working).

    I did have a serious problem with the teacher/student scenario, however, as I mentioned. I even called my sister and begged her to NOT allow her daughter to read this book (not for a few years anyway).

  3. I'm not exactly sure why I couldn't get into this series. I'm hard to please when it comes to YA fic. I don't remember exactly what turned me off the series. Maybe I'll try it again one day and maybe I'll be more interested in it.

    The strange thing is that I like Richelle Mead's adult fic. I just have a tendency to nitpick YA books in general.

  4. Heather ~ This is why, when I write a book review, if I don't like something about it I say "why." The very thing I don't like might be something that another reader is absolutely looking for.

    This is also why there are so many different genres for books (readers have so many different tastes for reading). I respect that you don't like one genre. The fist chapter of this book was difficult for me to get into because it started with blood drinking and I wasn't familiar with any of the characters so I had to keep reading to warm up to it but once that happened I didn't want to put the book down. :-)

  5. I understand: some books are usually put in the wrong section because the person who does that has not read any of them and they end up in the wrong hands. When I travelled to Argentina, I was staying in one of those Buenos Aires apartments and there I was recommended this book store called El Ateneo. Itis open every day and books there are perfectly organized. It is a pleasure!

  6. Hi Jules ~
    I agree that whomever puts this book in the children's section has probably not read Vampire Academy. At the same time - because the book is about high school students - most people would assume it's appropriate for high school aged individuals to read.

    I feel responsibility for getting this book in the right section of the store belongs to how the book is marketed. The writer/publisher has an opportunity to designate exactly what genre any book belongs in before they circulate it to the stores.

    Thank you for your comment.
    ~ Tami


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